Szun Waves’ Luke Abbott takes on our quick-fire question machine
Hello, Luke. Where are you right now and what can you see?
“I’m at home, it’s midnight and I’m lying on my bed. I can see a clothes rail on one side and a bedroom studio set-up on the other. During the pandemic, I fell in love with having a bedroom studio again – it’s only a slight annoyance to my girlfriend. I like making music at home because I can hang out with my cat.”
What’s on your agenda today?
“There’s nothing on my slate other than a load of MaxMSP programming. I’ve been making software in Max for writing and performing music for years. I’m going on an artist retreat soon where I hope to do a set of recordings with it, so I’ve got to get a stable build ready for then.”
Your ‘Earth Patterns’ album was recorded in 2019, at the end of a European tour. Is it true that you, Jack Wyllie and Laurence Pike haven’t been in the same country since?
“Yep, we’re a long-distance, remote project for the time being. When we made our second album we were living on three different continents.”
Due to Covid, the record had a longer gestation period than usual. How did that affect things?
“It was really beneficial, I think. I kept coming back to the recordings and using some of the takes we’d written off as being too odd for release. I ended up hitting on a track selection that felt like a deeply introspective cosmic journey, and it just felt like the right record to put out.”
It’s a very organic-sounding album, with titles such as ‘Garden’ and ‘Willow Leaf Pear’. Is that what you were after?
“The titles loosely reflect the idea of going from the macrocosm to the microcosm, of going on an inward journey. Our last album felt a bit like floating in space, but this one is like crashing back down to Earth. There’s another track called ‘Be A Pattern For The World’, taken from Lao Tzu’s ‘Tao Te Ching’. I think that title sums it up.”
You’re based in Norwich. What do you think of the city’s current electronic music scene?
“There’s always been an undercurrent of experimental things going on. I’m really happy getting on with my own stuff and ignoring the outside world, but I do some teaching on a music degree locally so I know there are people in Norwich making new things happen. Music aside, the street food scene here has gotten really good of late.”
The last time we spoke, it was all Brexit. This time it’s Covid. What’s next?
“I hope we get hit with proportional representation and environmentally focused systematic change – that would be good.”