Artist with synaesthetic paintings for an audience during a musical concert – Press and Guide
Music and color filled the sanctuary of Allen Park Presbyterian Church on October 3 as artist Timothy Orikri created a vibrant multimedia painting while pianist and organist Christine El-Hage inspired it.
Orikri, from Nigeria, has synesthesia, which means he sees colors in his mind when he hears music. The trait, which comes in different formats, occurs in about four percent of the population.
As the last of nine children, Orikri’s father wanted him to be a minister, but he wanted to pursue his art.
“I said to him, ‘Pop, I prefer to preach with my brushes,’” he said. “He didn’t like it, but I promised him that I would make plans that give confidence, send hope, send beauty and literally praise God.”
Orikri said he creates works of art that promote great ideals, especially healing.
“If you go to the downtown Detroit Children’s Hospital, you will see a butterfly painting that reflects hope and harmony,” he said.
Orikri said her butterfly painting was also transferred to a tiled floor in the hospital.
“As a believer in God, we are meant to reflect the beauty of God in every way possible,” he said. “I use my art as a means of doing it.”
Orikri traveled to Michigan with the goal of finding 52 musicians to create music while he painted.
“There is beauty, it’s everyone,” he said. “I felt the best way to do it was with people who believe in God. I painted in hotels, I painted on street corners, I painted in theaters and I have the chance to paint in this church.
Senior Pastor Reverend Timothy Marvil said that by listening to Orikri he heard the gospel in his words.
“He spoke of creativity, and when we come to worship God, we worship the creativity of God,” he said. “When he created the world he created it from nothing, but it also means that he took what was there and put it together in a way that had never been put together before. , and he created wonderful things. “
Orikri prepared his canvas by pasting objects on it, which he then painted in acrylics. The objects ranged from laces to black-eyed polka dots. He said the paint will also glow under black light.
He said that when he taught art he encouraged his students to create art from anything, to be creative and to think outside the box.
Much of his past work was inspired by the Detroit skyline, but he said he would soon be doing work inspired by Lansing and East Lansing.
Orikri said that when he paints to music, it creates an aura, a synergistic creative landscape.
“I’ll be 56 in November, and I have about 80 people playing, and I’m trying to create, out of a blank canvas, a story,” he said. “Creativity has no limits.”
Christine El-Hage’s creativity on the piano began at the age of five and she started playing the organ about six years ago.
El-Hage, 29, of Allen Park, is an organist at Allen Park Presbyterian Church and a music teacher at Salina Elementary School in Dearborn.
She said her parents started her on the piano, and after being a pianist accompanist at Allen Park Presbyterian Church, they needed an organist, so she learned to play and started to love him.
El-Hage received his Masters in Sacred Music in April and is currently working on his PhD, both at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.
She said there are composers who write music specifically for the organ, including Bach, which she says cannot be reproduced on the piano.
El-Hage had the opportunity to play the organ in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2017, accompanying a high school choir throughout Italy.
“We were about to sing Mass in the Vatican, and we didn’t think we had access to an organ, so I wasn’t prepared for it,” she said. “But the caretaker asked who the organist was, and they all pointed fingers at me, so I was introduced and got to play one of the basilica’s organs, which is a highlight. of my life.”
El-Hage said the U of M has amazing organs and has played the organ at the Masonic Temple in Detroit this summer.
“They have an old Skinner, which is really just a great organ brand,” she said.
She said she would like to go to Paris to play the organ there.
“There are a lot of beautiful organs, where some of the most famous organ composers resided,” she said. “I would love to go to Germany and see where Bach has performed.”
For more information on Orikri’s art and projects, visit timothyorikri.com, or his Facebook page, facebook.com/TimothyOrikri.Art.