In a city with blessed with iconic and quirky places, Albuquerque's Rail Yards is still stands out. And now it will be a concert venue.
According to their press release, on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 5pm, Albuquerque's unique group Chatter will bring a "soaring Classical music concert to the Rail Yard’s repurposed, ruined-cathedral-like, steel, brick, and glass Blacksmith Shop."
History of the Rail Yards When the AT&SF rail came through to the southwest, it needed a place to maintain their steam locomotives, which required a complete rebuild every 12 to 18 months. The current railyard buildings were constructed between 1915 and 1925 and the rail yards became Albuquerque's largest employer, with 970 employees (then about a quarter of the city's workforce) in 1919, and a peak of 1,500 in the 1940s.
In the 1950s when the railroad began to switch from steam to diesel locomotives, the rail yards became less and less necessary. The shops were shut down completely in 1970 (Source: .wikipedia.org/)
But the lure of these buildings never waned. Huge and decrepit, movies were shot there, people snuck in with cameras, fascinated by the images of the railroad remains.
Today, the city is planning to renovate and open the Rail Yard, likely as a special event venue.
These events are few and far between. The Chatter concert is an opportunity to explore the Yards, and hear great music.
In collaboration with the City of Albuquerque, Chatter has a unique opportunity to become a groundbreaking, non-generic, eclectic cultural example to the state and nation, while reconnecting Albuquerque with its historical past.
The concert will take place in the Blacksmith Shop on Saturday, May 3rd at 5 pm. Tickets are $15 regular | $9 under-30 & students | $5 child | $100 up-front seats+reception ($75 tax deductible)
The music program: Each composition is distinctive and each has a majesty that will resonate in this unlikely hall.
Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) A Soviet composer who attempted to unify serious and light music in his compositions. His Concerto Grosso is magnificent, spiritual, and slightly chaotic. It features harpsichord, prepared piano, two violin soloists and 21 strings.
JS Bach (1685 - 1750) One of the world’s greatest composers. Chatter will be performing the magnificent Bach Double Violin Concerto for solo violins and string orchestra.
Arvo Pärt (1935 - ) An Estonian composer who developed a unique compositional style called “holy minimalism”. His composition Tabula Rasa will be the featured and final piece on the Chatter Rail Yard program. Tabula Rasa, “blank slate”, composed for two solo violins, string orchestra and prepared piano, is symbolic of Pärt’s delving into a bold new technique of music composition.
Chatter’s mission is to perform a full spectrum of classical music in informal, atypical, often intimate, accessible venues; to provide unique opportunities for musicians and composers; to present courageous, unexpected programming for all-age audiences; to revolutionize the audience experience of classical music.
The breadth, novelty, and constancy of what Chatter presents every week is at the leading edge in Albuquerque and in the country. A never-ending season of intimate, informal, unpretentious, professional presentations allow for close audience connection to the music & musicians. Chatter makes great music accessible, welcoming and interesting, not through a dumbing-down of music, but by offering novel juxtapositions of very old and very new music, performed by exceptional musicians and with informed, comfortable conversation about the music. Importantly, the events take place in unusual locations and at unconventional performance times.