Covid-19 is dangerously impacting the social-economic category of musicians. No concerts, poor political and social consideration, uncertain earnings. As a consequence, an ever-growing number of musicians, especially those from the experimental area, are trying to promote their music on BandCamp in digital format only. It is increasingly difficult for me to follow and review this incredible flow of music. I therefore decided to open this section on my blog Neuguitars where I propose music in digital format that I consider particularly interesting and worthy of attention. I hope you like it. Let’s support musicians. They need it.
Lullaby Suite for Milicent Hargrave by Charlie Rauth,
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 Millicent Hargrave. In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Millicent 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 Millicent Hargrave at key moments in the story. I recorded these three miniatures, naming them after references in the book.
released March 15, 2020
Charlie Rauh – Guitar/Engineer
Cameron Mizell – Production
Christina Rauh Fishburne – Art