Saturday, October 22, 2011

NPR Features Phillip Bimstein's "Bushy Wushy" Piece

The World Series has prompted NPR to rebroadcast a Hearing Voices show which features Phillip Bimstein's aural portrait of "Bushy Wushy," who sold beer in Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, for more than forty years. If you missed the broadcast, you can listen here. Other segments offer Barrett Golding spending a season with the Rookie League and singer/playwright Terry Allen defining the many meanings of Dug-Out.

There's also now a Bushy Wushy video at YouTube.

Bimstein began the piece by visiting Busch Stadium, recording the crack of the bat from behind home plate, the ball slamming into the catcher's mitt, and other baseball game sounds. He then combined these sampled sounds with stories told by the charming Bushy Wushy, all tied together with a score for wind quintet performed by the Equinox Chamber Players.

Other aural portraits on this Starkland CD feature the harmonica player and storyteller Larkin Gifford, and the Las Vegas dice-caller Tom Martinet, who offers insights into the superstitions and psychologies of gambling.

In the CD's Introduction, John Adams writes, "Like their composer, the pieces on this album communicate a generous and good-natured spirit that is tempered with wry wit and a special sense of the western landscape and culture that he so loves."

In The New York Times, Steve Smith commented that "The irresistible charm of Mr. Bimstein's music has less to do with technology than with his uncanny knack for finding the music of everday life." Read the full review.

And Stereophile called Bimstein "an American original" whose "stunning and heartwarming" CD offers "quirky, moving, and delightful musical journeys." Read the full review.

This "Larkin Gifford's Harmonica" CD is available at Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, etc.

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