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Samm is a 22-year-old Nigerian-born composer, music producer, singer, performer and film-maker based in both Scotland and England. Graduating with a First Class Honours in English and Music at Aberdeen University, he is now keen to explore live experimental music opportunities in London. His experience in managing and curating events culminated in the very successful SUB.Liminal Festival in Aberdeen City, which boasted such events as a digital art gallery, live electronic music nights, and spoken word performance.

Digital art is increasingly important in Samm’s work. His recent collaboration with VJ artists vnc.ptk and flat added new dimensions to his live performance, sequencing and moshing visual data from a range of vignettes taken from his video work. For Samm, the importance of the digital in music is unmistakably linked to the sounds of the natural world, where everyday sounds can be recorded and transformed into lush soundscapes. Moving forward, Samm hopes to continue collaboration with 3D and CGI art forms to generate a new musical language for the growing variety of virtual art.

Samm’s work with Agora Digital Art began with his commission for music for the brand, and he is scheduled to give an upcoming talk about his practice.

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What is your background?

I am a recent English and Music graduate with extracurricular experience in curating performance nights and art galleries. My specialism is in music composition and live performance, but I also enjoy making films and have been involved in all aspects of production and acting for a range of student films. Though I have spent most of my life in the UK, I spent my childhood in Nigeria, and am committed to intersecting Western and non-Western inspirations within my work, reconciling the past with the present and the future. 

What Interest You in Digital Art/ New Media Art?

Digital art is universal and ever-expansive. The limitations of the digital are constantly being renegotiated by new technologies. This means that creatives have access to a bottomless feed of inspiration. With access to online art forms, artists worldwide can collaborate in increasingly interconnected spaces online. As much as social media has its well-documented criticisms, the possibilities of the online realm are supremely important, particularly for creatives who spend more and more time with technology. The possibility of intersecting art forms and blurring the lines between forms ad genres also allow artists to use technologies to create new forms of art and engagement with the public. This is increasingly necessary in a world where the physical space is not always accessible for everyone.

Why Did You Choose to Volunteer at Agora Digital Art?

I chose to volunteer for Agora Digital Art because the forum is clearly forward-thinking and highly adaptable to the modern world. The attention to detail and aesthetic is important for a brand that thrives in the championing of female artists. Agora cares about individual talents and what each person is willing to bring to the table. Agora also cares about new technologies and experimenting with what works and what can be improved, as well as amplifying the voices of minorities.

What Would You Like to Gain with Your Volunteer Experience?

I would like to gain the opportunity of working towards important events, both digitally and in physical venues, to further develop my experience curating spaces for different needs. I would like to engage with the city of London and make the most out of the spaces it offers for artists of various backgrounds. Musically, I would like to diversify my portfolio by creating a range of sounds that exemplify the Agora brand aesthetic. I would like to use this experience to step into creative work in the professional world and more expansive projects. 

Where Do You See Agora Digital Art Going in the Future?

I see Agora becoming a very important forum for artists in London particularly, and for artists worldwide to share their various communities. In terms of my personal desires, I see Agora becoming a hotbed for a growing experimental electronic music scene in the city, as well as for digital artists, and for the forum to be able to host performances and talks for a broad range of artists frequently and in a plethora of beautiful spaces. I see Agora moving seamlessly between the digital and the physical so that creatives who feel connected online also show no hesitation to collaborate in the physical world and overcome conventional boundaries of connection.

Samm Anga’ s Portfolio for Agora

Agora Talk jingle

Music videos created especially for the Agora Talks

Body Scan

This musical segment for Agora explores the concept of body scanning. A body scan meditation brings attention to the different areas of the body, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet. The words in this piece attempt to map the memory of a person within different spaces of the body, evoking the emotive quality of each of the senses. The music borrows from the slow, meditative sound of spiritual practice, but juxtaposes it with an irregular and disruptive kick and snare patterns to coincide with the unrest of the vocals. The video distorts and fragments short vignettes that fracture before the eyes can source their meaning.

Kéré

This musical segment of the Agora forums deals with art and architecture. The title of the piece comes from Francis Kéré, a Berlin-based architect from the African village of Gando, in Burkina Faso. His work explores ‘radically simple’ concepts that intersect community and architecture. Paying homage to Kéré’s influence, the piece intertwines simple musical ideas into tightly woven syncopated patterns that dance around each other, constructed from the ground up. The percussive Afro-beat inspired melodies also explore patterns that are evocative of and prevalent in much of African dance music.

Intermittence – Matt Gibb (Kinbote)

This is an example of some of the music Samm was involved in curating and collaborating in Aberdeen with fellow creative Matt Gibb, which explores connecting past and present by combining a sample of acapella singing from Music from the Mountain Provinces in the Philippines with an ethereal ambience over an infectious modern beat.