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Toto’s Africa to play on loop as art installation in the Namib Desert forever

The art installation features a six-speaker setup attached to an MP3 player and powered by solar batteries.

Toto’s Africa to play on loop as art installation in the Namib Desert forever

(Photo: Vimeo/Max Siedentopf)

I hear the drums echoing tonight, and tomorrow, and the day after. Namibian artist Max Siedentopf has set up a sound installation in the coastal Namib Desert to play Africa on loop, in tribute to the soft rock classic.

The 1982 track by American rock band Toto was the most streamed song in 2017, with over 441 million views on YouTube.

TOTO FOREVER from Max Siedentopf on Vimeo.

Speaking to the BBC, Siedentopf said the installation is set to play forever, with solar batteries “to keep Toto going for all eternity”.

“[I] wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit Africa in Africa,” explained the 27-year-old artist.

“Some [Namibians] love it and some say it's probably the worst sound installation ever. I think that's a great compliment.”

According to the BBC, he has chosen an undisclosed spot in the 55-million-year-old Namib desert to set up six speakers attached to an MP3 player with the single track on it.

Siedentopf said he hoped the song would play for another 55 million years.

“Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible, but I'm sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually.”

Africa hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Feb 1983 and has appeared in popular television shows, such as Stranger Things and South Park.

Thanks to the inexplicable forces that govern meme culture, the song has remained popular in the 21st century, gaining fans younger than the song itself. 

Most recently, rapper Pitbull and Guyanese-Canadian singer Rhea heavily sampled Africa on their song Ocean To Ocean for the soundtrack to the 2018 superhero film Aquaman.

Source: CNA/bk


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