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Modern Classical on Cold Blue Music

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Cold Blue Music is an indie label that explores a fusion of classical music with contemporary electronics.

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MICHAEL JON FINK: A Temperament for Angels (CD single on Cold Blue Music)

This release from 2004 features 28 minutes of moody tonalities.

Fink plays sampler keyboards. He is joined by Robin Lorentz on violins, Erika Duke-Fitzpatrick on cello, and Jonathan Marmor on cymbals.

Wafting on a delicate breeze, pensive cello and solemn violins generate an ethereal drone that is astutely boosted by gradually emergent sustained keyboards. These textures remain steadfast, unhurriedly swarming like a friendly fog that hangs overhead with serene conviction. The calmly trembling resonance sways ever so slightly, remaining aloft through determined moderation.

While the notes are minimal and elongated, a mood of underlying reverence is laced with an anticipation of celestial affairs, as if heaven is using this tuneage as a conduit to survey earthly endeavors. The music conveys the distinct impression that no judgments are being made, that this heavenly regard is impartial despite its intimacy.

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JIM FOX:The City the Wind Swept Away (CD single on Cold Blue Music)

This release from 2004 features 22 minutes of modern classical music.

Composer Fox's music is elucidated here by: Alex Iles and Jeannie Little on trombones, Bob Sanders and David Stetson on bass trombones, Bryan Pezzone on piano, Peter Kent and Robin Lentz on violins, Maria Newman on viola, and Erika Duke-Fitzpatrick on cello.

Tranquil piano drifts amidst a misty manifestation of smoothly sighing classical strings. As the piece progresses, the piano settles into a dominant position, pensively dripping off notes with a somber laziness while allowing the strings to circle at the composition's periphery like birds keeping tabs on an abandoned harvest crop. Hiding in the mix, the trombones whisper like spectral sentries.

Sparsely structured, this elegant music suitably evokes the notion of urban aspects wafted away from a city, stretching like a stately breeze over outlying agricultural regions.

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DANIEL LENTZ: Los Tigres de Marte (CD single on Cold Blue Music)

This release from 2004 features 15 minutes of modern classical music.

Joining Daniel Lentz (and Brad Ellis on electronic keyboards) are: Marty Walker on clarinet, Peter Kent and Robin Lorentz on violins, Maria Newman in viola, and Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick on cello.

The orchestral temperament of this music is soothing and congenial, with strings waxing cerebral in conjunction with atmospheric electronics. After a while, the music takes a more lively turn, exploring fanciful melodies that maintain an airy-but-insistent bearing. Piano emerges to guide the tune into its concert hall finale.

The clarinet achieves a high altitude winsome manner that is excellently elaborated by the airy strings, producing music that spills from a mountain peak to entertain all surrounding valleys.

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STEVE PETERS: From Shelter (CD single on Cold Blue Music)

This release from 2004 features 16 minutes of somber tuneage. This music was originally composed in 1997 for "Shelter" a dance/theater work by Lane Lucas.

Steve Peters plays piano. He is joined here by Alicia Ultan on violas and Marghreta Cordero on voices.

A pensive viola generates a sedate foundation that dominates the stage for three of the four tracks on this release. Minimalism becomes stoic as the strings carry the listener to depths of the soul with melancholy tinged with optimistic aspirations.

The fourth track mixes delicately hesitant piano with heavenly choral voices. The voices restrain themselves with meticulous deliberation, conjuring a slow birth of consciousness that is softly goaded on by sparse-but-evocative piano notes.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Complete 10-Inch Series from Cold Blue (3 CD set on Cold Blue Music)

This release from 2003 features 157 minutes of strange tuneage. It is a collection of 10-inch EPs originally released during the early 1980s.

While the above Cold Blue releases explore distinctly modern variations of traditional classical music, the tuneage found in this collection features more experimental dispositions, pushing the envelope into esoteric ambient directions.

CD 1 contains:

“Matchin Dances” by Peter Garland, featuring a pair of violins and gourd rattles. Evoking matachine dances with folksy strings punctuated by loose rattlings, these brief tunes exemplify a blend of high-brow and dirt-road sensibilities with off-center appeal.

And an EP of piano music by Michael Jon Fink. Minimal keys define compositions that immerse the listener in an intimate recital set in a dark room. The winsome strains of a forlorn cello increase the music’s somber qualities.

CD 2 contains:

“Clay Music” by Barney Childs. In a 19 minute track, an array of flutes, ocarinas and pipes provide atmospheric tones that pursue a serene melody, breathy and full of reedy yearning.

And “Mile Zero Hotel” by Read Miller. Two tracks (each just over twelve minutes long) consist of spoken prose describing people’s reactions to explosive intrusions.

CD 3 contains:

Material by Chas Smith. Utilizing pedal steel guitar and dobro, Smith performs three short sonic tapestries that conjure vividly orange desert sunsets, while a 12 minute track explores an endearing trance of twinkling notes that rise propelled by their own buoyancy.

And “These Things Stop Breathing” by Rick Cox. For one of the pair of ten-minute-long tracks, Cox uses prepared guitar to produce a tersely shimmering skyscape peppered with sparse clarinet. The second piece incorporates remote whispers, while the ambient guitar adopts a slightly more ominous air.

And “After Images” by Daniel Lentz. Ethereal choirs blend with hesitant keyboards, all filtered through an echo system that simulates a breathing motion to the flow. A trio of short tracks and one long one display this attractive sound.

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