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Rake n Scrape Sculpture Honours Bahamian Music

What do you know about Bahamian music?

Arts and Culture introduces The Bahamian Music Project. An extensive, ongoing look at the sounds of The Bahamas Rake N Scrape, Junkanoo, Goombay and the people who make them, a new installment of The Bahamian Music Project will appear on Saturdays.

The project will feature artist, studio and band profiles; tributes to past musicians; how Bahamian music has influenced on musicians; Her Words/His Words Cultural Context segments on the music as a whole, specific songs and albums; a Concert Watch; what makes specific genres within the category unique musically; Bahamian music in education and more.

Today we feature Art and Bahamian Music.

Art and Bahamian Music

An 11 ft. metal sculpture standing guard on the Frederick Street steps, Tyrone Ferguson’s “Rake n Scrape” pays homage, not just to the native music it is named for, but for how the music is made.

The sculpture tells its story in three parts. Coated in the colors of the Bahamian flag, “Rake n Scrape”is the yellow, arced blade of a saw braced against an aquamarine rod atop a solid black base.

At once it is the ingenuity of a people and the endurance of an age-old practice for Ferguson, who traces his art form back to the metal workers of ancient Africa.

The ingenuity of the upbeat, island-style quadrille known as rake n scrape comes in the use of tools to make music, he said.

“Rake n Scrape for me really is like child’s play,” said Ferguson, who created the sculpture for the “Love My Bahamas” art campaign, an initiative of the Downtown Nassau Partnership and Coca Cola that placed commissioned art works by local and international artists in the downtown area.

“It’s like when we used to “make our own little saws from fishing lines and pieces of wood and we used to have our own band.”

Happy childhood memories of making-do to make music keep the artist connected to what a group of Bahamian musicians now purport should be the national music. Goombay is currently listed as the national sound of The Bahamas.

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