Chatter Sunday marks 10 years; group also will perform in Santa Fe

Chatter Sunday will celebrate its 10th anniversary of sonic explorations with concerts in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the chamber-meets-contemporary music group will perform at SITE Santa Fe with a program of electronics and Telemann.

David Felberg co-founded Chatter with the late cellist and composer Eric Walters.

“We’ve been invited by SITE to do four performances,” Chatter co-founder and violinist David Felberg said. “We had one last month, and we were very warmly greeted by the Santa Fe audience. Since it’s a contemporary art museum, we’ll be playing contemporary music.”

Felberg and guest violinist Jesse Tatum will play both duo and solo pieces with the help of University of New Mexico professor, composer and electronic music specialist Peter Gilbert. Telemann’s “Canonic Duos” feature musicians playing identical musical scores slightly apart in time.

Felberg will play Boulez’s “Anthémes 2” for violin and electronics.

“You play amplified, but you also play to violin samples,” Felberg said. “It’s quite an amazing sensation. If you’re sitting in the middle, you’re surrounded by the speakers. You’ll hear shards of sound from every direction.”

Tatum will play oboist Heinz Holliger’s “t(air)e” for flute solo. The composer abandoned the aesthetics of absolute pitch control, working with sound effects and phonetics as musical material.

The duo will finish with Philip Glass’ “Music in the Shape of a Square.”

“It’s kind of a canon in its own way,” Felberg said. “Jesse plays it front to back, and I play it back to front. It’s a true palindrome, so we meet in the shape of a square.”

In Albuquerque, Chatter Sunday will celebrate a decade of music on Feb. 11. The group was founded as the Church of Beethoven in 2008 by cellist Felix Wurman, who died in 2009.

“He came up to me in the middle of a rehearsal and said, ‘We’re going to start with two minutes of silence, and the music is the sermon,” Felberg said. “He was the brainchild. We’ve tried to keep it much as he left it.”

The musicians will perform an ode to the 1960s with George Crumb’s “Lux Aeterna,” scored for bass flute, sitar, two percussionists and soprano.

“We sit in lotus position,” Felberg said. “It’s totally ’60s, but it’s a magnificent piece. The stage is doused in red light. Felix loved the piece.”

The concert will end with Bach’s Concerto in D minor for 2 violins by J.S. Bach with soloists Megan Holland and Felberg.

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