On her brilliant debut record, the Athens, Georgia based violinist and composer Annie Leeth has created a listening experience that is at times enigmatic and at others a ghostly vision of the blurred lines that electronic and instrumental compositions continue to create just when one thinks they have heard it all.
On Heard, the University of Georgia music composition and performance major, Leeth reveals to the listener a personal symphony of growth both in its scope and construction. At times Heard exudes so much beauty it’s simply breathtaking. Leeth is the puppeteer and whatever instruments she touches: the violin, analog synthesizer, organ, voice, and thumb piano become here willing marionettes.
Heard opens with the breath of morning song “Meditation” which pits a solo violin, sawing its way slowly through an atmospheric haze of electronic mystification. It owes as much to violin auteurs such as Andrew Bird (the reverberating string-plucks) as to a litany of other composers of both classical and electronic veins, both Eric Satie and Brian Eno come quickly to mind.
But though the compositions beg these comparisons they are first and foremost original works that resonate with the splendor and heart that could only come from Leeth herself. As “Lōp” weaves in and out of classical and mired electronica one realizes they are in the presence of a true and original master of the form. They play on the forensic sensibilities of both pop and classical. Sometimes there are just no real ways to classify such genre bending. To call it electronica serves to divert from the contextual classic layering which is the very life-blood of each of these movements as they can only be called, as the word pieces seems too inane for these works.
Even on the one such more noticeable artisan collage of “Electric Bach” which further serves to unveil Leeth’s wit and intelligence, as does the closing suite of “&I'll” and “N&S,” which sound as though they were wholly created by an act of photosynthesis. Anyone who has found themselves unmoved by music should surely hear Heard. It might just be the antidote to so many problems.
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