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Concert Series: Chatter at the Museum

Free Event


Aug 08, 2024
06:00 PM - 07:00 PM


Albuquerque Museum
2000 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104


Chatter presents four free concerts responding to the exhibitions, Making American Artists: Stories from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1776-1976 and Vivarium: Exploring Intersections of Art, Storytelling, and the Resilience of the Living World.

August 1

The summer series kicks off with John Cage’s Harmonies from Apartment House 1776.  Written in recognition of the American bicentennial, the Harmonies are a soundscape of re-ordered fragments of music from composers who lived in America at the time of the Revolution.  George Walker is the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and this first quartet contains his famous “Lyric for Strings,” which is frequently performed in its later arrangement for string orchestra. Finally, flutist Jesse Tatum performs Amy Beach’s Theme and Variations. Beach was a prolific American composer who began writing in the late-romantic style, though in later works she incorporated more modern, 20th-century aesthetics. 

August 8

A performance of two famous string quartets—and two trombone quartets! Dvorak’s “American” quartet captures Dvorak's love for the American landscape with its folk and nature-influenced writing. Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Quartet from 1931 influenced the imagination of mid-century American composers and audiences alike. The rest of this program traces a 2009 journey down the Mississippi River by contemporary composer Eve Beglarian. Beglarian found several unexpected inspirations, including the haunting sound of a water pump near the river’s headwaters, and on the other end of the trip, a page from an old, rain-soaked bible found in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. 

August 15, part of the 3rd Thursday event, (5 to 8 p.m., performed continuously)

Musicians take a note from the Vivarium exhibition and offer themselves and their playing for a sort of scientific observation via enclosure, as they perform in different spaces throughout the museum. Carola Bauckholt’s Doppelbelichtung (“Double Exposure”) pits birdsong recordings against a live violinist’s imitation and reflection. Andy Akiho’s Stop Speaking pairs live snare drum with a computer-generated voice that speaks directly to the audience. And Dennis Johnson’s November is a three-hour solo piano work that takes meditative stillness to an extreme.  Shorter pieces will be performed several times during the 6 p.m. hour. November will begin at 5 p.m. to end around 8 p.m.; listeners will be welcome to move around the space and come and go throughout.

August 24

Chatter assembles a group of 14 musicians to perform Steve Reich’s Eight Lines. In many ways this piece represents the opposite pole of classical minimalism from Johnson’s November: the music is highly focused, rigorous, geometric, and groovy! Pianists Judith Gordon and Luke Gullickson will also perform a sampling of 20th-century American music for two pianos, including Meredith Monk’s Ellis Island, Paul Bowles’ Sonata for Two Pianos, and Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid.


Concert Series: Chatter at the Museum

Chatter musicians playing at the Museum.


Elizabeth Becker