Magazine article New Internationalist

(Oryema, Geoffrey. Beat the Border)

Magazine article New Internationalist

(Oryema, Geoffrey. Beat the Border)

Article excerpt

At the age of seven,' says Geoffrey Oryema, 'I was struck by the musical disease'.

This is perhaps an odd way for the Ugandan musician and songwriter to describe his prodigious talents and compulsion to make music. But Oryema claims a line of poets and instrumentalists as his ancestors. He himself specialized on the nanga harp, lukeme thumb piano, flute and guitar. At college, he studied Stanislavian method acting and applied it to indigenous African forms.

Not surprisingly, a breadth of influences runs through all Oryema's music and this latest album, Beat the Border, is no exception. Sung half in Acholi, half in English, it manages to be traditional in an untraditional manner. The songs match African instruments with the studio effects of Bob Ezrin (a producer who counts Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd amongst his credits) and Peter Gabriel's long - standing engineer, David Botrill.

Oryema fled Uganda for Paris in 1977 after his father - a minister in Idi Amin's government - died in mysterious circumstances. …

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