World Abounding Records


• New tracks by Joel up on Soundcloud here.
The Main Sequence is on the bill for iHearIC at Fair Grounds Coffee on Thursday, September 26 in Iowa City. Show details here.
• Follow Joel's World Abounding blog here.

For booking and other inquiries: (206) 351-4724 or

Joel David Palmer Ambient & atmospheric soundscapes in the tradition of the Brian Eno–Harold Budd–Robert Fripp–Jon Hassell–Robin Guthrie nexus of artists. I was an early adopter of Eno's frippertronics techniques, and first performed and recorded using long loops in 1977. Feedback, decay, generative processes, and self-accompaniment have been important elements in my music-making from that time. I have an extensive history of recording, solo and group performance, and studio session work. My music is well-received at art walks and galleries, as live accompaniment for yoga classes, and in other meditative settings. I have collaborated with dancers and painters, opened for acoustic and electric acts of all kinds, and have been showcased at experimental music venues and concert series.

I have produced several albums, available from iTunes and Amazon. My music is featured on the You Are Listening To... streams and on's Drone Zone, Mission Control, and SF 10-33 stations.

Other musical touchstones include: Bill Frisell, Ivo Watt-Russell, Angelo Badalamenti, Sigur Ros, Steve Reich, Ennio Morricone, This Mortal Coil, Wendy Carlos, Bill Laswell, Cocteau Twins, Philip Glass, Fred Frith.

Recordings of recent solo performances


"Joel Palmer has been one of the shining lights in the Seattle music scene, and we miss him. His control of texture and timbre during soundscapes is exquisite. His capacity as a catalyst to generate working groups of musicians toward production and performance is inspiring. Highly recommended." – Steve Turnidge, producer & mastering engineer, Ars Divina

"I have known Joel for many years, and our musical paths crossed as members of the Tuning The Air ensemble in Seattle, where I was fortunate to hear him perform on the regular basis – every week, for the duration of quite a few seasons, which usually lasted around three months. He never failed to amaze me with his performances. In such a complex genre as soundscapes, where the musician is creating layers of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic lines, it's so easy to fall into the trap of recording some sweet harmony and then blow solos on top of it, which is often the case with some soundscapers. Joel never, not even once, sounded like somebody else. There was always a presence in the music he played, something that escapes a simple definition. Something, perhaps, that only Joel can do, and do it differently every time, without repeating himself. I've seen Joel in various performing contexts, and it always seemed to me that he somehow knows what Music requires of him. His ability to hear and then execute what he hears raises him above thousands of players, who just play their licks night after night. His dedication to the way of doing things in his unique way continues to be an example of loyalty to the guiding voice of Music, which is so hard to find nowadays. I consider myself very lucky to know such a musician, and I am always looking forward to hearing more from Joel." – Igor Abuladze, musician and teacherThe HumansUrban AchieversBlack Vinyl AllstarsT-Town Aces

"It doesn't matter what you read when I write: Joel Palmer is a musical genius. All that matters is that you listen. Listen to the wonderful ambient pieces on his soundcloud page. Listen to his collaborations with Disciples of Pop. Go to one of his shows. Just listen. Then you'll hear what I mean. I've worked with Joel for nearly a decade and I can say without hesitation that Joel consistently and reliably finds a way to get out of the way and let Music in to the space he is sharing with his collaborators, whether they are fellow musicians or audients. If you get a chance to work with him or hear him, take it, and you'll know just what I mean." – Greg Meredith, musician & composer, Tuning the AirSgt. BonesDisciples of PopThe Adventures of Victoria and Balthazar

"Joel is an accomplished musician and guitarist whose work I greatly admire and enjoy. He has composed and recorded music for several of my film and video projects. Joel is easy to work with and always nails the exact feeling I request. I look forward to drawing on his talents again and again." – David Mayne, independent filmmaker, Very Sirius Productions

"Joel's remarkable ability to improvise relevantly in real-time was an integral and irreplaceable element of Tuning the Air's weekly, audience-encircling performances in Seattle. Joel 'tuned the space' as the audience arrived, his gentle improvisation transitioning them from the hustle and bustle of the world outside to that state of relaxed engagement needed to make the evening's experience everything it could be. Joel's music is wonderful and often astounding, and always precisely what is necessary. His recordings feature prominently in my home playlist." – Curt Golden, musician and teacherUndercover Blues BandSeattle Circle Guitar School

Internet presence

Selected performances

Upcoming performances
  • Thursday, September 26 – The Main Sequence is on the bill for iHearIC at Fair Grounds Coffee in Iowa City. Show details here.
Past performances (full listing)
  • March 1, 2013 – The Main Sequence – University of Iowa Museum of Art First Friday – Hotel Vetro, Iowa City
  • February 14, 2013 – The Main Sequence – iHearIC concert series – Old Brick, Iowa City
  • February 7, 2013 – The Main Sequence – The Mill, Iowa City – with Lwa, Haunter, and Alex Body
  • December 10, 2012 – The Main Sequence – iHearIC concert series – Englert Theater, Iowa City
  • November 14, 2012 – The Main Sequence – iHearIC concert series – Music West Interim Building, U of I campus, Iowa City
  • November 2, 2012 – The Main Sequence – University of Iowa Museum of Art First Friday – Hotel Vetro, Iowa City
  • March 24, 2012 – The Coctones – Ballard Odd Fellows Hall, Seattle – with Chris Gibson, Third Law
  • March 18, 2012 – The Coctones – Enlighten Cafe, Seattle – with Chris Gibson
  • December 15, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • December 8, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • December 1, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • November 17, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • November 10, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • November 3, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • October 29, 2011 – Pacific Northwest Synthfest 2011, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline
  • October 27, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • October 20, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • October 13, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle
  • October 6, 2011 – Tuning the Air – Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Seattle


  • The Main Sequence (ambient electronic psychedelica; with Josh Weiner) (2012-ongoing)
  • The Coctones (Cocteau Twins covers; with Darlene Franz, Taylor Sherman, Jaxie Binder, Carl Germain, Mary Beth Abel, and Greg Meredith) (2012) concert videos
  • What Is The Name Of This Band ("spontaneous composition" acoustic guitar quintet; with Steve Ball, Paul O'Rear, Lee Silberkleit, and David Lavallee) (2009-2010) iTunes podcast, selected recordings
  • We Paint With Sound ("co-comprovisation" drums-guitar-keyboards; with Michael Pennington and Dave Belzer) (2009)
  • Seattle Circle (large acoustic guitar ensemble) (2003-2005)
  • Roving Mobile Circle (large acoustic guitar ensemble) (2002-2003)
  • Set It Quiet (pop-rock; with Rik Myers, John Palmer, and Ken Alvin) (1982-1987)

photo gallery • video gallery