'Linger' at The Brontë Parsonage Museum

‘Linger’ at the Brontë Parsonage Museum

10th Oct 2015 – 4th January 2016

Linger  was a music installation comprising six new pieces written and performed by Ailís Ní Ríain on the newly restored Brontë family piano at The Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, Northern England. The pieces were installed in six rooms in the Brontë family home for three months in late 2015.

The work broke new ground at the museum as Linger was the first piece of music to be commissioned by The Brontë Society and The Brontë Parsonage Museum for the newly restored Brontë family instrument.

“These new pieces of work are between three and five minutes in duration and are composed especially to ‘lock into each other’ when heard at a distance. In essence, Ailís has composed six intertwining, contrapuntal voices which are separated into six rooms of the Parsonage. Elements of each piece will drift out of each room forming a sonorous space all of its own on and around the stairwell.”

Linger offered audiences a rare opportunity to hear the Brontë piano, a treasured item of the museum’s collection.  Ní Ríain was invited to contribute an article about Linger to the Institute of Composing’s Journal of new music.

In 2016 the BBC featured music from Linger in the documentary Being the Brontës. 

Playing the Brontë Piano

Improvisation based on Installation 6

Linger: The Children’s Room

Restoration of the Brontë Piano

Interview with piano restorer Ken Forrest who restored the Brontë piano over a period of three years. Cabinet pianos were popular in the 1830s and 1840s, the Brontë cabinet piano is one of many items that were auctioned off in the 1861 sale of Brontë objects.

Virginia Essen an American Brontë Society member funded the restoration of the piano in addition to support from The Brontë Society. Virginia Rushton was a key figure who drove forward the restoration of the piano in the UK.

Linger - The Brontë Concept Album

The album Linger is a concept album inspired by Anne Brontë’s 1848 novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – a passionate story which tackles marital breakdown, alcoholism and moral decline; a work which is truly before its time.

The album comprises fourteen original compositions including a song recorded by the award-winning UK singer Tasmin Archer alongside contributions from Seth Bennett (acoustic bass), Sylvia Hinz (bass-recorder) and Kelly-Jayne Jones (flute) and texts taken from Anne’s novel.

The album artwork is based on a painting by the British artist Susan Gunn.

“Some listeners have commented on the album’s sense of claustrophobia, the contemporaneity of Anne’s writing, the haunting, obsessive and brooding quality of some of the music. It was my intention to bring Anne Brontë’s writing to a new audience through a long-form piece, interpreting her words and ideas through composed music, semi-improvised duos and song.”

CD cover of Linger

“Linger is an enigmatic beast.”

“Detailed and intense.”

“An absolutely gorgeous album.”

“Challenging and beautiful at the same time.”

“Haunting and very atmospheric.”

Linger - Press