Beyond the Bridge

synthesizer & electronics: John Palmer – cello: Zoë Martlew – piano: Carol Morgan – harpsichord: Jane Chapman

Listen & Purchase CD or downloads
Includes: Beyond the BridgephonaiRenge-kyoSpiritsVision
label: Sargasso
SCD 28023

Internationally renowned composer John Palmer presents his most original and essential works to date with a collection of ethereal interactive compositions. All the music on this CD was written for acoustic instruments or synthesizers which then interplay with electronic sources and treatments, with the exception of Spirits, a weightless musical dream re-proposed by a solo synthesizer. A spiritual journey where traditional sounds and their electronic complements are projected onto a more transcendental and imaginary sphere: images of the mind…


synthesizer & electronics: John Palmer, cello: Zoë Martlew, piano: Carol Morgan, harpsichord: Jane Chapman. Produced by John Palmer at Vision Studios, London.


1. beyond the bridge (13:00)
for cello & electronics

2. phonai (11:00)
for synthesizer & electronics

3. renge-kyo (11:30)
for piano & electronics

4. spirits (15:00)
for synthesizer

5. vision (11:00)
for harpsichord & electronics


I am happy to recommend John Palmer’s new CD ‘beyond the bridge…’ to anybody who wishes to take time to explore inner states of mind. Through an imaginative use of electronics Palmer has evoked a very personal vision of the inner life: each piece enters strange new spaces. Whether for cello, his childrens’ voices, piano, harpsichord or as in the most uncompromising essay, Spirits, for synthesizer alone, the use of electronics adds a dimension which expands out from the known and familiar to a mysterious otherness. These are pieces which need a quiet mind and attention; whoever gives them that and enters into the sounds with all their imagination should be rewarded.

Jonathan Harvey, 1997

For the most part, Palmer’s music is impressive. His best pieces are full of character and communicate in a direct way. Unlike many people working in this overcrowded field, he knows how to make a record: the mixes are clear and spacious and the timbres delight the ear. He has an enviable talent for electronic realisation and production.

The Wire, London, 1997

John Palmer, a lesser-known but quite worthy composer, has riposted to the general mood of spiritual zeitgeist with Beyond The Bridge… (Sargasso) an eclectically religious response for electro-acoustics.

Louise Gray, Tower Records Top, May 1997

Metaphysical, symbolistic, wandering in the unreal. The whole made with a humorously gentle and uninhibited flavour. Good old England presents its audible eminent voice. New Age with barbed hooks.

Neue Musikzeitung, Germany, 1997

Palmer’s works step through the hyper-regions of a spiritual meta-world: his subtle evocations reflect an individual perspective which keeps the music terse, compelling and strongly original.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich, 1997