A contemporary conjunction
Jo Caruana meets the Batera Duo to discover their musical style.
The magic of music comes from the fact that you’ve never heard it all. From the melee of compositions to the myriad of ways they can be played, there’s no stopping an art that develops a little more every time a note is played.
Every collaboration also plays a part in that evolution, which is exactly where the likes of the Batera Duo come in, bringing exciting twists to well-loved pieces and helping to show their unique style.
Formed only a few months ago, the duo – comprising Gozitan saxophonist Philip Attard and Maltese pianist Christine Zerafa – made their debut at St James Cavalier in April and will now return to the stage as part of the Malta Arts Festival line up next Sunday.
“As Batera Duo we enjoy working together because we both have a passion for promoting contemporary music,” says Zerafa, who explains that the name Batera comes from the Basque word for conjunction and perfectly reflects her and Attard’s combined styles.
“We’ve been working on a huge spectrum of pieces from across the globe, incorporating a variety of styles, including original and transcribed classical works for the saxophone and piano, Argentinian tangos and works with jazz influences. We like to describe our work as energetic, fun and passionate.”
This new concert, which is part of the festival’s Emerging Artists series, is set to feature a varied programme of different styles and influences, including major works from the classical saxophone repertoire and contemporary compositions with influences from rock and jazz, as well as transcribed baroque work.
The duo will perform two major works from the saxophone repertoire during this free concert: Tableaux de Provence by female composer Paule Maurice, and Paul Creston’s Sonata Op. 19. They will also perform a recent composition for the saxophone and piano by Maltese composer Ruben Zahra, entitled Crimson Sunrise.
Additionally, the concert will include saxophone duos performed by Attard and guest saxophonist Joseph Vella. This recent partnership between the two saxophonists has already proved successful, and they plan to perform a transcription of Jean-Marie Leclair’s Sonate en Ut, as well as a collection of saxophone duos by contemporary composer Cristophe Monniot.
Batera Duo will perform next Sunday at St James Cavalier at 11 a.m. Entrance is free though tickets are required. More information is available at www.maltaartsfestival.org.