Le Studio

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Logo of Le Studio

Le Studio was a recording studio located just south of the town of Morin Heights, Quebec built in 1974 by André Perry and Yaël Brandeis. It was regarded as the first 'environmental' recording studio outside a major urban center. The venue introduced a concept which defied convention for sound studios: a large floor-to-ceiling glass wall (which contradicted acoustic rules), providing an unobstructed view of Lac Perry and the surrounding Laurentian Mountains. The intent was to provide state-of-the-art technology with a nurturing, creative atmosphere.

Many international artists recorded their albums at Le Studio, including Rush, Nazareth, The Police, Sting, Cat Stevens, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, Keith Richards, April Wine, Kim Mitchell and Bryan Adams. These artists would ensconce themselves at Le Studio and its guest house for the duration of their recording process, which could last from between one to four months or more.

The engineering staff included: Nick Blagona, Ed Stasium, Leanne Unger, Paul Northfield. André & Yaël Perry sold Le Studio in 1988.

"As of October 2011, Le Studio remains unoccupied and basically abandoned. We have visited the site a few times this summer, and lately someone has definitely tried breaking in. The main door has sadly been hacked out around the lock and the door pins pulled to unsuccessfully gain access. Signs that someone may have illegally squatted there can be seen from the rear where we can see a makeshift woodstove and chimney, having been used for heat. Clearly, if anyone has acquired the property they have no interest in returning it to any kind of use. The piano that can be seen in most of the videos online sits there, unused. The pool table that countless personalities must have played, and is seen in April Wine's "I Like To Rock" video, is also still present, including cues." – Yaël Brandeis, Le Studio manager

Le Studio featured in the music video for Limelight by Rush

2000s[edit]

According to a 2006 blog post by Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist of Rush, Le Studio closed and sat abandoned, not far from his residence in Quebec:

"I drove us [Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee] to my house on the lake, sometimes playing Finnish rally driver on the snow-covered roads. Along the way, we passed near the village of Morin Heights, where we had shared so many good times, recording at Le Studio — now closed and abandoned. The number of albums we had made there stretched from Permanent Waves in 1979 to Counterparts in 1994." – Neil Peart

The house and grounds are featured in the music videos of the recording sessions of the Rush songs "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight" and "Vital Signs".[1] The studio is also seen in April Wine's music video for "I Like to Rock."

The 233-acre (0.94 km2) site was listed for sale in July 2007, with an asking price of C$2.45 million.[2] The property remained for sale until 2009, when the land was purchased with the intent to convert the area to a retreat and spa.

A video of Le Studio was made in August, 2010, by a fan who lives in the area, detailing its deteriorated state: [1]

As of May, 2011, the building remains in the same condition as shown in the above video: unpowered, unheated, unoccupied and with no upkeep. At that time, a documentary was made by fans at the property in cooperation with its current owners. Video and photography was shot on site for archival purposes, covering the entire inside of the building and its current state. These fans launched a Le Studio channel, in 2011, found here: [2]. The first episode of the documentary was launched on the site in early May 2014. The documentary shows that Le Studio – still empty except for the piano and the pool table, gutted, and run down – has sat abandoned for over a decade now.

Albums recorded at Le Studio[edit]

Title Artist Year released
Numbers Cat Stevens 1975
Children of the World The Bee Gees 1976
Morin Heights Pilot 1976
1 fois 5 (enregistrement devant public) Robert Charlebois, Yvon Deschamps, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Claude Léveillée et Gilles Vigneault 1976
Lavender Hill Mob Lavender Hill Mob 1976
Vladimir Vysotsky Vladimir Vysotsky 1976
Fountains of Light Starcastle 1977
Expect No Mercy Nazareth 1977
Street of Dreams Lavender Hill Mob 1978
Safety in Numbers Crack the Sky 1978
Chicago 13 Chicago 1979
Harder ..... Faster April Wine 1979
Permanent Waves Rush 1980
Thrillz Walter Zwol & The Rage 1980
Ghost in the Machine
- "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" song only
The Police 1981
Moving Pictures Rush 1981
You Want It You Got It Bryan Adams 1981
Signals Rush 1982
Straight Between the Eyes Rainbow 1982
Synchronicity (overdubs) The Police 1983
Alpha Asia 1983
In The Red Fist 1983
Grace Under Pressure Rush 1984
Tonight David Bowie 1984
Boy in the Box Corey Hart 1985
The Thin Red Line Glass Tiger 1986
Shakin' Like a Human Being Kim Mitchell 1986
Secrets of the Alibi The Northern Pikes 1988
Big Houses Eight Seconds 1988
Talk Is Cheap Keith Richards 1988
Presto Rush 1989
Hell to Pay The Jeff Healey Band 1990
Roll the Bones Rush 1991
Gordon Barenaked Ladies 1992
...but you can call me Larry Lawrence Gowan 1993
Counterparts Rush 1993
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Sarah McLachlan 1994
Matapédia Kate and Anna McGarrigle 1996
Creature Moist 1996
Fascinoma Jon Hassell 1999
Since August Since August 2000
The Interzone Mantras The Tea Party 2001
Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome To The Tangiers Soap Opera 2002

References[edit]

  1. ^ NeilPeart.net - News posting April 26, 2006
  2. ^ Sale brochure The property was still for sale as of November, 2008

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°52′34″N 74°16′11″W / 45.876137°N 74.269848°W / 45.876137; -74.269848