About Jane Lane


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I grew up in Birmingham in the seventies when musical women were by definition singers. I was introduced to the piano at a very early age, and I developed perfect pitch very quickly (not by choice). It was always my assumption that everyone knew what all the notes were that they were hearing all the time, and also what colour they were and what they tasted like...so I spent a happy childhood with this synaesthetic secret. I think music is just central to how I think. I would use spare time on the train on the way home from school composing song after song, complete with chords, melody and instrumentation in my head and on scraps of paper, and play them when I got home on a piano. I would then record them on a tape recorder and play several recorders at once to get the effect - at about the time when I guess Phil (my husband) was playing with real recording gear. I'm assuming there are a lot of people who are like this with a musical imagination, and plenty who don't even play instruments or a musical background, and that must make it even harder to express themselves.

I'm not really a singer so after that there was nowhere to go to. Music study wasn't an option, I never felt any connection with what was studied under the name of music and what I wanted to do. I was shuffled into the world of language teaching. The study of languages is a great socially inclusive thing and this did absorb me for a decade. I did try being in a band as a keyboardist but this soon came to an end - not surprisingly over a problem of roles. I also won a competition or two for songwriting. But I soon realised there was no way into any career where I would be creating music, and there were certainly no signposts saying how to make the transition from a high powered educational background into that world, so I studied Arabic and worked in the Middle East for twelve years as a challenge I could win.

Rhythmically I fell in love with disco and the way jazz harmonies were made accessible in some of those old tracks. But
I think my formative creative era was the Punk revolution - not exactly musically, but it did teach me that music and entertainment were strongly linked and that less could definitely be more where expressing an idea was concerned. I also love psychedelia and melodic genres, but for me there has to be something itchy in there that makes you question. And life experience and travel has also taught me how much fun you can have without changing the chords in a track at all.

In 1995 I met Phil who has developed and encouraged me technologically so given me access to an awful lot more power to produce and to access those other interesting quirky things through production. It took me a couple of years to decide I wanted a rhyming name, but I've been Jane Lane ever since. We also had two lovely kids, one of each,who are now huge and very differently talented.

I'd like to think things have changed for women in the music business, but ostensibly not that much actually has. There are few role models admitted by the media, and the mandatory visual component of any modern release these days is definitely a step backwards, as it makes the judgement of a track a much more complex thing which can be swayed by the "dirty media" of visual cues. Equality seems to have simply meant women now have the power to exploit themselves, which they actually do very successfully! Having said that, it means there is a whole new dimension to explain your track should you wish or need to do so. One of today's big questions, which I often play with in my work.

I've worked now in a recording studio in Llanfyllin, on the Powys Shropshire border for fifteen years, and have always found myself hurtling towards the admin - mostly because I want the business to survive financially. This has not left me with much freedom to create. So I figured I'd better make my own changes. I'm not really into women-only facilities, that'd be a little alien to me after all the years of working alongside the blokes - but I like to think I'm sympathetic to the pitfalls facing women recording artists as they move through their career.

My songwriting work has included the development of background music and soundtracks which have been used commercially, work with songwriters and singers in helping them to find harmonies or new melody lines or lyrics, the development of live songs for public shows. Finally, for the last few years I have been engaged in the writing of tracks for Henry's Machine and latterly Hookstick, which have been sung by Kes C, Little Ryos and Sam Gomm in particular. In 2015 seven singles were released onto the market and promoted on over 100 radio stations up and down the UK. We are now moving into a high-powered disco funk phase of work with a live band with current band members including Jonny Welburn, Tom Stedman, Philip Lane, myself, and of course Kes C.

Because of the way I question music heritage, I do like to look at alternative and ground-breaking styles. I sometimes look back through history with nostalgia, but sometimes deliberately don't, and often look forwards and focus on avant-garde naive and complex ideas as well as more traditional material. Unfortunately I'm appalling with names, so will never be a name-dropper anyway. I'm a great believer in dance music to fully engage people and am really interested in music which projects alternative ideas and challenges, and forces questions. Simple ideas which rely on a minimal backing and focus on vocals also are very appealing.

During my Jane Lane songwriting and recording sessions, I like to work with singers who have "half the picture". Maybe you have words, or a tune buzzing around in your head, but nowhere to put it, maybe no harmonies, or trouble with structure. The places where I excel as an individual are in hearing the initial tune, picking out harmonies, and developing a feel for the end style, which I can often do early on in the process. I work equally well in acoustic and electro styles, and prefer work with vocalists because this helps to project emotions and more sophisticated ideas at this important stage.

I'm happy to work with your ideas, and so long as you can give me an idea of the genre you're looking at, or tell me what to listen to, then that's the way we'll go.


Jane Lane is a songwriter at the Beehouse Recording Studio
Jane Lane
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