MP3 The Sphere - Music of the Sphere
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6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: 60's Rock, NEW AGE: Progressive Alternative
Show all album songs: Music of the Sphere Songs
The Sphere was a very strange band that manifested itself one night almost 20 years ago in my garage/studio in North Hollywood, CA. The music is hard to catagorize, lying somewhere in the realm of Punk/Metal style with Thrash attitude and Trance qualities, containing some Jazz sensibilities and a dash of Firesign Theater. It is all original, though you will occasionally hear familiar themes drawn mostly from movie and TV music!
Throughout the mid to late eighties, I was in the recording business, making radio advertisments for camera stores and shoe emporiums, doing voice-overs and employing song writers and studio musicians to create jingles and such. Occasionally I would host a Saturday afternoon jam session in the studio, usually followed by an Italian dinner provided by my lovely bride. While we ate we would listen too and laugh at the crazy tracks we had just made.
I remember the approximate date of this particular session because it was held to celebrate the completion of a series of jingle spots for Ritz Camera in late October of 1988. The recording features three of my closest friends, fine musicians, all of whom I had worked in bands with for about a decade.
The players are:
Earl Oliver: Me. I switched off between guitar and drums on this session.
Pierre Ardans: Pierre played bass on a couple of cuts and spelled me on the drums.
Stanly Chin: Stan played 1st or 2nd lead guitar and shared the bass duties with Pierre.
LJ Dopp: Larry played lead guitar, alternating 1st and 2nd lead with Stan. He also played piano on Religiosity
All four of us contributed vocally. All of the music and lyrics were ad-libbed on the spot.
You will notice right away that most of these cuts are really just portions of the full performances. That is because some of these original recordings were more than 30 minutes long, all of them were more than 10 minutes in length except for two.
As producer, I have selected the best continuous portion of each track and faded them in and out. The group were all multi-instrumentalists, so different combinations of players and instruments can be heard throughout the album.
Here is the rundown:
On the Street: This instrumental was invented by Stan, his guitar is the biting, growling rhythm pulse on this tune. He also spaces into some very stylish lead/rhythm choruses before the piece is over. Larry is playing the lead guitar through most of the track, Pierre on the bass, myself on drums. (8:19)
Lost in Space: This instrumental was my idea. Really just a rhythm lick on an Am chord on the guitar. I am playing the harmonics on the bridge sections, and I also played lead guitar in turn with Larry throughout the track. Pierre is on the drums here and Stan is playing bass. (6:46)
Shortnin' Breadsticks: This is pure Pierre. He starts it with his bass lick and drives the entire tune from beginning to end. He also realized about a minute in that the tune resembled the ancient childrens song, "Shortnin' Bread", so he started singing that! From there madness ensued... I am playing the drums and singing, Stan is on guitar and singing, Larry played lead guitar. (7:18)
Theme for a New Age: My narration on Theme for a New Age was the only thing written and recorded after the fact. The tape was speeded up when I recorded the voice-over so that it produced the "basso profundo" narration you hear on the sweetened track. I also played drums here. Stan plays rhythm and texture to Larry's lead guitar, Pierre is on the bass. (7:54)
Song of the Dessert: This is initially mine, but it evolved into something that was invented simultaneously among us. Again, the identity of the old tune "Song of the Desert" was not revealed during the first few run throughs of the main theme. It occurred to someone that the melody of that song would fit the chord structure we were playing, so we ran with it. Larry's brilliantly comical narration was ad libbed right off the top of his head. I am playing rhythm guitar to Larry's lead. Stan is on bass, Pierre on the drums. Sound effects and animal noises provided by myself, Stan and Pierre. (5:55)
Religiosity: This is another Pierre spectacular. He began the tune on his bass after someone said something about Halloween, which was coming up in a day or two. He segued into the "Theme from the Adams Family" TV show and we all caught on to his spooky theme idea. Then suddenly, Pierre shifted gears and took it into a religious direction by starting to chant like an Native American shaman - we all happily followed suit and once more, madness reigned... Stan played guitar, I was on the drums, Larry played the piano on this track. (3:41)
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