Palmer: I Am John Palmer
- 1Three Memories04:00
- 4Fragments of Perception08:32
- 5Mirrors Uncertain11:01
- 6On the Margin07:49
Info for Palmer: I Am
The idea of writing “I am“ came to my mind during a visit to Japan in Autumn 2001. This work reflects some perceptions of life in terms of searching for spiritual transcendence and self-realisation. It illustrates a double journey taking place simultaneously: one physical, to Japan, the other metaphysical, into the inner world of perception. The journey to Japan is based on sonic references of that country, while the inner journey is represented by sparse literary texts scattered throughout the piece and their sound transformations.
For me changes of sonic references correspond to changing perceptions of the spiritual dimension of life. It is a journey where the sensual and the spiritual, the physical and the metaphysical go hand in hand. Where spirituality is an ethical challenge rather than a complacent state of the mind. In this light, I see no separation between eternity and the chasm of despair and desolation, between the yearning for love and immensity and the feeling of loss and void. Both dimensions are facets of the same reality.
The texts I have used for the realization of this work are short poems I have written in 2001-03 (in English, with short translations into German) extracts from Buddhist writings (in Japanese and English), and descriptions of Zen temples in Kyoto (in Japanese). There are also a few short excerpts from every-day life in Japanese.
All the remaining sounds have been collected mainly in Japan and can be divided into two categories: sounds with spiritual reference (e.g. temple bells and chanting) and “secular” sounds taken from everyday life, including Japanese traditional instruments (sho, shamisen, shakuhachi and koto) and nature (seashore, rain, birds). The sounds are proposed both in their original form and as transformations of the original sources through electronics.
John Palmer, piano
started playing the piano at the age of 6 and composing at the age of 15. He graduated in Piano Studies from the Conservatory of Music in Lucerne, Switzerland, having undertaken courses in composition and experimental improvisation with Edison Denisov and Vinko Globokar. In London he studied Composition at Trinity College of Music and completed a PhD in Composition at City University. Further studies include composition with Jonathan Harvey and conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music. Since 1977 he has equally been active in different musical genres: from experimental and popular music to free-jazz. Since 1987 he has focused on instrumental, orchestral, vocal and chamber music, and in the early nineties he extended his compositional interests with electroacoustic resources.
Much of John Palmer’s music is characterized by a distinct awareness of sound, time and space. Sound unfolding in time and experienced as a syntactic priority of the musical discourse: a sensitivity for subtle transformations of timbre combined with a highly individual perception of space and silence. The latter proposing psychological and spiritual dimensions taking shape beyond any stylistic clichè. His compositional techniques vary from work to work, from the application of vigorous methodologies to the most spontaneous unfolding of musical ideas based on pure intuition. (Stephen Hawkes, New York, 2004)
This album contains no booklet.