Refuge, performed by the Abramyan String Quartet, is based on the voice of Terry Tempest Williams, reading selections to the composer from her book of the same name. Phillip Bimstein chose essential words and phrases and recombined them into the text for his string quartet. Employing a technique he calls “voice organics,” Phillip simultaneously composed music for strings which flows organically from the author’s voice, based on its pitch, rhythm, shape and patterns of speech. His score also supports and expresses the emotional tone of her voice and book.
Refuge was commissioned by New Residencies, a national program of Meet The Composer supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The James Irvine Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., AT&T, and the National Endowment for the Arts.