Art Rock

Asia, ELP drummer Carl Palmer puts the art in rock

 
 
Drummer Carl Palmer of ELP and Asia fame is also an artist and he brings his art collection, Rhythm of Light, to Miami Beach’s Effusion Art Gallery on March 28, 2014.
Drummer Carl Palmer of ELP and Asia fame is also an artist and he brings his art collection, Rhythm of Light, to Miami Beach’s Effusion Art Gallery on March 28, 2014.
Michael Inns / Pilato Entertainment Marketing & Media LLC

In a field known for vibrant characters, Carl Palmer may be the most colorful drummer of them all.

A founding member of ’70s progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer and ’80s rock supergroup Asia, the Birmingham, England-born Palmer will premiere his new art collection, Rhythm of Light, at Miami Beach’s Effusion Art Gallery.

The 16 images in the exhibit were created using a photographic process in which Palmer plays his drums in a pitch black, 12-square-foot room, using custom LED florescent drum sticks. As stick hits drum or cymbal, a burst of light forms a pattern, and the visual images are captured on canvas.

The procedure has evolved considerably from its origins in 1974. Palmer, then at the height of ELP’s career through such albums as Brain Salad Surgery and the live set, Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends…Ladies and Gentleman, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, decided to add visual artist to his credits.

“We were not using LED lights then,” Palmer said in a telephone interview a day after celebrating his 64th birthday in the English countryside. “We were using normal light bulbs taped to light sticks taped to a battery on the floor. I couldn’t play the drums. Now, you can play the drums physically and can choose red, green or blue or whatever you want really. We deal with the reflection of light and the movement of light and the shadows reflected on different materials. By the time I’ve gone through it, about three [images] normally work, and we go from there.”

For these pieces, Palmer played ELP numbers Tarkus, Jerusalem and Bartók’s Allegro barbaro ( The Barbarian). “That’s why it’s called Rhythm of Light. It’s extremely abstract. Art is like music. Very hard to explain. You have to hear it or see it,” Palmer said.

Less abstract is the 14th studio album by Asia released Tuesday. The richly melodic Gravitas is the first Asia album without guitarist Steve Howe (of Yes) since the original lineup reunited for 2008’s Phoenix. Gravitas, along with the preceding XXX in 2012, marks the finest music Asia has crafted since its eponymous debut ranked as Billboard’s best-selling album of 1982.

“Asia’s been going for a long time. Asia isn’t a prog rock band. It isn’t even a heavy rock band. It’s more middle-of-the-road but, on the other hand, it works well, and I’m happy,” Palmer said.

Along with the artwork and Asia’s new album, Palmer released a solo concert DVD, Decade, and a two-CD Anthology set.

“I just had a birthday the other day, and I’m on the right side or wrong side of life, however you look at it, but I’m still improving as a musician, I think. If you have that in mind or feel that way you don’t want to stop,” he said. “The traveling is getting harder, no doubt about that, and the music business has changed so radically you have got to deal with it in a different way. But the creative side, that will stay with me until the day I die.”

A Q&A with Carl Palmer at the opening of his Rhythm of Light exhibit is at 7 p.m. Friday at Effusion Art Gallery, 1130 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach. Free; the art is for sale. Call 305-538-3558 or visit www.carlpalmer.com.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

HOWARD COHEN

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity birthdays on Aug 20

    Singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 66. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 62. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 62. Actor-director Peter Horton is 61. Actress Joan Allen is 58. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 44. Actor Misha Collins is 40. Actor Andrew Garfield is 31. Actor Brant Daugherty (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 29. Singer Demi Lovato is 22.

  • Celebrity roundup

    Taylor Swift brushes off country roots with pop album; Kevin Hart engaged; Cindy Crawford removes kids from school due to toxins

    Taylor Swift is saying goodbye to country music for now: The singer says she’s releasing her first full-length pop album on Oct. 27. She revealed in a livestream via Yahoo! that 1989, named for her birth year, is her “first documented official pop album.”

  • The fashion scene

    Style Mafia founder Simonett Pereira: She’s the boss lady

    There’s a new mob boss in the 305. The name? Style Mafia — and out-of-the-box fashion is the game. The brainchild of 23-year-old Simonett Pereira, the Miami-gal-by-way-of-Venezuela’s collection is sold online and in her Wynwood-based showroom.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category