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lullaby suite for milicent hargrave

by Charlie Rauh

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about

At the time I recorded this, I had been noticing posts about how this year, being the 200th anniversary of Anne Brontë’s birth, is seeing all of the planned events cancelled, ironically, because of a highly contagious respiratory sickness. One of the reasons I am such a huge fan of Anne’s work is because it is brutally real, and desperately hopeful. Her characters are sometimes criticized for “being too good”, and her stories almost aways take a back seat to her sisters’ wildly inventive, tense, and captivating plots. In my opinion, Anne’s central intention is almost always completely breezed over. Her characters depict people that are trying. Her main characters struggle with real issues, issues of her era, and issues that are embedded in human nature. They are not the product of a safe writer, they are the inventions of a truly courageous writer seeking to bring attention to the overlooked elements that define humanity. I'd argue that her peripheral characters hold the most impactful role in that regard. My favorite of Anne’s characters is Milicent Hargrave. In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Milicent is first introduced as a friend of Helen Graham (main character). Milli is portrayed as a kind, intelligent, and reserved woman. One who is quick to speak her mind when in trusted company, but seemingly meek and submissive when intimidated. Her dynamic in the story is an important one, even if it is not often addressed. To me, Milli is a symbol for underestimation, subtlety, and strength.

After rereading a fair portion of Tenant, I decided to try something new musically: A completely improvised sequence of solo guitar lullabies based on the thought process of Milicent Hargrave at key moments in the story. I recorded these three miniatures, naming them after references in the book.

credits

released March 15, 2020

Charlie Rauh - Guitar/Engineer
Cameron Mizell - Production
Christina Rauh Fishburne - Art

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Charlie Rauh New York, New York

Charlie Rauh has been invited to be resident composer by such organizations as The Rauschenberg Foundation and The Klaustrid Foundation, Acoustic Guitar Magazine notes that “Charlie Rauh plays guitar with a quiet intensity, each note and chord ringing with purpose...With these lullabies Rauh gives a gentle reminder that playing soft and slow can be more impactful than loud and fast." ... more

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