Name: Andrew Halford aka Lake Turner
Nationality: British
Occupation: Producer, musician
Recent release: Sasha and Lake Turner's ‘Nalo’ is out now as part of LNOE TEN. Get it here.

[Read our Sasha interview]

Tool of Creation: Farfisa Louvre
Type of Tool: Organ
Designed by: Farfisa (Fabbriche Riunite di Fisarmoniche)
Country of origin: Italy

if you enjoyed this interview with Lake Turner about the Farfisa Louvre and would like to know more, visit him on Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

What was your first encounter with the Farfisa Louvre?

I think possibly from school but I also noticed Richard Wright was using a Farfisa when Pink Floyd played at Pompeii in '72 and that kickstarted a minor obsession with Farfisa.

Before I moved to London I used to have a small collection of Farfisa and Bontempi organs as they were (many still are) cheap as chips.

Just like any other piece of equipment, the Farfisa Louvre has a rich history. Are you interested in it? And if so, what are some of the key points from this history for you personally?

I love the fact that the Louvre's original intention for use was as an entertainment organ at home.

This Louvre in particular came out in the 70s. They're an obsolete technology and because they're so bulky and weigh a ton, nobody cares for them anymore, but to me that to me makes them more special and more unique on a record these days.

What, to you, are some of the most interesting recordings made with the Farfisa Louvre?

Well apart from 'Nalo' by Sasha and myself, I'd say 'The Big Ship' by Eno or 'Cirrus Minor' by Pink Floyd, but those are on the combo model I believe.

What interests you about the Farfisa Louvre in terms of it contributing to your creative ideals?

The Farfisa Louvre is special to me as it can often unlock something interesting or unusual in its rendering of sounds or rhythms.

You can hold down two notes and not only will it have different timbres for the chords but can also create all sorts of variations of a rhythmic chord, arpeggio and a bass line just from those original two notes which can unlock a whole world of possibilities.

What are some of the stand-out features from your point of view?

I tend to rinse it for all the rhythmic patterns on chords, built in drum machine and the arpeggio generator. Also having a built in volume pedal makes it super useful for swelling chords and pulses. I should also mention the Leslie speaker processor and spring reverb are both excellent and characterful.

Prior to using it for the first time, how did you acquaint yourself with the Farfisa Louvre? Will you usually consult a manual before starting to work with a new device – and what was that like for the Farfisa Louvre?

The Farfisa is one of those fun instruments you can just plug in and play and press all the buttons to see what happens. Because these organs were intended for home entertainment I feel they made them very simple and easy to use.

Tell me a bit about the interface of the Farfisa Louvre – what does playing it feel like, what do you enjoy about it, compared to some of your other instruments?

Because it has its own built in speakers it has an instant charm and satisfaction – it's always ready to go. When playing it – it definitely has a feel of a bygone era – I mean it's made to look like a piece of furniture that will blend in to your house. My friend says it looks straight out of a retirement home.

How would you describe the sonic potential of the Farfisa Louvre?

It's definitely not modern sounding and is quite sepia. It has its own limitations but does have a surprisingly large amount of timbre variation when you delve into it, from 70s pop harpsichord to bending mono synth.

In which way does the Farfisa Louvre influence musical results and what kind of compositions does it encourage / foster?

For me the chord pulses and arpeggiator have the ability to reveal new ideas. I'm always drawn in to these repeating parts and it's often the basis of a sketch or loop that I like to build upon.

More generally, how do you see the relationship between your instruments and the music you make?

Instruments help facilitate and realise the ideas in my head. But on the contrary instruments can sometimes lead me to ideas I'd never thought of.

So all in all it could be thought of as a kind of symbiotic relationship.

Some see instruments and equipment as far less important than actual creativity, others feel they go hand in hand. What's your take on that?

I tend to side with those that value creativity over having all the gear and no idea.

These days you have so much at your fingertips from only using Ableton, Logic or any other sequencer. I always find limitations in gear and equipment open up more creativity and unexpected results as you go into the process deeper and spend longer with what you do have.

Could you describe working with the Farfisa Louvre on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

Mad Rush by Philip Glass is one of those incredible organ pieces that blows your mind wide open and to me it facilitates great human potential as to what one can do when sat in front of an organ.

How does the Farfisa Louvre interact with some of the other tools in your studio?

When I put the Louvre through a Microcosm pedal or something similar you get a real juxtaposition of colours, I love it when old worlds meet the new.

It's always been an instrument that pops out the mix when blended with more HD type of sounds as it's often the most lo-fi element in there.

In the light of picking your tools, how would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

I always feel music made now must point to the future in some way or another and using the technology of the time is what keeps us innovating.

Throughout history it is the technological innovations of the time that have often cemented that piece of art's place in the future. I like the idea of blending together old and new technology to bastardise something new.