“Two Weeks Inside Breaks Free” is the title for a partnership and works that will be created out of the intersection of the “Two Weeks Inside Project” and the “Breath Free on Wings in Rhythm Project” . Both projects originated with Karen Lile Productions.
Two Weeks Inside Project
The Two Weeks Inside Project began under the direction of Karen Earle Lile, with the music that 60 musicians created at Fantasy Studios in the two weeks after it closed. It began because an independently owned recording studio, Fantasy Studios, beloved of musicians for decades, was closed with very little notice, when the building owner decided to sell the building and divest the studio of its name. At the time of its closing, all contracts and bookings in the studio were cancelled and recording activities were stopped. The studio owed Piano Finders 72 hours of recording sessions, for the rebuilding work of Kendall Ross Bean on the Bill Evans piano, and had not paid it yet. So, Piano Finders was given two weeks to use the recording time after the studio closed on Sept 15, 2018. Kendall Ross Bean, gave the 72 hours of recording time to Lile and asked her to use it for something meaningful, because he had not been given enough notice (two weeks) to prepare to record an album of his own music. The original agreement between Fantasy Studios and Piano Finders was that Bean would rebuild the Bill Evans piano and then use the recording time for his own albums.
Lile turned the two weeks notice and two weeks recording time, into the “Two Weeks Inside Project” and engaged the contributions of her friends and those musicians recommended to her through her partnership with KCSM Jazz to create a benefit album that helped raise $300,000 for this beloved public benefit radio station in Feb 2019. Official Website
In 2020, the SARS Covid 19 pandemic shut down recording studios, venues, schools and festival spaces around the world. On June 5, 2021, Lile partnered the Two Weeks Inside Project with the “Breathe Free on Wings in Rhythm Project”.
It had been our hope, as musicians and producers contributing to the Two Weeks Inside KCSM Jazz album, that the Fantasy Studios space would re-open with new ownership, under a different name, to continue making this beloved space available to professional musicians for the recording projects essential to their livelihoods. But, it has been 3 years, and the studio remains closed to the musicians who once recorded there.
Now with the pandemic closing everything, something needs to be done to allow this music, the film begun by Michael J. Kofford inside the two weeks recording session, and spirit of camaraderie and fellowship of all who created the music in Sept 2018, to break free from restraints and benefit the creators.
The Breathe Free on Wings in Rhythm project is a living expanding project, and it seems the best placement of everyone’s investment in the Two Weeks Inside Project, to partner with it.
My hope is that energy and beauty created by the collaboration of all these musicians for the two weeks of recording inside Fantasy Studios after its closing, can be like the Phoenix, and out of the ashes of a studio death, will be reborn into many projects and the public awareness of the needs of the creators who are dependent upon having space available to gather in to perform and record.
And as a side note, two weeks is way too short a time to work with and it was a personal sacrifice for all of us to do what we did. My hope is that in the future, those closing buildings and venues that musicians and engineers depend upon for their livelihoods, will not do it with only two weeks notice, but rather in a thoughtful and collaborative way, that gives everyone plenty of time to plan a more gentle transition from one space to the next. ~ Karen Earle Lile, June 5, 2021.
Two Weeks Inside Breaks Free: The Album and Film
Karen Lile Productions Publishing has commissioned a jazz arrangement of “Break Free on Wings of Music” to be created by Kendall Ross Bean, Jonah Kim and Leon Joyce, Jr. to be recorded at Skywalker Sound on June 15, 2021.
Karen Lile Productions has commissioned Michael J. Kofford to finish the documentary that began in Fantasy Studios on Sept 18-30th, 2018 with new documentary footage and interviews to be filmed during the session at Skywalker Sound on June 15, 2021. The documentary will not only tell the story of what musicians do to transform their sorrow and loss into music to inspire and uplift others, it will help raise public awareness of the needs of musicians and creators to be included in the decision making and advance transition planning for the spaces they use to record and perform in, that are essential to their livelihoods.