|'What I really liked was to remove the panel below the keyboard of my father's upright piano, and play with the magical resonances of the strings, getting totally absorbed in the atmospheres that these sounds created. I would also graft my own voice into this welter of sound - all much more fun than doing the piano practice I was supposed to be doing.'|
|Thus Geoff Palmer recalls his earliest musical memories as a young child in the 1950s - and not much has changed since, he claims! Exploration of resonance and purity of melodic line still dominate his musical thought. One fascination is with quartertones - the notes between the notes of the piano. His exploration of this sound world began in earnest in 1995 with La Maestà, continuing with Paradis moins cinq (a set of songs commissioned for The Purcell Contemporary Ensemble with funds provided by The Holst Foundation), the Third String Quartet for the Sorrel Quartet, and Crystallisations for Endymion. At the other end of the spectrum, especially when writing for children, his music has an almost pentatonic simplicity. His music is always colourful, always passionate.|
|Palmer studied at Huddersfield with Stephen Oliver and Richard Steinitz, and at Bristol University with Wyndham Thomas and Robert Saxton. He was awarded joint First Prize in the 1997 Classic CD Composing Competition, he won the 1998 Music Haven Composing Competition and Second Prize in the 1999 English Poetry and Song Society competition. Broadcasts have included live BBC relays of premières from the Cheltenham Festival in 1999, 2000 and 2002, and excerpts from his Variations for Violin and Piano on both BBC radio and television.|
Much of his music has been premiered abroad. Reconciliation for solo violin, the Fourth String Quartet and a new Flute Concerto have all been commissioned by Canadian bodies for performance in Ontario.The trio Lulla, a bassoon concerto and a new wind quintet all stem from collaborations with Finnish musicians and ensembles.
Geoff Palmer currently works as a cellist and composer in the north of Scotland, and is a part-time lecturer at the University of Aberdeen.
|'"The string quartet clearly has a future, with people writing music like that for it" (letter from Julian Rushton, following a performance of String Quartet No. 4: after Haydn)|