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Anagbado, Eze in a marriage of arts

By Emmanuel Shedrach
01 December 2021   |   2:49 am
The creative industry is about to see a new blend of interrogation as key players, Mr. Chuma Anagbado, a visual artist; and Gerald Eze, a musical artist/lecturer; team up in a marriage

The creative industry is about to see a new blend of interrogation as key players, Mr. Chuma Anagbado, a visual artist; and Gerald Eze, a musical artist/lecturer; team up in a marriage of art and music together through technology.

Chuma Anagbado (left) and Gerald Eze

While Anagbado is called ‘the master of lines’, Eze is ‘the flute’ (Oja) master. Anagbado is an artist and designer whose art is driving conversations on cultural heritage, particularly the Igbo oral traditions; Eze, on his part, is a skilled musical artist and an academic, who plays 14 instruments.

The two would be holding a show-cum a mini-concert this month, where all the traditional arts (printed), performance (music) will be combined all in one space.

Anagbado, who has been a practicing artist for a while now, tries to communicate through visual arts, different cultures, customs and traditions of diverse backgrounds and ethnic groups.

He said the entertainment industry is evolving and visual arts/music play a significant role in the life of people, therefore, integrating the two media through technology is only proper, and timely, to move the industry forward.

According to him, “I think my generation has a special role to play because we bridge the divide. We understand the digital and we are also part of the generation that set up all of this and then became what we are using now.
“I basically think my work has just followed my experience. I’ve been around all my life. I was creating work then, the time that I just want to illustrate and I’m still creating, it is just natural that I will use tools that are available at any point in time.
“What we are trying to do is to carry the same experience from one platform to the other. So, if in future, we all start drawing with our voices, I will still be doing that and I will find a way to connect all of them so that is why I like the smell of ink on paper, I like the speed of digital coloring, I like to draw digitally and for me, all of these are just tools.”

Eze, on the other hand, pointed out how music could be used to enrich the culture, sanitise the society as well as send messages to the ruling elite.

He mentioned that the drums, flutes etc. are used stereotypically by ancestors to eulogise the masquerades, to appease the gods etc., stressing that the role of modern music is not to repeat what the ancestors have done, to him, music and arts have to go beyond the traditional style by exploring the modern and digital devices to reach the world.
He said: the essence of this synergy is for Chuma and myself to explore new trends, to move from village square to the global village, to the whole world, to go beyond playing the music for the masquerades, for the president, for the governor, for the people who are really part of the community in terms of leadership, but to take it to Germany, London and other parts of the world.

“If you see the musical instrument we have here, it is all over the world but with different names in different countries, which simply means that our ancestors were travelling, it is actually not even out of place doing what we are doing, we are actually doing the real work, applying it to reality, exploring every possible option that we have in our time and not just to defend what they have done.
“When we have taken it to all these levels, what we are doing is to preserve the spirituality, and I will say we are preserving ourselves, we are keeping ourselves safe and clean by keeping true to the art.“

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