for Charlie

Lightning travels backwards,
as its unseen tie
returns
from the earth to sky:

so may the lightning
of your turn below
heighten us
and then go.

Aspen
August 3rd, 2018

Explanation

“Rainbow” was written by Peter Halstead in honor of Charlie Hamlen, much-beloved Artistic Advisor at Tippet Rise Art Center. A distinguished figure in the classical music world, Hamlen co-founded IMG Artists, where he was known for discovering and nurturing the talent of early-career classical musicians like Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. After the death of his partner from AIDS, Hamlen left the music industry to found Classical Action, a charity that put on hugely successful benefit concerts to fundraise for AIDS organizations.

Hamlen’s role at Tippet Rise spanned its second and third seasons, making him a major force in shaping the musical voice of the organization. He died in 2018 in his New York City apartment; shortly after, a rainbow appeared on his wall. Hamlen was succeeded as Tippet Rise’s Artistic Advisor by Pedja Muzijevic, reader here of “Rainbow.”