The Redundancy Of The Angelic: An Interluding Play

Anna Heflin

Infrequent Seams Records, 2021

http://annaheflin.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/17/2021

A writer, composer, and violist, Anna Heflin has had her work performed as far away as the Czech Republic, though this is her debut album. Near her home in New York, she can be spotted playing at the Metropolitan Opera, the David Koch Theater, the Flea Theater, and even Carnegie Hall. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

An extremely creative listen, The Redundancy Of The Angelic: An Interluding Play offers violin, viola, and spoken text from Heflin as she weaves in and out of intimacy as well as plenty of experimental swells of very atypical song craft.

“Opening” starts the listen with poetic spoken word that lays the foundation for what's to come thematically. This segues into the title track, where Heflin's viola is manipulated with strings that are both plucked and bowed, and even on occasion sound mechanic.

Moving on, “Fell On Blonde” is a quick display of whispered talking that points back to the narrators early years, and “As Above, So Below” then drones for 12+ minutes; sublime moments are met with haunting sounds that you'd never think would emanate from a stringed instrument.

Near the end, “We Made It Out,” another spoken word piece, is among the most eloquent and inviting, and flows into the 30 seconds of “The World Goes On,” where creative layering results in dizzying, abstract talking piece.

The aptly titled “Closing” is the last track and again is without music. It has Heflin narrating in a way that's enunciated so well, it's almost robotic, and just so enthralling.

The violinists, Shannon Reilly and Emily Holden, contribute incredible playing to the album, while Heflin plays the viola like few others ever will. Though the storytelling often times seems random, it's still quite gripping, as Heflin draws us in to her avant-garde, classical, and poetic formula with an undeniable charm.

Rating: B+

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