Music News & Reviews

Hand-picked talent delivers the goods for Lexington music producer's project

Fanged Robot Robby Cosenza did some solitary picking during  his 10in20 recording project at Shangri-la productions. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff
Fanged Robot Robby Cosenza did some solitary picking during his 10in20 recording project at Shangri-la productions. Photos by Mark Cornelison | Staff Herald-Leader

Duane Lundy wanted to focus on Lexington music.

The musician-producer has worked with a variety of artists at his studio, Shangri-la Studios, including Jim James, Ben Sollee and These United States, on major projects.

"I wanted something that I thought would be creatively challenging but highly doable for label-album-release-quality work," Lundy said. "So, I came up with the idea of, 'Give me two days, one artist, one band, one track. In those two days, do some arrangement work, the actual tracking, the song, the overdubs, the mix, put a bow on it and be done. That idea was really attractive to me, knowing when I was going to be done with the project, and I got to hand-pick the people I would work with."

Lundy chose a who's who of 10 Lexington-based musicians including Matt Duncan and Coralee and the Townies for those sessions in a project dubbed 10 in 20.

"It's a musical community that I worked with before, that I really love and that I wanted to work with again in a way that was a little bit of a twist on what normally happens," Lundy says.

That's been going on for almost a year. The tracks are recorded, the album is available digitally, as are videos for each track, at 10in20.net, and the project is in the midst of a fund-raising campaign for vinyl release of the album, slated for November. People who want to support it may do so at the Kickstarter-like site Pledgemusic.com/artists/10in20, where premiums range from a preorder of the record for $15, two tickets to the album release party Nov. 10 at Cosmic Charlie's for $20 or a party at Shangri-la with Coralee and the Townies for $2,500.

Lundy observes that online crowd-source funding has become standard in music, and he thinks its a good thing.

"Being able to fund yourself and getting your fan base behind you, the community behind you, makes for a much more interesting product," he says. "I love the mom-and- pop-ness that's afforded to us now. That's how we really approached this project: to make it a boutique corner market of Lexington music."

Lundy's primary collaborators, aside from the bands, were two old friends: photographer and videographer Mark Cornelison and Jennifer Miller, who handled a lot of the business end of the project and the video editing.

Video is another thing that comes with the territory these days, Lundy says. He and Cornelison, a Herald-Leader photographer, agreed they wanted to distinguish the project with a vintage look. It was shot using DSLR cameras and iPhones, and edited in a format that recalls mid-20th century films such as The Thomas Crown Affair and Woodstock.

For Cornelison, known for distinctive, mood-defining lighting, it pushed him to refine his video skills to get a look similar to his still photos. Shangri-la, which Cornelison described as having a "thrift-store" aesthetic, gave him a visual setting as rich as the sounds being captured, and videos were released as they were completed so artists had a good idea what was happening. For Cornelison, who has long had his eye on local music, the complete project was still a discovery.

He says his wife recently watched all the videos again in one sitting, "and she was shocked by the level of talent that's here that a lot of people don't know about."

Through 10 in 20, they're about to find out.

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