Jeremy Tharp's Music Blog and News

Results of the 2011 Album Composition Challenge

February 12th, 2012

Back in 2009, Phil Taylor and I challenged each other to make a new album.  The idea was that neither of us were producing enough material, so we invented the challenge to force us to produce something. The result for me was The Threshold of Omniscience, which contains some of my best lyrics and songs to date.  Given the success of that, we decided to make a new challenge this year.

We added a few more rules this time around.  We had from November 11, 2011 to February 12, 2012 to make a new album of 7-10 songs.  We also made a stipulation that one of the songs lyrics had to make the alphabet with the first letter of each line, and we both chose a theme and a list of words that the other had to use in the album.

For me, Phil chose the theme “a childhood memory/childhood memories” and the following words:  glib, quid pro quo, unambiguous, dichotomy, garish, permission, strategy, illuminate, blanket, mansion.

Once the album was done, we submitted the lyrics to one another and each of us chose the other’s album title.

So, with no further ado, I am happy to announce that the videos for Within The War Without Without The War Within are now live on YouTube.  (The playlist should be embedded below.)

Take a listen and tell me what you think!

High quality mp3s are also free to download on the album page.

Baz Hennessy Demos coming to YouTube

November 29th, 2011

I am trying very hard to get the sound of Baz Hennessy into the ears of people who can help me with it. I tried the promotional video, but that got very little response. So, since everyone I targeted to play the full tracks to really seemed to like it, I decided I had no choice but to put the demos up on YouTube and hope to get promotion that way.

As of this morning, the first three tracks are live:

1.) Perception The Creator

2.) Deceleration From Stasis

3.) The Extraction

Please feel free to take a listen! I really want to turn this into a live stage production with choreographed dance and, obviously, live musicians, but I need musicians, production help, and especially some financial assistance.

Composition of “The Awakening of Baz Hennessy” is complete!

March 6th, 2011

For about 2 years, I have had this “opus” album idea that would combine all my favorite musical points (mostly instrumentation) into a single genre.  I have wanted to do overdriven electric lead guitar paired with banjo for a long time, so that was the start, then I decided I needed to throw in marching band drums, slap bass, a french horn trio, an ocarina (which is just a flute for compositional purposes), and a reedy woodwind (in this case, the clarinet).  The finally requirement was that all songs would have 5-beat phrasing.

The idea finally solidified as a 7-track instrumental album that chronicles the evolution of the universe through this new genre that I titled “Baz Hennessy.”  About a year and a half ago, I discovered the Sibelius music composition software, and got underway.

The first track I wrote, “An Unexpected Rebuttal,” sat by itself for about 9 months, then over Christmas 2010 I finally got to work on “The Extraction,” and the last 5 tracks came about in the 4th week of January 2011.

As hard as it was, I sat on the compositions for a month — without even listening, then mixed down the midis as close as I could to get an ALMOST live sound.

I’m very pleased with the results, so please go check out the the lo-fi samples I’ve put on my website.  The album is called “The Awakening of Baz Hennessy.”

The next stage is to find an ambitious musical entrepreneur to finance the live recording and possibly performance of these compositions.  During that process, I want to add some tribal rhythms to the current blend of instrumentation.  I am shooting for doing all this by Fall of 2012.

If you happen across this blog, have listened to the samples, and are interested or know someone who might be interested, please contact me and we can arrange a full demonstration of the current recordings.

http://jeremytharp.com/discography/the-awakening-of-baz-hennessy/the-extraction/

Surpryzes: Let It Ryde RELEASED

February 14th, 2011

The newest, most innovative, most awesome, most superlative, overtly hyperbolic album in the history of the universe and beyond has hit the internet.

You got it!  Pimp Daddy G Fly Shooky Shooky and DJ Funk Dizzle G Straddy Bang Bang (my alter ego) have finally followed up our debut EP “krackA krumZ” with a full, very insightful album: “Surpryzes: Let It Ryde.”

Check it out today.  If you can’t do it today, well that’s just crazy.  Do it.  Because you can.  And it rocks.

You can download a zip file the full album in mp3 format at this link: http://www.mediafire.com/?k6di2e7rt6k0rnj

Or just follow the album link and listen/download one mp3 at a time.

Bi-annual update whether I need it or not …

January 23rd, 2011

Many of you know I have left the band Town Crier (not that it was ever much to begin with).  I have been pursuing other projects as well, however, including composing 2 songs for the independent film “Legacy Dawn” which I finished earlier this month, my “innovative” instrumental project “The Awakening of Baz Hennessy“, and my death metal album “Avenge the Reaper.”

For Baz Hennessy, my plan is to complete the preliminary compositions this year (hopefully sooner than later), then conceptually comb over them in depth, then do crazy awesome recordings and release it officially sometime before the end of 2012.

Avenge the Reaper is little more than a collection of ideas, but once I’ve completed this phase of Baz Hennessy, I’ll get cracking on it full force.  The trick on it will be making myself a better guitarist, then having the patience for recording.  The plan is to have it ready for release sometime in the first half of 2012.

So there you go.  :)

The original lyrics to “Endless Rain”?

July 28th, 2010

First of all, no part of my current conscious self would really fathom that there are/were “original lyrics” to Endless Rain.  I was browsing through my file archives and I stumbled upon what I called “leftovers” — ideas I had come up with in songs that didn’t make the cut.  Oddly enough, I had apparently used this text file to originally pen Endless Rain, and there it was — a full song (properly punctuated which is an indication that I have “completed” a song), but completely unrecognizable.  I guess this can count as a notch in the span of my musical enterprise?

Anyway, I really do not remember these words.  I cannot even be certain that they went with the music as it goes now, but the chorus is exactly the same.  I would say these lyrics are much more direct (which is probably why I would have changed them) and much more deeply saddening …

So for you major fan(s) out there, a juicy morcel of the Jeremy Tharp historical archive:

I’ll sit here and watch your eyes a while
And hope the simple thought of them makes me smile
I just can’t fathom you not here one day
Nonetheless the time is here you’ll go away

I just told you goodbye for life
And every time I think of you I cry
Even when you see my face it’s not my pain you’ll find
The tears don’t fall on the outside

Endless rain always falls down on the inside
I escape always to burn out of my skin’s mire

Only your fate can save me
I want your hand to raise me
I can’t hold on, I’ll go insane
And I’ll drown in this endless rain

I’m heavy on the way you like to sing
And the way you laugh is everything
If there is one thing I couldn’t want more
It’d he way you look at the world

I’ll never know where I am or you are
And every thought about you will break my heart
I’m simply captivated by you
And lost in the hope of if you knew

Endless rain always falls down on the inside
I escape always to burn out of my skin’s mire

Only your fate can save me
I want your hand to raise me
I can’t hold on, I’ll go insane
And I’ll drown in this endless rain

Endless rain always falls down on the inside
I escape always to burn out of my skin’s mire

Only your fate can save me
I want your hand to raise me
I can’t hold on, I’ll go insane
And I’ll drown in this endless rain

Thoughts?

“Snuff” — Weekly Podcast Episode 21

June 4th, 2010

So this week I opted for the infamous (ambitious?) “Snuff” by Slipknot.  I did so as a request by a friend, but I really like the song, and it’s pretty much right along my style.

Of course, that’s where the simplicity for this week ends.  I broke a string trying various tunings for the guitar, ended up putting on new ones and playing tuned way down in standard tuning.  The temperature is well over 90F, so I was getting hot and aggravated.

Then of course, I practiced and practiced, and regardless of how well I thought I could do it, it never came out very good.  Finally, I just got a good take and stuck with it.  Problem?  Yeeeeees, of course.  The battery on my guitar’s pickup was dying, so the guitar has this fuzz … it almost sounds intentional, but I’ll admit that it’s not.

To cap it all off, listening back, I realized the vocals are pretty hot in the mix (loud compared to the guitar), but in my dumb-ness I didn’t save the session tracks, so there’s no fixing it.  lol

Anyway, it is OK, but not my favorite podcast.

Oh and that little  “whooooaaaa” part toward the end … just pretend I’m Tarzan or something.  😀

Direct link to podcast video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV0VVjmmJg8

“A Glorious Dawn” — Weekly Podcast Episode 20

May 28th, 2010

Wow, somehow I’ve hit Episode 20?

Well to celebrate, I’m doing another cover of a [wiki]Symphony of Science[/wiki] song. Although I have wanted to do another for some time (and would eventually like to cover them all), but, the remaining ones were much more difficult to transition to my type of music.

At any rate, the choice this week was between “A Glorious Dawn” and “Our Place In The Cosmos.” Ultimately, I settled on “A Glorious Dawn” (obviously).

Like the last one I grew very impatient during recording, and thought it wasn’t working at all, but after hearing the final recording (which I managed to record in a higher quality — even do some light audio editing!), the biggest problem was, as I imagined, trying to fit all those words in.

But here is my rendition … I hope you enjoy it!!

Oh, I had done a little acoustic picking thing at the end, but I messed it up, and rather than try to splice video or whatever and make it go all wonky, I just cut it. It wasn’t bad as it was, but it was too weird for my tastes.

Please share this if you like it! This project deserves all the attention it can get.

Direct link to podcast video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7WPxcUI98I

“Fire And Rain” – Weekly Podcast Episode 19

May 21st, 2010

This week I picked the infamous “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, because, you know, I play it so much better than he does!  lol  Or not.  Anyway, we have the same initials … that works right?

Ok so I learned this song long ago … probably one of the first more complex guitar songs I learned, back in my finger picking phase.  Then I was playing live one night, and someone requested a James Taylor song, and this is the only one I recalled.  I got a lot of compliments on it, so I thought I would try it here.

I think it’s a fair version … there are a few mistakes/weak spots, but I’m not gonna tell you where if they’re not blatantly obvious (which they are!)  And … I think I’m going to stick to my new way of recording, even though it does kind of make the videos seem lip sync’d.

So let me know what you think!

Direct link to podcast video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elNQjXWlwzw

“Your Decision” – Weekly Podcast Episode 18

May 14th, 2010

I’ve been really all over the place with my song selections lately, but this week I settled on the new song “Your Decision” by [wiki]Alice In Chains[/wiki].  It just seems to fit well with my style, and I thought it would do well.

I had planned for the first time in a podcast to record multiple track/layers, and do some video effects, but I ran out of time.  Additionally, I forgot to bring my voice recorder (Sony ICD-SX700 that I always use for podcasts) home, so I ended up having to use Audition on my recording machine anyway.

Given that, I decided to go ahead and tweak the audio (EQ, reverb, compressor) and add a lead.  Somehow, whatever I did makes the entire video seem dubbed (the guitar solo and one little vocal part are, of course, dubbed, but the rest is not!!)  And yes, I had to extend the lead a little, because I left too many measures with the rhythm.  lol  I typically like leads anyway, so it gave me a chance to use the old lead and add a little of my own flair.

Anyway, I originally (after recording) wouldn’t have said it is my best performance ever, but the quality overall seemed better the more I listen.  The tweaks on the vocals definitely highlight my voice way more than typical.  This new recording style may be here to stay, given that it’s really no more difficult than the voice recorder, and it lets me add additional layers.  This in turn gives me more time to play around with studio equipment and try out and perfect techniques for future albums.  Let me know what you think!

Direct link to podcast video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc9YDp4b6j4