Hen House Studio
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2009)|
Hen House Studios, an independent record label and documentary film/video production company located in Venice Beach, California, was founded in 2001 by composer and film director Harlan Steinberger and long-time friend and video producer/editor Tucker Stilley, and designed to produce an affordable outlet for music, spoken word, and other forms of creative genre.
The studio was converted from a hen house (hence its name), and first opened in 2001. During the first five years of the company’s existence, Hen House recorded bands for free in the exchange for the right to film them. Director Harlan Steinberger describes this time as "extremely fruitful", as there was no exchange of money between Hen House and the musicians who recorded there. He has been quoted saying, "What we were left with was a pressure free, extremely creative environment that led to not only great performances but to one heck of a good time."
Today, Hen House Studios no longer records bands for free, but still concentrates on developing musicians, making music and videos and its ever-evolving music label.
Former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek has composed for Hen House label improvisational music collaborating with the Spoken Words of poet Michael C. Ford Drummer John Densmore, also formally a member of the Doors, also did collaborative work under the Hen House label. Native American singer and actor Floyd Red Crow Westerman's A Tribute to Johnny Cash (2006) was also produced under this label, along with and Maria Vidal's Living in Radical Radiance (2009).
Spoken word artists
The studio has worked with artists like Michael C. Ford, Robert Peters (including his album Going Down the River in a Hayloft Coffin) and Ellyn Maybe, actor/poet Harry Northup, Fred Voss, and Joan Jobe Smith.