I awoke one morning to the sounds of cows mooing in the pasture next to my home. Music to my ears, the moos became the inspiration for Garland Hirschi’s Cows (1990), a concerto in three “moo-vements.” The piece also includes the voice of the cows’ owner, Garland C. Hirschi, who asks, “You wanna know a little about my cows, huh?,” and then goes on to tell his wonderful stories about growing up with cows and what makes them moo.
In a review in Fanfare, The Magazine for Serious Record Collectors, Mike Silverton wrote “Garland Hirschi’s Cows is a meticulously crafted and aimed delight, a little masterwork of whimsy . . . an effervescent mix.”
Garland Hirschi’s Cows was commissioned by Another Language Performing Arts Company and premiered at the Salt Lake Alternative Music Festival in 1990. It was featured at the 1991 Telluride Composer-to-Composer Festival. Garland Hirschi’s Cows was awarded honors at Austria’s Priz Arts Electronica ’92, and was performed at the Festival of Art, Technology and Society in Linz, Austria in 1992. I later orchestrated Garland Hirschi’s Cows for live chamber ensemble plus tape. Present Music premiered it in Wisconsin in 1993, and the University of Utah’s New Music Ensemble performed it at the 1993 Utah Governor’s Awards in the Arts. In 1994 Cows was choreographed for London’s Transitions Company, who toured the production in Europe and the Far East.