forthcoming releases
home Cold Blue releases three to six recordings each year.

Currently in production are the following new releases . . .

new releases
backlist vinyl
about the label
Peter Garland

String Quartet No. 4, "Crazy Quilt"

Crazy Quilt is hauntingly still, yet ever evolving, single-movement (45 minutes) work that was premiered in Los Angeles in 2015. Architecturally monolithic, yet quirky in its individual voices, the piece represents something of a departure in form from Garland's music of the past 30 or so years.

Garland writes about the music: “This string quartet was inspired by a piece for solo cello, Out of the Blue, that I composed in late 2013. That piece’s structure is fairly transparent, a rising and then descending arc of 44 pitches…. Pondering this piece afterwards, it occurred to me that I could build an entire string quartet on top of it, much like constructing a house on top of an already built foundation. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the use of a pre-existing cantus firmus was a similar idea…. With the quartet version I could thicken the plot (or stew), so to speak.

“The winter of 2014 was long and cold. Forced to stay indoors, activities like quilt making are creative ways for people to pass the time. The crazy quilt title came to me because, like in such a quilt, the patterns and colors of this music are very busy, irregular and constantly changing. There is no ‘empty space’ in a crazy quilt, and likewise there is no empty space, i.e., silences, in this piece either. There is a certain element of self-deprecating humor in the title also. I had to make so many calculations, do so much arithmetic and counting—activities which are unusual in my composing process—that I felt at times like I was going a bit bonkers. Or developing some kind of counting mania, or a serious case of cabin fever. So this sound tapestry I made in the winter of 2014 is perhaps a ‘crazy’ quilt in more than one sense.”

Garland is a long-time associate of Cold Blue; his music has appeared on six of the label's previous CDs.

"Garland’s music seems to be about the sheer expressive power of sound itself.... I feel he is one of our true originals." —Robert Carl, Fanfare magazine

“‘Radical consonance’ has been used to describe Garland’s apt choice of words.” —Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

"[Garland] is an avatar of an experimental American tradition ... a composer of mesmerizing music; and in many ways, the musical conscience of my generation…. Garland's work always brings increasing cognitive involvement; it is much more intricate than it sounds at first." —Kyle Gann, Chamber Music magazine

"Ever his own man, Garland has moved beyond a strictly minimalist phase of evolving melodic and rhythmic patterns into a hybrid sphere of many influences from the panorama of world music, suggestive of such composers as Conlon Nancarrow and Lou Harrison.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Garland's…compositions exist entirely on their own terms.” —Signal to Noise magazine

"Garland’s not a very baaaad-assed composer, but he’s one of the best.”—Kyle Gann, Village Voice

September 2016
contact Cold Blue
Nicholas Chase


Bhajan is an composer Chase's free-wheeling yet somewhat meditative four-movement work for electric violin and live electronics. This recording features violinist Robin Lorentz (who has appeared on four previous Cold Blue CDs), with the composer handling the electronics.

The Los Angeles Times has aptly described Chase's music as having a "brawling yet taut energy," Chase also works with multi-media and improvisation, work that has been described by LA Weekly as “pushing the edge of audio/visual improv.” Chase's chamber works have been performed by the New Century Players, the California E.A.R. Unit, New Zealand's 175 East ensemble, the Long Beach Opera, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Ensemble Sospeso, violinist Mark Menzies, harpist Anne Bassand, and many others. His electronic ensemble works have been presented at the Center for Electronic Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT) Festivals and Stanford’s Music from the Edge festival at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). In addition to his traditional Western music composition and new media studies at CalArts (with Stephen L. Mosko, Bunita Marcus, Morton Subotnick, David Rosenboom, Anne LeBaron, Mary Jane Leach, and others), Chase has also studied Arabic classical music.

September 2016
Stephen Whittington


Four stunningly beautiful and unusual string quartets by Australian composer Stepehn Whittington—Windmill, ...from a thatched hut, Fallacies of Hope (which adds the composer at the piano to the quartet instrumentation), and Homage to Frida Kahlo.

Windmill has been described as Australia’s "classic work of musical minimalism." ...from a thatched hut was commissioned by and dedicated to furniture designer Khai Liew.

Whittington's string quartet Music for Airport Furniture was released by Cold Blue two years ago. Like that recording, Windmill is perfomred by the Zephyr Quartet, one of Australia's finest quartets.

September 2016
Daniel Lentz

Café Desire

An opera

"When it comes to attempts at musical seduction, Lentz's music is way out front." —Kyle Gann, Village Voice

"By intriguing his listeners at the same time he wreathes them in smiles, Lentz always comes up with something listenable and worthwhile. That’s certainly true of this new release." — Arved Ashby, Gramophone

"Daniel Lentz’s work, with its sparkle and pulse, has long evinced hallmarks of the minimalist style. But Lentz has often brought a glossy, Pop Art-Southern California palette of colors to his work." — Dusted

Jim Fox

blue photographs — selected piano music

Blue photographs collects a few dozen of the many aphoristic piano pieces Fox has written during the past 25 years.

"One of the striking qualities of Jim Fox's compositions is that you can still hear them inside you long after the music is over." —Wadada Leo Smith

"This is music that sounds like it was made in that California of cool northern beaches or the Mojave Desert as seen in the stark intimacy of Joshua Tree or even the remembered despair of the landscape around Donner Pass. This is a music of honesty, seductive and delicate yet strong and dark." —Daniel Lentz