The Redundancy of the Angelic: An Interluding Play by Anna HeflinRelease date: April 9, 2021
Label: Infrequent Seams
“I’m sitting on a galaxy. Stars and moons, blanket the deep red spa chairs I rest on constellations. Space itself supports me. Luna lifts me.” The opening line from Anna Heflin’s debut album, The Redundancy of the Angelic: An Interluding Play on the Infrequent Seams label, has this beat poetic intro from the minds of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But once you go into the nightmarish violin structures that the album sets up the crazy sceneries in Los Angeles, this isn’t going to be a pastoral symphony.
Brooklyn’s own Anna Heflin has been on this journey as a composer, writer, and violist to understand where she wants to take her music into this experimentation that is beyond Tchaikovsky. While she is a musician, storyteller, and an arranger, she is also a writer. She is the owner and co-editor of the website, Which Sinfonia.
Her debut album deals with the repetitions in our daily lives that we use to create in our own little worlds as it represents the term friendship. When I was listening to the debut, I felt this tug that Anna channels between John Cale of the Velvet Underground, David Bedford, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Keith Tippett, and the Rock In Opposition movement of the 1970s.
Her story telling will not only give you chills, but the violins that Shannon Riley and Emily Holden do by creating this screeching effect, will send shivers down your spine. At times it sounded like it was recorded in a gothic cathedral as the channelization’s between Art Zoyd’s Franck Cordon, Gerard Hourbette and the late great Roger Trigaux of Univers Zero and Present.
There is a jumping moment that gives this silent, deafening alarm that screams the arrangements of Ron Geesin’s work. When Anna is speaking in these doubling voices from one side of the hall to another, it is like going inside the mind of a mental patient’s padded room not knowing when he is going to attack the next doctor or nurse as the insanity level increases.
Heflin’s message is letting the listener know that everything must come to an end. The Redundancy of the Angelic may not be everyone’s cup of coffee, it is like a dangerous beast that is ready to leap at any second. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not only Bartok’s music, but the Rock in Opposition movement that Anna is channeling between both Art Zoyd and Univers Zero that she does to carry that legacy.
While it is a very dangerous and surreal debut that Anna Heflin has unleashed, it is also a spine-chilling beauty.