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By Patrick Samuel • February 17th, 2011
Static Mass Rating: 5/5

Release date: November 29th 2010
Running time: 31:24 minutes

Composer: Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins is a composer who has been playing the piano since he was five years old. Over the years he’s worked with Brian Eno and Coldplay but his latest piece of work is something otherworldly.

For Gareth Edwards’ experimental science fiction love story/road movie Monsters, Hopkins has produced a score which is very much in tune with its mood and style. While some tracks are understated and melancholic at times, other tracks are tense and eerie.

The Monsters Theme which is a combination of electronic and orchestral elements is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard in a long while. When I think of the movie, I hear this piece of music and the two have become inseparable I my mind, but there are many more tracks on here which also standout on their own.

Jon Hopkins: Monsters

Prologue, the first track, begins in a mildly ominous tone. Strings and pads combine in a slowly swelling soundscape before launching into Journey which sounds exactly as the title suggests.

With hints of not only Michael Nyman (Gattaca), but also Clint Mansell (The Fountain) and Cliff Martinez (Wicker Park), Hopkins taps into a futuristic sound which pulls up many images; emotions, memories and shards of dreams half remembered, half forgotten.

Edwards sheds some light on how Hopkins came to be the film’s composer:

“Throughout the edit process you use temporary music to help you along, and the music we used was some of the best in the world from some of the most famous films. So I just got to the end of the process thinking we can’t possibly beat this, no one could come along and create anything like this. But it happened that the music supervisor Lol Hammond had worked with Jon Hopkins. People were raving about him, so I met Jon and basically said here you go, beat that! I personally thought he was never going to do it, but he came back with these beautiful pieces that were just perfect. There’s a lot of emotion and heart in the film and much of that is because of Jon’s composing; it’s just beautiful.”


01. Prologue
02. Journey
03. Candles
04. Water
05. Underwater
06. Spores
07. Campfire
08. Dawn
09. Attack
10. Temple
11. Encounter
12. Monsters Theme

The score was built on string parts performed by legendary arranger Davide Rossi which Hopkins then processed and combined it with his trademark electronics to echo Edwards’ cinematography.

Track 4 is Water and it bubbles along with tones reminiscent of Martinez’s score for Solaris but adding something entirely different to it at the same time whereas Underwater has a much darker, more menacing tone. The strings play sinisterly over the keys in the upper scale heightening not only tension but also expectations while Spores takes you to those unexplored places.

Jon Hopkins: Monsters

Campfire is a track I would choose for a compilation of favourite soundtrack pieces. It begins with a simple set of notes played on the keys, but each note hits the mark so perfectly that I want it go on forever.

At just over 31 minutes, the soundtrack is short and sweet. While many other soundtracks I’ve come across before feature tracks you never heard in the movie or are arranged so differently they can’t be placed, this is not the case with Hopkins’ Monsters. Each individual track wastes no time in getting to the point and setting the scene and on their own, they tell the story of Monsters. For any soundtrack collector, this is an essential one for your collection.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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