Artist Spotlight: Jane Free
- Who are you and Where are you from?
My name is Jane Free and I am from planet earth! Jocelyn Jane is the name my parents gave me, I have been integrating this creative persona, Jane Free since October 2019. I was raised in OC and escaped when I was 16 y.o. up to the Mt Shasta area followed by 5-10 ‘nomadic years.’
Long Beach has cradled me in her loving arms since 2005, I started Sacred Roots Holistic Healing in 2012, followed by launching Panacea Holistic Institute - bodywork college in 2018 in the bluff heights.
I am a musician, film producer + emotional liberation advocate.
- How did you get involved in the Long Beach music scene?
From 2008-2010 my brother and I had a 6 piece band called ‘Free Lions’ - we would play shows in LB at the Prospector, Dipiazzas, Fern’s, Alex’s bar the list goes on! Then in 2014/15 another brother, April Matulich aka ‘DJ Pril’ and I played some shows in LB with her band ‘Karma Dog.’
In 2012 I started the holistic collective Sacred Roots Holistic Healing, where we have hosted scores of live musicians / sound baths / virtual concerts- including launching the ‘Homegrown Concert Series’ in 2019. The yoga / healing arts community led me to my music producer Derek Poulsen - I didn’t know he played music - I thought he was just my yoga student that looked like an analog astronaut. Turns out he would be an essential role in getting Jane >>>> Free . . in 2020 I started producing/ hosting a radio show with KLBP Long Beach Public Radio called ‘Morning Intentions’ and brought in the skilled audio engineering of Anthony Colocho. That’s a good jumping off point...
- How did the band get started and who plays in the group?
For the ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’ recording we had my 3 year old (at the time) Opal Joy on opening vocals, my husband Jason Miller, on singing bowls, Chrissy ‘Sopurkh Shapeshifter’ Cox on gong, Ram Bhakt on keys, Derek Poulsen on drums / some bass, Angela Jane Bachmann on vox and strings, Anthony Colocho on guitar. And myself on lead vox / auxiliary percussion / acoustic guitar etc.
The band concept is one that evolves - a band that never has the same members. A band that never plays the same song twice (I joke !) but it is an open concept… rotating members, rotating genres- whatever it takes to stay free and creating.
My best friend committed suicide in 2013, he was a friend I would write music with, drive cross country with, make movies with, farm with … he was a dear one. After processing the initial shock of his death, I set to honor him through a musical world tour - one that would bring forward emotional freedom tools for humanity, illuminating grief and suffering. A mission that would help me get free, too.
In 2019, I was jamming with Derek Poulsen (analog astronaut) - of Dream Machine LB recording studio, we were messing with some vocal distortion pedals in his pillow floored living room… this is where I confessed my undying love for musical expression - and spoke into being the seed of the ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’.
From that time forward I had my work cut out - Derek left town for a gypsy mission while I started to orchestrate, jam, collab with a few other local heroes - my 92 year old friend- drumming legend- Chuck Wackerman, had us over to his drumming garage - where I focused on getting tempo and timing locked in. We wrote the beginning of song 003 of ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’: ‘Into Oblivion’ in one of those sessions. I brought over some mentors including Angela Jane Bachmann and Anthony Colocho of Studio Classless.
Jane Free Music had the first Emotional Freedom event and live performance with Chuck Wackerman and Angela Jane at 4th street Vine on 2/23/2020. We were raising funds for suicide awareness, Under the Sun raw vegan restaurant brought some goods, Band of Wizards played, massages were given! The movement was officially born!
In May + June of 2020 we recorded the ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’ in 3 sittings at Dream Machine LB.
The ‘Kismet Music Film’ and Original Soundtrack premiered at the ‘D.I.Y. Film Fest’ on July 23, 2021 at the Long Beach Scottish Rite. Both projects born from Jane Free Productions. Over 80-100 cars on deck to watch our film premiere along with the other local talents featured! It was epic to watch this devotional work on a 40 foot x 40 foot drive-in theater screen!
- What is the writing process like? How do you flush out your ideas?
Typically melodies / lyrics come first for me. When I can get a few moments away from motherhood- I like to use the voice memo function on my phone and capture any inspired sounds, lyrics, melodies.
I am a sophomoric guitar player after 20 years … but I can strum and finger pick through some designs.
Because I really don’t want a stale “overplayed” sound - I prefer to record a song that hasn’t been fully flushed out - take it in a few organic directions 🧭 then chop it up in post, as needed. Followed by layering in a second or third layer of instruments/ or sound after the engineered structure has been established. Other songs are just straight up, not engineered, raw and acoustic - which also has its intrigue. The point is - there is no point - no specific plan beyond what each song calls for. And to stay FREE during the process. Noticing tension, disharmony in the process, taking breaks, making changes that promote a continued sense of feeling free to create.
- Do you self record / self produce? Have you collaborated with any songwriters, engineers or producers that you’d like to mention? If so, what was that experience like compared to going at it on your own?
I love my friends. I love these producers and musicians mentioned above. I love all the guest instrumentalists - vocalist- artists- producers who made the ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’ exist and become an award winning expression! It has been eye opening to see the many ways people go about creating music, translating their dreams into song.
Together is the way - so much to learn, more growth available and cherished memories.
- Most dreaded question every artist has to answer, how would you describe your sound?
I don’t really know but it is changing all the time. For ‘Kismet’: psychedelic rock / sound bath rock n roll/ singer songwriter folk (ish)... For the new single ‘The Bardo’ mayyyybe - ambient psych (?)
Who has influenced your songwriting the most?
Janis, Jimi, Leonard Cohen, Judy Garland, Joni Mitchell, Rumi, Shakespeare, Mozart, Radiohead, Beck, Black Moth, Mother Nature, my kids, my husband.
- What song are you most proud of and why?
‘Dying day’ blew my fucking mind. The memory of watching Anthony + Angela jam out the guitar parts in the studio brings joy tears to my face. Why did it blow my mind? I had it set to release on my muse’s birthday, the farmer musician who died - that I mentioned above for the world tour ! One lyric includes “I’m not gonna wait, for your dying day” … as the world turns - my mom died on that day 9/20/2020. 3 weeks after we finished the mastering of the ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack’ - 2 months before film production. Which is part of why the project is titled as such. Kismet : noun
- Is there anything you’ve had your eyes / ears on recently that you’d like to incorporate into your sound?
We have been foraging organic sounds to incorporate in the music building process. Seagulls + boats clanking, rains + winds, natural running waters, industrial clammering. Also looking into brain wave motivated music making. Possibly bi-nural beats for insomnia/ anxiety / depression relief.
I’ve been offering monthly ‘sound bath jams’ on the second Friday of the month. I’ve been working with old music boxes, tuning forks, seed rattles, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, acoustic guitar, electric tempura, koshi chimes, and typically with a guest gongest. If you wanna bath - Join us every Friday evening, 7:30 at Sacred Roots for a sound bath meditation experience.
- Congrats on your win at the Toronto film Fest for your Music Video, “Kismet”! What was the inspiration behind the song (film) ?
‘Kismet ’ is our debut 30 minute music film - a visual album reflecting the 7 song ‘Kismet Original Soundtrack.’ The song cycle was motivated by dead people (as mentioned above) and then activated by living people. (Thank you Jane Free Productions and Music!)
I have been wanting to study and practice the art of filmmaking since 1999 (post Fight Club moment) . Making the ‘Kismet’ film has been a huge part of my grieving process for my mom - and simultaneously a healing for that 12 year old kid that wanted to ‘make film when she grew up.’ Each production day was a ceremonial affair, big waves of grief and bliss would rise and fall - and we would capture that.
In 2021 (in the midst of the 5 month ‘Kismet’ film production window ) I began studying film via a Yellowbrick NYU TISCH Film Production certificate program. I barely took any course work until the post-production of the film because I was too immersed in the making of it.
- Did you shoot and edit the film yourself, or did you work with a team? What was that process like?
Jane Free Productions was born during this production. We had over 70 people involved: 7-10 on the videography team, 6 dancers, 6 musicians, 15 cast, 15 crew (ish) stylist, production, lights, camera, action! I had the honor of attempting executive production + direction. I brought in two mentor/ professionals for post: Kyle Crawford of Glass House Visuals for the editing and Isaac Svensson of 7Sun Media for color.
This was all a huge experiment!!! Which has led ‘Kismet Music Film’ to winning four awards and four recognition's in the film festival circuit. Recognition includes focus on: Original Score, Composer, film editing, women in film, dance film + experimental short film (EXTREMELY EXPERIMENTAL). Absolutely mind blowing.
- What was the most challenging aspect of making the video? How did you overcome it?
Acclimating to post-production fatigue. To overcome this, I’m adding more time in the pre-production phase of film development, applying what I am learning in the NYU/ TISCH program. I am reducing the production density / expectations on shoot days, resulting in less stress/ more ease. My goal is to bring a higher quality of life to the film production environment while getting as weird and free as possible.
- Any new releases coming up?
Jane Free Music’s next single release is coming mid summer 2022 and it is my final project for the film program!!! We are currently in post-production on the visual. The song was recorded in one take for the first time ever on my 36th birthday accompanied by Derek. (-I think that was the day I met you guys from Stack FX ?!?) Instrumentations include: vibraphone/ dual synths/ jingly bells/ seed rattle and vocals.
- Long term goals for your music?
Emotional Freedom World Tour !!!!!!!!! Creating a non-profit that can help the younger generations have a deeper sense of emotional intelligence and articulation. Getting all the Janes free ✅
Jane Free Productions intends on making more moving visuals for other musicians and writers. Planting the seed to collab with creatives who are aligned with the emotional liberation movement.
- What do you feel is most unique or special about the Long Beach music scene?
Everyone has made out with each other? JK !!!!! It is a big dysfunctional, loving family - I feel right at home. I enjoy watching how supportive Long Beach musicians are for each other’s projects - warms the heart!
- Do you want to Shout out to anyone special In the community?
Michael De La Torre / DJ Pril / The Garage Theatre / Erin Grissom / Anastasia Klaffert / Alex Rix / Jasmine Canales / Jordan Hermosillo / Lorenzo Kassel - the list goes on….
- Any advice you want to give younger musicians getting started in the music scene?
Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you, your approaches or your music sway you from expressing your truth. ( that includes your own.)
Dream Machine LB is a wizard portal located on 10th and MLK in DTLB. Please request Derek Poulsen if you’d like to get your songs realized.
- local album: ‘Uncommon Likeness’ - Angela Jane Bachmann
- local band: Smooth Jas
- local restaurant: Rassellbach
- local bar: The Bamboo Club
- Spot to play: The Compound (not sure if they do live shows - but I’d like to start!)
Watch "Kismet" Now:
FILM PRESS KIT : https://www.janefree.life/presskit