Juxtaposition is the order of the day on Amy Ayanda & Thor Rixon’s ‘La Llorna’. And it’s a dissonance that creates an irresistible kinetic energy. From the outset, a quiet, sourceless tinkling is set stark against a heavy-handed droning bass. And the sound gradually fills from the outside inwards, as Amy Ayanda’s lilting tale unfolds before us.
It seems to be a happy kinship of talents here; Rixon’s craft is sleek and blooming, whilst Ayanda effortlessly animates the composition – pulling some invisible strings all the way. Her voice, bow-like, will arch strongly before softly giving way to a breathy sigh. Other times she’s coy and lofty in her speech, then quite suddenly demanding and forthright in a line like “Hold me close and keep me safe now.” Lyrically, it’s redolent to Purity Ring’s Megan James – all thematic metaphors, and vivid personifications of skin and courage.
‘La Llorna’ is carved out like a large rock face; profoundly and inexpressibly striking. And even when one’s been lulled in by Amy Ayanda’s tale all this while, what happens thereafter is unknown. It’s all hazy once her voice finally crashes into a crescendo of waves and is swept away in a chorus of unsettled hums.