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Ensemble features N.M. composers

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque ensemble Chatter inaugurates a new series this week when it presents the music of composer Eric Walters.

The series intends to spotlight the music of contemporary New Mexico composers.

The concert will have six pieces by Walters, who is the co-founder and co-music director of Chatter. His most recently composed work on the program is “Meditations on Three Lenten Hymns.”

If you go
WHAT: Chatter
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17
WHERE: The Kosmos, 1715 Fifth NW
HOW MUCH: $20 general public, $5 students in advance by visiting chatterchamber.org/events or at the door

“I take three hymns that are all part of the Lutheran canon and written in the early 1600s,” Walters said. “What I love about them is that they are very spare, and Lutheran composers in the last 400 years have taken a crack at harmonizing them, not the least of whom is Johann Sebastian Bach.”

Walters said the hymns lend themselves to constant reinterpretation. Performing them will be Walters, a cellist, and Fred Frahm, a pianist.

The two also will be heard on “Diapason Riff.” Walters said he wrote it for Frahm. “Because it goes all over the chromatic map, he said it reminded him of a quote from the British poet John Dryden,” Walters said.

The longest work on the program is the 12-minute Piano Trio. Walters said it experiments with Minimalist ideas. The performers are Walters, violinist David Felberg and pianist Natalia Tikhovidova.

Lori Lovato will solo on Walters’ “Canon for Clarinet and Electronics.” The composer said the audience will hear Lovato play it in real time and in delayed time because she will play into a digital delay pedal.

Walters’ “Suite 38” is a short three-movement piece that he said he wrote to celebrate his 38th birthday. The musicians are Walters and Felberg.

The oldest work on the program — composed in 1996 — is the Prelude for Cello and Piano. Walters and Tikhovidova are the musicians.

Chatter plans to present two more New Mexico composers next year.

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