New Music from Pallmer

Category: music 76

Fredericton-based neoclassical duo Pallmer tease forthcoming EP with the release of their new single, Quiet Clapping.

Matt Carter 

Each new song from Pallmer is a clinic in delicacy. While it would be easy to make the case that any music performed on cello and viola inherently embodies a graceful delicate quality, especially when positioned among other musicians using more common instrumentation, a quick listen to the duo’s existing back catalogue, which is only five songs deep, reveals a remarkable understanding of how form and structure can help support a vocal narrative. In the case of larger ensembles, the interplay between musicians and their instruments is often described as being an open conversation, but when it’s just three voices sharing space, those conversations can become quite intimate, as is the case with Quiet Clapping, the latest single from Emily Kennedy and Mark Kleyn. 

Inspired by Kennedy’s own hard fought realization that a life in music can exist anywhere and doesn’t necessarily need to be confined to a soul sucking, densely populated metropolis, Quiet Clapping delves into this highly personal coming-to-terms through layers of melody that expand into new forms and ideas. 

“I find a lot of New Brunswickers have a grass is greener outlook on their home province – I did. I left for a large chunk of my twenties, and every once in a while that feeling comes back – the feeling that elsewhere will be better, that living in a larger city is the only way to ‘make it’, whatever that means,” says Kennedy.  

“I wrote the lyrics to Quiet Clapping after realizing one night that my grass-is-greener fantasy was stopping me from appreciating what was right in front of me. It dawned on me that I had been using this as a period to recharge for something else, but for what? I was happier than I had been in a long time, and didn’t want to throw that away just to follow the prescribed career path. Of course, as a province New Brunswick has a lot to work on, but we’re lucky to have such a tightly-knit arts community. There’s space and support to try things, to take creative risks.  The song isn’t so much about settling down as it is about recognizing and investing in places and communities that enrich you.”

Quiet Clapping explores both the futile desire to be heard amongst the masses and the self satisfying applause earned through discovering the joy of fulfillment within one’s own surroundings. This discovery is made all the more effective as the song’s initial uptempo rhythm dabbles between an ominous swing and a complete triplet melody aided by Kleyn’s accentuating counterpoint. It’s almost as if his instrument is saying, “Look around. We’ve got so much to play with right here.” 

The song was recorded in Saint John by engineer Corey Bonnivie (Monopolized Studios) and the accompanying video was directed and produced by Erin Goodine. 

Quiet Clapping is the title track from Pallmer’s forthcoming EP, expected to arrive sometime in early 2021. It’s nice to have something good to look forward to isn’t it? 

Photo by Sarah Keirstead.

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