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
John Luther Adams

The Wind in High Places

Beautiful, vaporous string music, featuring the highly regarded and well known JACK Quartet performing the three-movement title piece and Dream of the Canyon Wren (Adams's first two works written solely for string quartet) and the Northwestern Cello Ensemble, directed by Hans Jensen, performing the four-movement cello choir work Canticles of the Sky.

Cold Blue has released four previous CDs devoted to 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams's music, and individual works of his have appeared on two of the label's anthology releases.

"The Wind in High Places, a tripartite piece for string quartet that uses only natural harmonics and open strings – played extremely quietly – to create a still, pastoral ambience.... Could any new music be more delicately sparse, more wonderfully poetic? I think not." —John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"Adams's major works have the appearance of being beyond style; they transcend the squabbles of contemporary classical music." —Alex Ross, The New Yorker

"The music of John Luther Adams is simply beautiful. It has a crystalline quality and a peaceful character that evoke the Arctic life. . . . Adams’ music sounds like it has nothing to accomplish. It simply exists, hanging in mid-air, waiting to be listened to." —All-Music Guide

"John Luther Adams is a great underappreciated composer who has written music of enormous beauty and sophistication while staying true to his roots as an outsider." —Sequenza21

ordering
January 2015
contact Cold Blue
links
Daniel Lentz

In the Sea of Ionia

Wild new solo piano and multi-piano music performed by Grammy-nominated new-music pianist Aron Kallay.

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

"By intriguing his listeners at the same time he wreathes them in smiles, Lentz always comes up with something listenable and worthwhile." —Gramophone

"Lentz's music inhabits what he terms a musical 'state of becoming,' where both new and reappearing musical and textual fragments are fused through complex layering processes. However, the real basis of his seductive music may be the dreamy impressionism of Debussy and the lyrical voice and keyboard interaction of Schubert's lieder." — John Schaefer, WNYC, New Sounds

"Lentz's work 'chortles' in ways both sensual and intellectual." —Los Angeles Reader

"Daniel Lentz’s work, with its … glossy, Pop Art-Southern California palette of colors … seems to reveal new facets with each encounter." —Dusted magazine

January 2015
Peter Garland

After the Wars

A beautiful four-movement piano solo performed by noted pianist and new music champion Sarah Cahill, who commissioned the work.

Garland writes about the music: “Each of the transparent and self-contained movements takes as inspiration a Chinese poem or Japanese haiku, and like in haiku collections I arranged the movements in seasonal order.... More than in most piano pieces of mine, I explore the quality of resonance in the piano: not just the notes played on the keyboard, but the sense of echo and fade produced by a very deliberate use of pedaling, and the sustaining and release of piano keys after notes and chords are sounded. It creates a sense of timbral color and acoustic perspective (proximity and distance) that gives these pieces their own individual character and conciseness. Each movement is like a single image, simply stated with relatively little temporal or thematic development—very much like the poems they are based on.”

Garland is a long-time associate of the Cold Blue; his music has appeared on five of the label's previous CDs. After the Wars is a 20-minute CD single/EP.

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


May 2015
Michael Byron

In the Village of Hope

A restless (and in some ways relentless) virtuosic harp solo performed by noted harpist Tasha Smith Godínez, who commissioned the work. This piece is unlike anything else in the solo harp repertoire, though not unlike some of Byron's other recent work, such as his Book of Horizons for pianist Joseph Kubera.

Byron writes about the music: “In the Village of Hope is a piece of unabashed virtuosity. Its complex temporal structure and intricate counterpoint vie for the listener’s attention. Pitch resources are limited to diatonic collections, enabling harmonic relationships to seamlessly cycle through seven contiguous key changes. With a sound reminiscent of wind chimes, it yields fields of harmonic stasis—that mysterious circumstance of individual notes diverging and merging to form a delicate fabric of sound.”

Byron is a long-time associate of the Cold Blue; his music has appeared on four of the label's previous CDs. In the Village of Hope is a 20-minute CD single/EP.

"Byron creates maximalist effect out of minimalist means." —ClassicalNet

"There is a dark allure to Michael Byron’s music, a seductive otherness that leads, through fascination, to a gently disturbing ambiguity of emotion." —Dusted magazine



May 2015
Chas Smith

new work

New compositions for his newly constructed instrument The Towers, a series of large pipes and plates, and the processed voice of noted visual artist Paul McCarthy.

"The core of [Cold Blue’s] production resides in Chas Smith’s works. … this composer, guitarist and authentic desert enthusiast has developed his own soundworld using unique instruments he designs and builds himself. The heir of Harry Partch and several other instrument inventors, he has given birth to highly beautiful and formal microtonal music. It is rich in complex harmonics and often structured around alternating rising and falling movements. " — Gérard Nicollet, Octopus (France)

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