Offering five “alternative classical” works, this premiere Phillip Bimstein CD has been called “the ear-opening CD of 1997” in Stereophile.
The delightful Garland Hirschi’s Cows describes a Utah farmer, his cows, and why they moo. Radio airplay of the work has generated hundreds of calls (especially after being heard on NPR’s All Things Considered).
Dark Winds Rising, for string quartet and tape, presents the Kaibab Paiute tribe’s successful fight against the installation of a toxic waste incinerator on their native land. Employing a technique he calls “voice organics,” Bimstein uses sampled speech to develop rhythmic patterns, melodies, and sound effects such as mesa winds, industrial ratchets, a snake pit, and bird calls.
In The Door, Bimstein uses samples of his creaking studio door to create some funky brass instruments, a pulsating rhythm section, fragments of a merry-go-round’s music, and a mournful seal.
The Louie Louie Variations is a contemplative fantasy that deconstructs a classic rock chord progression, while the haunting Vox=Dominum, the most mysterious piece on the CD, deconstructs a variety of Persian sounds.
Bimstein resides in Springdale, Utah, where he served two terms as mayor, prompting Outside magazine to call him “America’s only all-natural politician composer.” His “alternative classical” music combines acoustic instruments with found sounds and voices to paint portraits and tell stories. Bimstein’s music has been performed at Lincoln Center, Bang on a Can, and London’s Royal Opera House. In addition to his studies of theory, composition, and orchestration at the Chicago Conservatory and UCLA, Bimstein led the new wave band Phil ‘n’ the Blanks, whose albums and videos were college radio and MTV hits.
Bimstein’s latest Starkland CD is Larkin Gifford’s Harmonica, which has been praised in such distinguished publications as The New York Times and Stereophile.