John Palmer ‘Encounter’



John Palmer returns with four new thought-provoking compositions featuring Pete Lockett, Jane Chapman, Piet Van Bockstal, Neil Heyde, Matthias Cordes and Renate Bratschke. As Palmer states: “The music on this album reflects a search for deeper shades of meaning through the exploration of instrumental virtuosity not as a routine display of technical skills and dazzling-show-off dexterity – which I have always regarded as boring and suspicious – but as a key to a deeper level of dialectic expressivity”. Encounter is a dialogue between cultures and traditions. Jane Chapman’s harpsichord meets Pete Lockett’s world percussion in a sensual interplay of extreme virtuosity. The two are unified by the electronics which allow both opposite forces to melt into each other. In sharp contrast, Hinayana is a meditative oboe solo which nevertheless pushes the instrument’s possibilities to the extreme thanks to Piet Van Bockstal’s enormous skill. Epitaph is probably the most emotionally charged piece of the album, having been written after the suicide of one of the composer’s closest friends. Here the cello, masterfully played by Neil Heyde, and electronics blend in a maelstrom of often unbearably terrifying sound. The finalè Between takes the listener to a higher spiritual plane where Matthias Cordes’ violin and Renate Bratschke’s harpsichord evoke an imaginary space between two states of being. As with previous works, Palmer achieves his goals by extending the playing techniques of the instrumentalists and by careful interaction with the electronics, blurring the boundaries of where the instrument ends and where the electronics begin. All this never distracts from the powerful emotional ‘Encounters’ that are conjured by the music, leaving the listener with a sense of inner-journey and self-discovery.

John Palmer: electronics – Jane Chapman, Renate Bratschke: harpsichord – Pete Lockett: world percussion – Piet Van Bockstal: oboe – Neil Heyde: cello – Matthias Cordes: violin
Recorded and produced by John Palmer at Vision Studio, London – Logos Foundation, Ghent, Belgium – Radio Bremen, Germany

1. ENCOUNTER (19:12)
for harpsichord, world percussion and electronics
2. HINAYANA (11:28)
for solo oboe
3. EPITAPH (9:49)
for cello and electronics
4. BETWEEN (11:05)
for violin and harpsichord

Also available as downloads:

Encounter - John Palmer

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