Daniel J. Thorn ’11 loves music. He knows it, and his friends and colleagues know it. In addition to coming off a year-long stint as the General Manager of student-run Harvard Radio Broadcasting (WHRB), Thorn also has a hand in creating his own music, as well as crafting playlists on his weekly radio show.
Thorn is a member of not just one, but two separate bands—The Sinister Turns and the more recently formed Hedge Fund. Thorn says he was quick to ally himself with like-minded musicians almost as soon as he arrived on-campus. “I’ve been [making music] all the time I’ve been at school. I joined my first band in October of freshman year,” he says. “I enjoy working with other musicians on campus—by far some of the most interesting people I’ve met here.”
“He’s definitely a big creative force in the band,” says Jacob N. Augenstern ’10, the vocalist for Hedge Fund. “He’s a very talented guitarist, and he just has this knack for taking things he hears and mixing them together to make some really great riffs.” In addition to the countless hours Thorn spends composing guitar and bass parts, he also has the prowess to work the recording equipment in the newly opened Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH) recording studio. “His knowledge about music equipment both playing and recording is kind of ridiculous,” says Augenstern.
Besides composing and performing, Thorn has spent much of his time at Harvard serving the radio station, hosting shows for various departments and running the gamut from jazz to The Darker Side of hip hop to Record Hospital’s punk rock maladies.
Parker M. Crane ’13, who spent last summer working in sales for WHRB, recalls Thorn’s jack-of-all-trades persona. “He knows all the ins and outs of the station so it was pretty valuable having him around,” Crane says. “Despite having never been in sales, he somehow knew all the stuff I had to do, so it was incredibly helpful.”
In addition, Crane is quick to mention Dan’s vast love for all kinds of music. When discussing different bands and their influences, Crane recalls Thorn pulling out all manner of factoids and obscure influences for any band one could think of. “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with an encyclopedic knowledge of music like Dan’s. I can see him being a fantastic music writer.”
For Thorn, music not only brings students together on campus, but presents an opportunity to explore outside the gates of Harvard Yard. After graduation, he plans to stay in Boston and continue honing his craft. “Right now, my plans are just to keep recording and making music in Boston for the next year,” he says, optimistic about the myriad of opportunities. “I’m looking forward to it a lot. Boston’s a great place to be if you’re into DJing and electronic music and the punk rock scene.”
Despite being skilled in nearly every aspect of music composition and production, however, Thorn has not let that get to his head. “He’s just one of the friendliest people I’ve probably ever met … He’s driven and knowledgeable yet humble,” says Augenstern.
—Staff writer Brian A. Feldman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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