As a child, Luke’s musical education didn’t come from after-school piano lessons, but instead from hanging out backstage, basking in the musical prowess of rock and roll’s greats like Prince, Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury. His father Alan was the bassist of ‘60s band The Shake Spears, who went on to have an illustrious career as a musician before later founding an international touring company.
As an artist working in the Opera House’s Creative Leadership in Learning program, Luke collaborated closely with students of Lansvale Public School in Sydney’s south-west suburbs. They devoted two school terms to an artistic project exploring a focus question devised around identity: “Honour who we are, celebrate who we are becoming”.
The suburbs where Asian migrants first settled are now cultural hotspots brimming with bánh mì stands and phở shops. In the children’s animated recollections of everyday life, nuanced snapshots of a different kind of Sydney began to take shape. “The grannies in Bareena Park doing tai chi every morning in their pink sun-visors, teenagers practising their lion dance routines in the train station car park, and in particular, the sights, sounds, and smells of all the local Asian supermarkets.” Pushing for more detail, Luke helped with crafting these visual descriptions into a catchy pop song: ‘Asian Supermarket’.