“Garland Hirschi’s Cows is a cult classic.”WNYC's John Schaefer has written:
– NPR’s "All Things Considered"
“Outstanding...[Bimstein] has used digital sampling technology to tell wry and moving stories, and to elevate the mundane to the level of high art...brilliantly original.”
“Quirky and thoroughly engaging.”
“A lot of immediacy, wit, and inventiveness.”
– Stereo Review
“Perhaps Bimstein, like Philip Glass, Henryk Górecki, Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, and Arvo Pärt, will find people calling his music Alternative Classical... Bimstein’s music is not meant for theorists to wring their hands over in some future century; it’s meant to be enjoyed and understood, its stories told, right now.”The CD opens with the now classic "Garland Hirschi's Cows," which 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"). Here's the opening track ("A Little Bit About My Cows"):
"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.
Visit Phillip Bimstein's website.