Jonathan Townes

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

GPLXS019 Beautiful Dreamer (2018)

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Gig coming

I'm really looking forward to my upcoming gig at the Roasthouse Pub (see this website's calendar for deets), in my hometown, Frederick, MD. Preparing a few select covers. Some VERY old. Fingers crossed.
Thursday, February 15th, 2018


The year was 1993. I had been writing jazz songs for about two years with at least fifty under my belt. The previous two years had been all about saxophone. I quit playing guitar to follow Coltrane. I was also beginning to flex my songwriting muscles. Then it happened. I heard the most inspiring bass playing wafting down my dormitory hall. It was Neal Fountain. There was no way I could keep up with him on tenor. The only way was to dust off my guitar. And so I did. We played for a few hours. A couple weeks. A few months before, I watched a video of the John Abercrombie Quartet live at the Village Vanguard. The music stuck in my head. We needed some songs and I needed to write new music. Qadr was the beginning of my second songwriting period.
The year is now 2017. My friend Andy Sanesi wanted to record new music. Our last record was "Lookatchurself Reggie Measuresworth," in 2006. Liveart's last release was "This is Secret Music," in 1999. It was time. So, we scheduled a day to record a couple tunes. It was Burbank in August at Gary Novak's studio. We were extremely fortunate to have Katisse Buckingham and Tim Lefebrve. Qadr was one of two tunes recorded at this session. A long journey from writing to recording, but well worth the wait.
~ Jonathan Townes (Frederick, MD, 15 February 2018)
Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

Working Title

We're working on the final tracks for the upcoming release (working title: Faeriecake Island), featuring me on guitar; Andy Sanesi: Drums; Katisse Buckingham: saxophone; Tim Lefebvre: bass.
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

GPLXS017 A Dream (2017)

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

More New Music, on the way

Back in August, I made a trip to Los Angeles to record a couple of my tunes. I was in the middle of finishing up some projects BUT those are now complete. So... I've begun, in ernest, to finish up what I started with the amazing Andy Sanesi, the incomparable Katisse Buckingham, and the magical Tim Lefebvre. Look for at least one single to be released around the top of 2018. I can't wait for you to hear it!
~ Jonathan Townes (Frederick, MD -- 03 December 2017)
Monday, November 13th, 2017

Rock music's where it's at...

I'm excited about the next few projects coming up. I'm seriously contemplating a straight ahead rock/pop number. And, knowing me, it'll end up somewhere COMPLETELY different. Stay tuned for more infos! ~ JT (13 Nov 2017, Frederick, MD)
Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Review #2 - You Are the Reason for Everything

Byron William at just reviewed YATRFE. You can read his kind review here ⇾
Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Dream vocals

Black and white photo of a chair and micrcophones
Just recorded the vocals for “A Dream” and now on to the mix. But, in the meantime, Colin McGuire at the Frederick News-Post invited me for a podcast. It was a lot of fun. Man, he asks great questions.... ⇾
Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

GPLXS016 You Are the Reason for Everything (2017)

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Review #1 - You Are the Reason for Everything

Pete Amara at Music Box gave a glowing review of my latest release, called "You Are the Reason for Everything." You can read it here ⇾
Saturday, October 28th, 2017

A Dream

I've recorded just about all the instruments for the new song. The orchestral parts came to about 100 in number. Added all the electric and acoustic guitars today and yesterday. All that remains are harp, harpsichords and vocals. I'm really excited to begin mixing this track. Working toward a target of -16 LUFS loudness normalization will allow me to mix this song without having to make this recording as loud as possible and lose all the dynamics. CAN'T WAIT for you to hear it!!!!
~ JT (Frederick, MD - 28 Oct 2017)
Saturday, October 21st, 2017

New Project - A Dream

In June of 2015, I completed the orchestration on a new song. At the time, I was planning on asking local Arcata musicians to perform on the project. A few months later, I relocated to my home town of Frederick Maryland.
A couple weeks ago I began cleaning up the arrangement and recording the orchestral parts. As it turns out, working out the orchestration for YATRFE was excellent preparation for this song. I've always been inspired by music that takes the traditional drum part and gives it to some other instrument or sound. In this way, I've distributed the drum part between 12 orchestral percussion players. However, what I find really the most exciting part of the arrangement so far are the 9 french horn parts.... 
I'm hoping to have this mixed, mastered, and released wery, wery soon.
-JT (21 October 2017, Frederick, MD)
Wednesday, October 4th, 2017


I pushed up the release date by a few days... It’s ready!!!!!!
Hear it. Buy it. ⇾
In most of my songs (that have lyrics) I switch duties between lyrics and music — the harmony tells the story which takes us on a journey; the lyrics set the mood. YATRFE is no exception. We start at one point and hopefully, by the end, we’re asking, “How did we end up here?!?” And so, we listen once (or twice) more.
So, what’s the story? The story is actually a personal scrapbook of my travels up the California Coast. It’s a super specific vision, but it holds much of the magic I experienced driving between San Diego and Arcata. The lyrics happened all at once and really speak about a very personal experience.
This is the nutshell...
I can’t recall
Just what I need
But when we fall
I see what you mean to me
About all the days
Those places we dream
You are my life
The reason for everything
Dance to the stars
Wade through the deep
I’ll never stop being
You’re all I hear, all I see
Drink all your thoughts, wonder-full
Brightly pleased
Wine ’til we’re blind
Laughing long, playing truths, start to ease
Walls crumbling dawn
Silent release You, as am I
Steeled by melodies, sweet songs we sing
Never in time
The Galaxy’s seen
Two souls entwined
As you are, right here with me
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

I’ve been a user of Garritan Personal Orchestra since version 4. And since it’s release, I’d read about using single player instruments to build ensembles. However, I’d not found any examples on-line. The following excerpt is from a song I’ll be releasing on 24 December 2017 called “You Are the Reason for Everything,” using Garritan Personal Orchestra 5. I’ve managed to use single player instruments almost exclusively, with the exception of “Violins 1 Lush” which double the single player violins toward the end of the first section. I hope you’ll find this example useful.

~ Jonathan

You Are the Reason for Everything Words, music, & arrangement by Jonathan Townes Copyright © & ℗ 2017 Jonathan Townes. Published by Giglaeoplexis Publishing (ASCAP).

Instrument list:

Bass Trombone 1 Solo
Bass Trombone 2 Solo
SAM Bass Trombone Solo KS

Tuba 1 Solo
Tuba 2 Solo
SAM Tuba Solo KS

Violins 1 Lush

Violin 1 Plr1
Violin 1 Plr2
Violin 1 Plr3
Violin 2 Plr1
Violin 2 Plr2
Violin 3 Plr1

Viola 1 Plr1
Viola 1 Plr2
Viola 1 Plr3

Cello 1 Plr1
Cello 1 Plr2
Cello 1 Plr3
Cello 2 Plr1
Cello 2 Plr2
Cello 2 Plr3

Double Bass 1 Plr1
Double Bass 1 Plr2
Double Bass 1 Plr3
Monday, September 11th, 2017


Last night, I finished mixing the new song You Are the Reason for Everything (YATRFE). Now on to mastering. I’m excited to complete this project. I have a couple other singles to complete. Hoping to get it all finished before the first day of 2018 — a 60s r&b waltz and a spaghetti western/james bond number.
Friday, June 30th, 2017

In prepartion for an upcoming session, I recorded this version of Qadr using a few of my favourite tools. I recently discovered a pretty fabulous guitar to midi converter called Jam Origin. I used it convert my guitar signal directly to midi, recorded into Reaper. From there, I used the recorded midi to control Broomstick Bass, and the equally fabulous MDA E-piano. The drums are Superior Drummer, playing EZX Jazz midi. Lead guitar is a headless guitar I built with one of my best friends, through a Marshall 9000-Apmlitube4.
Friday, June 30th, 2017


I love writing songs. It’s the one pursuit I love most in life. I love crafting melodies. I love sculpting a performance. I love building a mix. I also hate these things because they takeover my entire life. During the course from composition to final release, my life follows an extremely narrow trajectory that allows inclusion of only a single purpose — the song. There is no happiness, no joy, apart from the song and its inevitable and impending completion. And when I do eventually reach the end of the process, the joy I experience is brief and fleeting. And, after a short journey back into the world of man, I submerge myself, my psyche, under the suffering and joyful waters of the next song. :( :| :) :| :(