forthcoming releases

Christopher Cerrone

Beaufort Scales

CB0068

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.

John Luther Adams

Waves and Particles

CB0069

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 

Peter Garland

Plain Songs: “Love Comes Quietly” (after Robert Creeley)

Release date: winter 2024-25

Plain Songs: “Love Comes Quietly” (after Robert Creeley) is a haunting piece for pipe organ, performed by organ virtuoso Carson Cooman on the CB Fisk Opus 139, Harvard Memorial Chapel.

Garland writes about the music:

“I wanted to write a piece for organ that would be intimate and mostly quiet, emphasizing the nature of the organ as a wind instrument capable of long, sustained tones. I wanted the musical textures to be open and transparent, rather than dense and massive. I also had in mind smaller historical organs and their music.

“The reference to the poet Robert Creeley is relevant to the above-mentioned goals. I greatly admire the simplicity and clarity of his poetic language; its lucidity and how it rarely strays from the directness of popular, vernacular speech. I wanted to emulate those qualities in my music to the extent it was possible: to transfer the music of his poetry into the language of my music.”

Peter Garland is composer, world traveler, musicologist, writer, and former publisher (Soundings Press) whose music is informed by his well-traveled ear and strong sense of personal vision. He studied with Harold Budd and James Tenney and maintained long friendships with Lou Harrison, Conlon Nancarrow, Paul Bowles, and Dane Rudhyar. As a musicologist, he has focused on Native American, Mexican, and Southwestern American musics and 20th-century experimental composers of the Americas, championing the work of  Revueltas, Partch, and Nancarrow long before their music became fashionable and regularly programmed.

Since the early 1970s, Garland’s music has been marked by a return to a “radical consonance” and simplification of formal structure influenced by Cage, Harrison, early minimalism, and a great variety of world musics. His unique and highly engaging pieces have been played around the world by such noted performers as William Winant; pianists Aki Takahashi, Herbert Henck, and Sarah Cahill; accordionist Guy Klucevsek; and the Kronos Quartet and released on the Cold Blue, Tzadik, New Albion, Mode, Avant, Toshiba-EMI/Angel, New World, and other labels. Garland’s music has appeared on eight previous Cold Blue CDs, which include The Basketweave Elegies, Moon Viewing Music (Inscrutable Stillness Studies #1), Three Dawns & Bush Radio Calling, After the Wars, and String Quartets, as well as on four of the label’s anthologies.

“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

“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] is an avatar of an experimental American tradition . . . a composer of mesmerizing music; and in many ways, the musical conscience of my generation.”—Kyle Gann, Chamber Music magazine

“‘Radical consonance’ has been used to describe Garland’s music…an 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.” —Kyle Gann, Chamber Music magazine

 

Carson Cooman is an active composer and performer. As an acclaimed concert organist he specializes in the performance of contemporary music—and more than 300 compositions by over 100 composers have been written for him by such composers as Kyle Gann, Jennifer Higdon, Jo Kondo, Robert Moran, Howard Skempton, and Linda Catlin Smith. His organ performances can be heard on a number of CDs and more than 6,000 recordings available online. As a composer, Cooman has written hundreds of works—from solo instrumental pieces to operas to orchestral works to hymn tunes—which have been performed on all six inhabited continents, in venues that range from Carnegie Hall to the basket of a hot air balloon, and have appeared on over forty recordings. Cooman is also a writer on musical subjects, producing articles and reviews for a number of publications. He is currently Research Associate in Music and Composer in Residence at Harvard’s Memorial Church.

“Carson Cooman is one of the most versatile and active musicians of our time. Pianist, organist, composer, and improviser, he is excellent in every field.” —Music and Vision

“Cooman’s success as a composer for the organ is due in large part to his innate understanding of the instrument as a performer.” —American Record Guide

“Carson Cooman is a nimble, nuanced, and eloquent advocate.” —Choir & Organ

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