Commissioned and premiered by Line C3 percussion Quartet on May 8, 2004 at Sun Azalea Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Cold Pastoral was composed in the winter and spring of 2004 for Line C3 and is scored for crotales, vibraphone, and a small battery of un-pitched instruments. The quartet is split into two duos, one sharing the set of crotales and one sharing the vibraphone. This arrangement created some very interesting compositional challenges, both technically and musically, and many aspects of the piece arose directly from these challenges. The title comes from John Keats' famous Ode on a Grecian Urn , although the piece doesn't really have much to do with the poem itself. Rather, I found the phrase to be beautifully ambiguous and suggestive when removed from the context of the poem, and I wanted to echo on a variety of levels and in a number of domains the diversity of feelings, atmospheres, and allusions that I read in this expression.