Detroit Mercy student provides campus soundtrack

Music speaks to the soul, moves the body and is used to communicate what cannot be said or expressed directly. Music is another medium to expel your emotions, make people feel their emotions and identify with them and to bring awareness to the global political issues that we are experiencing today.  

Oriekaose Agholor is a third-year student at Detroit Mercy from Nigeria who is pursuing an engineering degree, specifically in robotics and mechatronics. Day and night you can find him tediously studying for exams and finishing his homework. But besides engineering, what else does Oriekaose do and what are his passions? 

Oriekaose has been playing music since he was a child. Like most of us, he started with the recorder, however, he didn’t stop there. He then added the talking drum, which is an hourglass shaped drum from Africa, to his musical repertoire. After the talking drum, he started playing the flute and saxophone. He has been playing the saxophone now for nine years and that is his instrument of choice.  

Many musicians often have a favorite song that they like to play on their instrument of choice. Oriekaose doesn’t have a favorite song he likes to play on his saxophone, but he does like to improv. 

To foster his love for music, Oriekaose often plays music in the Student Union at night and at local church events. Along with playing the saxophone at church events, he also performs at some events here at Detroit Mercy, like the SciComm Art Show.  

The SciComm Art Show demonstrated a connection between art and science and was held in February. Josephene Dertinger, a student here at UDM, said that these artistic projects help bring awareness to the field of engineering by “sending the message that there is an issue.” She also said that music is a start to bringing awareness to the political issues in the world. 

Recently, Oriekaose just composed his own song called “Werim Sonme Ehu” or “Carry Me Along,” which details the technological gaps between developing countries like his home country Nigeria and developed countries like the United States. Oriekaose’s project was inspired by the disparities between access between engineering advancements between the African and Western worlds.  

“It was nice to get a narrative of some of the inequality that African nations experience from a person from Africa,” lab manager Maris Polanco said.

The theme of the SciComm Art Show was connections, which Oriekaose demonstrated by connecting the African nations and Western nations and the technological advancements or lack thereof. The purpose of this art show was for STEM students to design an artistic project related to engineering, going beyond their typical classwork. 

 Polanco described how the SciComm Art Show married two mediums together, engineering and art, to dive more into the depths and connection of engineering. 

Oriekaose said, “It is easy to say that people aren’t developing.” 

As prominent countries develop, it is easy to forget about other countries in the wake of others’ success.  

Orieakaose said, “The more we forget these countries, the more these economic and technological gaps increase.” 

The SciComm Art Show married two mediums together: science and art. By bringing these two mediums together it demonstrated the creativity of the students here on campus and brought awareness to global issues like the technological gap in Nigeria through Oriekaose’s song, “Carry Me Home.”