Watch Matmos’s new video, directed by M.C. Schmidt, for “Luminous Rings,” a bonus track from their recent album The Marriage of True Minds, out now on Thrill Jockey.
“The song ‘Luminous Rings’ is based on the transcript of a psychic experiment conducted at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford Unviersity with a young girl named Tatiana. I was seated in a nearby room staring at a candle and attempting to send the concept of the new Matmos album into her mind. As soon as MC and I heard her session, we were struck by its intensely poetic, compressed and mystical quality. Her voice sounds dreamy, slightly ecstatic, and the pace of her speech is very dramatic, with long pauses broken by sudden outbursts of sharply observed phenomena that eventually subsides down into a sort of reverie at the end. We knew it needed to be its own song. But it turned out to be very difficult to translate, because she largely sees abstract visual phenomena: light, darkness, rings, pulses. We worked on the song for months, changing its sounds quite drastically many times, before finally settling on this completed version, which is designed to go from a cluttered busy space to a very starkly empty space until, with the central ‘breakthrough’ moment, the music gets very intense and frantic, before finally settling back down again. Unlike other songs on the record, for this song we preserved the timing of her session—so the spaces between utterances in the song are exactly as they were spaced on the original Ganzfeld session—this is a case of using the psychic session recording as if it was already the ‘lead vocal’ of a song. Martin’s video tries to push off from the minimal, abstract language of Tatiana’s session as much as possible, and is timed to reflect the dramatic movements taking place in Tatiana’s mind.”