For fifteen minutes I sit and I listen to the composed chaos, the Lagos Soundscape— ‘This is Lagos’. I have heard this familiar cacophony before; from my vantage view on the roof top of my family home in Lagos – on roof tops mainly-, at Kalakuta Republic, but also on the rare occasion when I am in no hurry to go anywhere and just drifting through this urban squalor.
On the radio, very often, the music makes no sense but we are compelled to listen, stuck in traffic, bordering on hysteria we need a distraction; on the streets of Lagos, the sound is often overloaded with enough of the demented touch to give it a lasting tenderness and poignancy. I read somewhere, recently, that confusion is the word given to order that has not been understood. Emeka and his co-conspirators have taken a stab at understanding the organised soundscape of this great city.
This is not to be romanticised but to be paid some attention. We, maybe, do not appreciate that when we say we miss a place where we have spent some time as residents that it is not only the sights in that location, but mainly the sounds which we miss most; we carry a photographic memory of these places in our minds and sometimes even have photographs. But it is the sound that really marks the uniqueness of the place.
Please pay attention, the Lagos soundscape is rapidly changing…