|the complete 10-inch series from cold blue CB0014|
Gramophone magazine Critics' Choice 2004: "Aurally luscious, but thought provoking. ... the music is so various and the sounds so inviting, that all three discs will be enjoyed in a single sitting." Arved Ashbey, Gramophone
All recordings were all supervised by the composers and collectively make up an unusual and wonderful musical document of the place and time.
The liner notes
New Sounds by John Schaefer
Joanne Christensen was a popular West Coast nightclub singer/pianist and a composer who performed regularly throughout the Southern California area. She died in the late 1990s.
Janyce Collins, a former harpist and published poet, is a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is the featured speaking voice on the recording of Jim Fox's The Copy of the Drawing and the recording of Millers Weddings, Funerals, and Children Who Cannot Sleep, both of which are released on the Cold Blue label.
Rick Cox (see bio among composer bios above)
Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick is an active soloist, chamber musician, and specialist in contemporary music. She has performed world and local premieres of solo and chamber works throughout the United States and Europe including the L.A. Olympic Festival, the Computer Music Festival in Zurich, the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the San Francisco Symphony "New and Unusual Music" series. She recently recorded Elliott Carter's Enchanted Preludes, a work written for her and flutist Dorothy Stone. She has toured with Joan LaBarbara and Morton Subotnick since 1981, and Jacobs Room (on Wergo Records) marks her fourth appearance in recordings of Subotnick's music. Among the many other composers whove written works for her are Mel Powell, Alvin Lucier, and Michael Jon Fink. She is a founding member of the California E.A.R. Unit, a Los Angeles-based new music ensemble, with which she tours throughout the United States and Europe. She has also given master classes and recitals under the auspices of the U.S.I.A. "Arts America" Program in Central and South America. Ms. Kirkpatrick has recorded for the Nonesuch, Wergo, New Albion, Voyager, and Cold Blue labels. Duke-Kirkpatrick
Arlene Flynn Dunlap, a pianist, vocalist, conductor, composer, and teacher, has been a member of various performance ensembles organized by Daniel Lentz since the early 1970s. As pianist and multi-keyboard performer, vocalist, and conductor, she has recorded Lentzs music for seven albums and has appeared as soloist in U.S. and European tours of his music. Music has been written specifically for her by Daniel Lentz, Harold Budd, Garry Eister, Jim Fox, Michael John Fink, Steve Dickman, and others. She has presented performances at The Kitchen, P.S.1, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, New Music America, Acadamie der Kunst, Cafe Einstein, National Gallery (Berlin), Belgium Radio and Television, Radio France. When not performing, she composes music for film, video, and dance.
Garry Eister is a composer/performer who has had a long association (since the 1970s) with Lentzs music, performing with Lentz's groups on the West Coast and on four European tours. Eister, who has a Ph.D. in music composition from UC Santa Barbara, studied composition with Edward Applebaum, Peter Fricker, Emma Lou Diemer, and Daniel Lentz. Eisters compositions have been performed and/or recorded by the Emerson String Quartet, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra, Just Strings, the USC New Music Ensemble, the Cuesta Master Chorale, the San Luis Obispo Symphony, glass harmonicist Dennis James, flautist Fred Lau, percussionist Doug Ovens, the Synchronia new music ensemble of St. Louis, Nancy Nagano and Kyomi Kato, singers Jacalyn Kreitzer, Jonathan Mack, and many others. In 2002, the Kreitzer/Davies/Nagano Trio performed his monodrama Like Writing on Water at Carnegie Hall. His Quintet for Glass and Strings is available from Sony Classical Records. Eister
Ronald Erickson, a champion of modern American chamber music, is a violinist who tours extensively. He has performed as a soloist and with numerous ensembles, playing new music, standard repertoire, and early music. He has played with the Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland Symphonies (principal second violinist); the San Francisco Opera; and was concertmaster of the Berkeley Symphony. He has also played with the Pacifica Chamber Players, the Skywalker Orchestra, and the Luzerne Chamber Players. He has recorded violin works by George Antheil, Arthur Farwell, Charles Seeger, and Larry Polansky, and recorded with many non-"classical" musicians, including the Cecil Taylor Ensemble, Ron Carter, Forever Tango, Aaron Neville, Linda Ronstadt, Kitaro, and Jeff Beal. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, where he studied with Ivan Galamian, Paul Makanowitzky, and Louis Persinger, he is a former teacher at the University of California Berkeley and now teaches privately. Among the labels for which he has recorded are Orion, Arch, Musical Heritage Society, and Artifact.
Read Miller (see bio among composer bios above)
Duncan Goodrich studied piano at CalArts with Leonid Hambro, specializing in 20th-century repertoire. During the mid-seventies and early eighties he performed as a soloist and ensemble player on many new music concerts in the Los Angeles area, including several CalArts Contemporary Music Festivals. In 1984, he moved to Indonesia to pursue advanced studies in Balinese and Javanese music and dance.
Daniel Lentz (see bio among composer bios above)
Susan Rawcliffe, an explorer of primeval sounds, is a master ceramic flute maker, player, and researcher as well as a master didjeridu player. Rawcliffe learned her instrument-design craft by studying the ceremonial flutes of Pre-Hispanic culturesOlmec, Mayan, Zapotec, Aztec, and others. As an instrument designer and builder, she makes copies of ancient instruments and, while mastering their playing, develops insights into the design and construction of new contemporary instruments. She has made ceramic flutes, pipes, ocarinas, whistles, primitive trumpets, musical bowls, sound sculptures, and many other instruments. As a soloist and with various lineups of the Rawcliffe Ensemble, she performs and lectures widely. She has performed on and off Broadway, in Europe, and at universities and cultural institutions in the USA and Canada. She has exhibited nationally; lectured for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Smithsonian Institution, the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Historia (Mexico City), and the Metropolitan Museum; and been published by the Smithsonian Press. She has received a McKnight Visiting Composer's Project grant, support from the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, several grants from the California Arts Council and the Dept. of Cultural Affairs of the City of L.A., and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. (In Rawcliffes ensemble on this recording, she is joined by three Los Angeles musicians: woodwind player Georgia Alwan, early music performer Lisette Rabinow, and Scott Wilkinson, a performer on exotic and traditional woodwinds and brass.) Rawcliffe
Chas Smith (see bio among composer bios above)
John Tenney is an active Bay-Area violinist who has performed with the San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose Symphonies; the San Francisco Ballet; the Bolshoi Ballet; American Ballet Theatre; the San Francisco Opera; the Western Opera Theatre; and the San Francisco String Quartet (a group that had ties to the 1750 Arch Street new-music venue and Mills College). Hes also been concertmaster for Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick. Joel Grey, and Liberace, and has performed and/or toured with Van Morrison, Marlene Dietrich, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Barry Manilow, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Boz Scaggs, Bjork, and many others.
Marty Walker is a clarinetist who specializes in the performance of new music. (He has premiered more than 80 works written especially for him.) Among the labels for which he has recorded are Cold Blue, CRI, O.O.Discs, Tzadik, Grenadilla, Echograph, New World, and Rastacan. Walker tours and records with various new-music ensembles, including the California E.A.R. Unit (the in-residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Some Over History, eXindigo, Viklarbo, and Ghost Duo. As a soloist, he has presented live radio concerts on NPR, Pacifica, and other radio venues and has performed at numerous new music festivals, including New Music America (Miami and Houston), the International Festival of New Music (Los Angeles), and New Music International (Mexico City), and various new music venues, including Real Art Ways, FaultLines, the Monday Evening Concerts, Knitting Factory West, and Wires. The Los Angeles Times has called Walkers playing "masterfully expressive;" El Nacional (Mexico City) wrote that his playing "took the audience to another musical dimension;" and Option magazine called him "one of the finest new-music clarinetists in the country." Fanfare magazine wrote of Walker's 2002 CD Adams/Cox/Fink/Fox, "The performances are about as ego-free as one can find, they seem indivisible from the compositions themselves." 21st-Century Music magazine wrote of his 2001 CD Dancing on Water (music by Lentz, Fink, Garland, Byron, Fox, and Cox): "If people are best known by the company they keep, then clarinetist Marty Walker is blessed indeed. He keeps wonderful company with an excellent series of composers. . . . the playing and the recording quality are sparkling." Walker
"My favorite item this month . . . the work of composers whose work might be described as avant-garde but which also exhibited the back-to-fundamentals approach which is so often an aspect of the best American music (the term minimalist seems too po-faced in such a context). . . . a striking set. . . . This spare, uncluttered music is a compelling listening experience, sounding as fresh to day as when it originally appeared." Roger Thomas, Intl Record Review
"Daniel Lentz's extraordinarily beautiful music for processed voices meets Chas Smith's un-country music for pedal steel and dobro. A hootenanny for ocarinas (wish I was playing along with them right now) by the late Barney Childs rubs shoulders with Read Miller's spoken word vernacular catechisms. Also featured are four compositions by CalArts' Michael Jon Fink, two treated guitar works by occasional film music composer Rick Cox, and Peter Garland's six Matachin Dances for violin duo accompanied by the composer himself on a gourd rattle, a haunting Native American-inspired chamber music " Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox (American Music Center)
"The reissue of each of these mini-albums is welcome . . . it has retained a distinct sense of place, and in these times of ever-increasing uniformity of language and aesthetic in new music, that's not something to be derided. . . . it's all beautifully performed and recorded, and genuinely touching in its simplicity. And that's not something you find very often anymore in contemporary composition."Dan Warburton, Signal to Noise and Paris Transatlantic
"Back in the hazy daze of the early 80s, a brave little label out of Los Angeles, Cold Blue, was busy working the margins, documenting a new music scene with no name. Label mogul Jim Fox released a series of 10-inch vinyl records that were decidedly coolin hipness quotient and emotional temperament. Beguiling . . . the music adhered to the particular ambient Pacific coast minimalist aesthetics of composers such as Daniel Lentz, Peter Garland, and the late, underrated post-Cage composer Barney Childs. . . . Now, the newly revitalized label has re-released the entire collection of 10-inch records on a wonderfully expansive three-CD set. Its as if discrete patchwork has been assembled, after the fact, into a logical and generally hypnotic tapestry. In other words, the extended format does this music good. The music also seems to sound even better than it did even back when, or maybe its just that our battered 21st-century sensibilities are even more in need of a balm, free of that sentimental aftertaste." Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara Independent
"The sounds are spare, wistful, innocent and soft-spoken, often beautiful in a way no other music is." Arved Ashby, Gramophone
"Some 20 years later, the compositions on these three discs seem just as vital as they must have been when they first appeared, and, similarly, today's Cold Blue seems haunted by the same spirits as when it first began, compelled by the same desire to discover new musical forms, often with the most simple of gestures, but always with the most suggestive and nuanced of results." Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review
". . . an invaluable resource for what might be called part of the new California School . . . a particular viewpoint and consummate good taste." Joan LaBarbara, High Fidelity / Musical America
"Music with less affinity to the prevailing camps of modern music than to personal explorations of the human spirit. . . . And the music stands as timelessly as it did the day each was first issued. . . . It was a series that was ahead of its time. This time around, the audience may have caught up. Check it out! Daniel Buckley, Tucson Citizen
"Highly recommended" Sequenza21
"Those 10-inch singles have been rereleased as a boxed set of three CDs, sounding as fresh as they ever did. From the first seconds of Peter Garland's Matachin Dances, for violins and gourd rattles, your find yourself taking the musical equivalent of a cold shower. This is bracing music, not only because of the directness of its ideas, but also the appealing starkness of its sonorities. It is not music where you ever ask yourself what the composer means. Other works in the box include Barney Childss unearthly Clay Music for a group of ceramic wind instruments, Read Millers work for speaking voices . . . Chas Smiths beguiling pedal steel pieces, and Daniel Lentzs solar-inspired ensemble music which showers you this time not with cold water, but with brilliant light." Andrew Ford, Australian Financial Review
"Scented with a distinctly laid-back, at times lonely, West Coast feel, there's a wealth of music here, from Michael Jon Fink's somber, limpid piano music to Chas Smith's haunting tunes for pedal steel guitar that howl and moan like coyotes in the distant desert." Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger (Seattle)
"A quietly stunning look back at how a particular aesthetic was formed in Southern California, and how that aesthetic informed virtually everything that came after it. . . . these three CDs make for one of the most delightful and enduring listening experiences of the new music, and do not sound dated in any way. They offer the same challenges and edification to listeners that they did in the 1980s, and perhapsgiven the cynicism that greets new works these dayseven offer listeners a kind of solace from their own skepticism." Thom Jurek, All-Music Guide
Adventurous music . . . groundbreaking composers . . . an unusual and satisfying musical document of the place and time." New Classics (U.K.)
"A Cold Blue collection . . . The usual high-quality sound and art work, of course
Garland, a U.S. expatriate residing in Mexico, finds antique, lyrical and violent minimalism in gourd rattles and two violins to striking effects. . . . Finks music . . . is a pleasure from beginning to end. Likewise it is a pleasure to hear Barney Childs Clay Music . . . Wow! Space whistles! Tuba flutes! . . . Read Millers Mile Zero Hotel, a series of sonic postcards with the laconic ritornello "Love, Miriam" . . . Chas Smith . . . Aloha. Amen. . . . Cox takes other evocative paths . . . attention-grabbing earie and eerie listening. . . . Lentzs beautiful spirals complete the collection . . . like pop angels ascending . . . a demented nirvana." Mark Alburger, 21st-Century Music magazine
"The Complete 10-Inch Series is abundant with fascinating sounds that offer something unexpected with each disc spin." ei magazine
"A very fine collection of a nice cross-over between classical music and the more serious avant-garde pop music of the early 80s." Vital Weekly (Netherlands)
"There is a lot to take in here, and even after many repeated listens you can still find arrangements and melodies you didn't notice before, most likely because the discs pull you in immediately, seducing you to simply listen and experience." Michael W Woodring, SONOMU
"Among the elements commonly associated with the Cold Blue label is a propensity for inviting, even mysterious sonic beauty; an appeal to the senses that, strangely enough, seems to reach beyond sound. Collected here on three CDs is the entire series of 10-inch vinyl recordings seven albums, each showcasing the work of a single composer. Taken alone, each composer presents a compelling sound world. Viewed as a single collection, the context deepens, and the resonance of each artists work extends into that of the next. . . . Obviously, there is a lot to listen to here. One could well get lost for days in the spacious music spread across these three discs, and continue to find sounds that invite, fascinate, and mystify." Dusted
"This long-awaited re-issue is elegant . . . we can now hear again this demanding music, cultured and meticulous." Deep Listenings (Italy)
"The 2003 release of The Complete 10-Inch Series from Cold Blue brought considerable (and deserved) attention to the Venice, California-based label. Its three discs of extraordinary music by seven composers proved especially satisfying for highlighting their works dramatic contrasts. Certainly the two violins and gourd rattles of Peter Garlands Matachin Dances, for example, sounded completely unlike the pedal steel guitar and 12-string dobros of Chas Smiths Scircura or the clay ocarinas and pipes of Barney Childs Clay Music. Even more striking, though, was the discovery that this superb music was more than two decades old, having been released originally as vinyl EPs in the early 1980s. If the original cover designs (displayed in an accompanying booklet) look of their time, the music, now made available for the first time on CD, sounds anything but. Heard separately, the works captivated but, assembled, resonate with a grander significance by cohering into an encompassing portrait, essentially acting as an implicit manifesto of purpose for the labels aesthetic." Ron Schepper, Textura and Stylus