Video debut: Asumaya, “In Tongues”

That’s a lot of Madison-based musician Luke Bassuener.

That’s a lot of Madison-based musician Luke Bassuener.

In his solo project Asumaya, Luke Bassuener sings about many grave matters: imperialism, poverty, the perverse inequities he’s witnessed in his many trips to Africa as a teacher and Peace Corps volunteer. That said, there’s still a playful aspect to his music, partially because he’s playing everything himself, usually looping together bass, drums, repeating vocal phrases, and thumb piano in live sets. That comes through in the new 360-degree video “In Tongues,” from Asumaya’s 2015 album The Euphemist.

Madison-based videographer Paul Schmidt incorporates six Bassueners, each laying down one of the parts in the song, perched on or around a mountain-biking cliff at the Quarry Ridge Recreation Area in Fitchburg. “I made a bright yellow closed sign and put it on the trail leading to the feature so a mountain biker wouldn’t land on his head in the middle of filming,” Schmidt says.

Schmidt also wanted the video to be a departure from other 360-degree music videos he’s seen.

“I have seen other videos of bands in 360 but it’s just them in the studio,” he says. “They are pretty cool, you can concentrate on one instrument at a time and be an active participant as a viewer, but that concept doesn’t go much further than a simulated experience that mimics being in the studio with the band. That’s kind of where it dawned on me—I could make a film that lets the audience experience Luke’s music in a different way. For one, even if you were at his show, most of the instruments are being played back in a loop, not live, so to turn him into a live band was a really fun concept.”

Find the video here—it’s embedded below, but best viewed on the YouTube app for iOS or Android, which support 360-degree viewing. Asumaya’s next show is November 13 at Mickey’s Tavern. He’ll also be playing Anthony Lamarr’s Songwriter’s Circle event on Nov. 18 at Lakeside Street Coffee House. Additionally, The Euphemist is due to get a vinyl release in March 2017 on Chicago-based So Say We All Records. In the meantime, Bassuener says he’s working on recording new Asumaya material.

He also talked with us about The Euphemist on our podcast last year.

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