Driven by the emotive power of electro-audio rhythms, sound artist Emeka Ogboh speaks with Nana Ocran about his creative processes in the lead up to his ART X Lagos showcase.
N.O. : Are there any specific musical sounds that tend to correlate with your aural and visual artworks? If so, do you create specific playlists from existing tracks – or do you prefer to compose your own music and sounds?
E.O. : Electronic music is the closest sound or music genre that I would connect to my artworks, especially the audio works I create about Lagos. They’re influenced by the multi-layered buzz of the city soundscapes – the car horns, the high-pitched cries of hawkers, the power generators, the vehicular sounds – which all have a synth-like sound and rhythm to my ears. These days, I compose my own music, and the first album I put out, ‘Beyond the Yellow Haze’ (2018), was heavily influenced and laced with electronic music fused with Lagos soundscapes.
“Sound is… the most emotive medium I have ever worked with. It has an ability to penetrate every nook and cranny of our being.”
N.O. : Do you feel that working as a sound artist touches on your emotions in a way that perhaps being a photographer, writer, or graphic designer doesn’t?
E.O. : Sound touches me more than the other genres you mentioned. It is probably the most emotive medium I have ever worked with. It has an ability to penetrate every nook and cranny of our being. Imagine how certain music affects our moods in general; how some music can switch us from sad to happy, and vice versa. A picture we see or a text we read could also do that, but to me sound is more powerful.
N.O. : Can you tell us a bit more about your sound artwork for ART X Lagos 2019?
E.O. : I proposed a multi-zone sound installation that would be transmitted across the art fair’s grounds and experienced through wireless headsets – just like the concept of the silent disco. Listeners will have to put on headphones to experience these 3D sounds, which combine Lagos soundscapes and electroacoustic music I composed. The installation will provide a different way to experience the fair, putting Lagos in people’s eardrums while they navigate the spaces; like a soundtrack to the event.
N.O. : Are there any upcoming projects (in or beyond Nigeria) that you’re producing that you’d like to mention?
E.O. : I am currently working on presenting the Sufferhead Paris edition in October, during FIAC international art fair in Paris. This is an ongoing project that explores the position of Africans living in Europe. It communicates some of the received stereotypes, politics of difference and integration associated with their expatriate fate through the brewing and branding of the Sufferhead beer.
An article by Nana Ocran
Featured Image : Emeka Ogboh, “The Gathering Place”, 2019. Installation view. Image Courtesy the Artist.
This article was written for The Art Momentum | ART X Lagos 2019 Artpaper. [French version inside]
Articles are published in their original language | Les articles sont publiés dans leur langue d’origine