forthcoming releases

John Luther Adams

Waves and Particles


Release date: May 17, 2024

Waves and Particles is a shimmery, beautiful, and virtuosic string quartet. In six movements—particle dust, spectral waves, velocity waves, triadic waves, murmurs in a chromatic field, and particles rising—it is alternately full and vigorous and quiet and spare. Performed by the incredible, illustrious JACK Quartet.

This is Cold Blue Music’s third album of John Luther Adams’s string quartets performed by the JACK Quartet. Waves and Particles was co-commissioned by Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Summer Stages Dance at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and Liz Gerring Dance Company. Premiered by JACK Quartet at Black Mountain College, November 2021.

John Luther Adams is a Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning composer who lived for many years in Alaska, where his work derived much of its unique character from the landscape and weather of the Great North. Some years ago, he moved from Alaska, living in various desert and mountain areas in South and Central America—places that also inspired and found expression in his music. He currently resides in rural New Mexico. He is a long-time associate of the Cold Blue label; his music has appeared on nine previous Cold Blue CDs, including Darkness and Scattered Light, Houses of the WindArctic DreamsEverything That Rises, and the Grammy-nominated Lines Made by Walking.

“John Luther Adams . . . one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century.” — Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“His music becomes more than a metaphor for natural forces: it is an elemental experience in its own right.” —Tom Service, The Guardian

“His music perfectly echoes the landscape he loves: impersonal, relentless, larger than human scale, yet gorgeous, a quiet chaos of colors, suffused with light.” —Kyle Gann, Chamber Music Magazine

“Adams’s music sounds like it has nothing to accomplish. It simply exists, hanging in mid-air, waiting to be listened to.” —All-Music Guide

“Adams’s music is as hypnotic as it is different.” —MusicWeb Int’l

“Adams’s powerful music finds inspiration, depth of field, and sonic substance in the shapes and textures of the natural world and, most of all, in the composer’s own deep and passionate commitment to the act of listening itself.” —Dusted magazine

“Adams’ manner is that of Thoreau—to be in a place, incorporate it into his memory and values, and recreate that through music. It misses the point to say he is inspired by nature—Adams is changed by nature and his music is a catalogue of the places that changed him. . . . Adams [is] an important and necessary musician for our time.” —New York Classical Review

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

JACK Quartet has been deemed “superheroes of the new music world” (Boston Globe), “the go-to quartet for contemporary music, tying impeccable musicianship to intellectual ferocity and a take-no-prisoners sense of commitment” (The Washington Post), and “a musical vehicle of choice to the next great composers who walk among us” (Toronto Star). The group is focused on the commissioning and performance of new works, leading it to work closely with composers John Luther Adams, Derek Bermel, Chaya Czernowin, James Dillon, Brian Ferneyhough, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Vijay Iyer, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, George Lewis, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, Steve Reich, Roger Reynolds, Wolfgang Rihm, Salvatore Sciarrino, Julia Wolfe, John Zorn, and many others. JACK has recorded three earlier albums of Adams’s music for Cold Blue: Lines Made by Walking (CB0058), Everything That Rises(CB0051), and The Wind in High Places(CB0041).

“The string quartet may be a 250-year-old contraption, but young, brilliant groups like the JACK Quartet are keeping it thrillingly vital.”—The Washington Post 

Christopher Cerrone

Beaufort Scales


Release date: May 17, 2024

Beaufort Scales is Cerrone’s lush, alluring music for women’s voices and electronics, commissioned and performed by the Lorelei Ensemble. Its text is drawn from the Beaufort Wind Force Scale (a measure of wind speed, originally as it related to observed sea conditions) created by Francis Beaufort in 1805, as well as writings by Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Anne Carson.

Christophr Cerrone is a composer whose many compelling works are characterized by a subtle handling of timbre and resonance, a literary bent, and an affinity for multimedia collaborations. He has been a Pulitzer-finalist (2014, for his opera Invisible Cities) and Grammy-nominee. His recent projects include an opera jointly produced by LA Opera and Pittsburgh Opera; an orchestral work with electronics for the Los Angeles Philharmonic; a piano concerto for Shai Wosner; a brass concerto for the Cincinnati Symphony; a violin concerto for Jennifer Koh and the Detroit Symphony; a percussion quartet concerto co-commissioned by Third Coast Percussion, the Chicago Civic Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony, and the Britt Festival; and a work for the Louisville Symphony and baritone Dashon Burton.

“Cerrone is among that select group of young composers whose work is known beyond arcane musical circles.”— David Mermelstein, Wall Street Journal

“One of our most versatile composers under 40.”—Tom Huizenga, NPR

“A gifted composer with an impressive individual voice.” —Chicago Classical Review

The Lorelei Ensemble has been praised for its “full-bodied and radiant sound” (The New York Times) and “stunning precision of harmony, intonation, and . . . spectacular virtuosity” (Gramophone), as well as its programs that champion the extraordinary flexibility and virtuosity of the human voice. Lorelei has recorded the music of living composers Kati Agócs, Peter Gilbert, James Kallembach, David Lang, Jessica Meyer, and Scott Ordway, as well as historical works from William Billings, Guillaume Du Fay, Alfred Schnittke, Tōru Takemitsu, the Turin Codex, and the Codex Calixtinus.

Jim Fox

Blue photographs

Release date: TBD

Blue photographs collects a few dozen of the many aphoristic piano pieces Fox has written during the past 30 years. Performed by the composer.

“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