Toto’s song “Africa” ​​will Sound Forever In The Namibian Desert. A Curious Sound Installation.

Some hits are simply unmissable, so much so that they manage to enter the collective imagination, becoming real cult pieces, much more than just songs. There are melodies that we recognize immediately, almost on edge, and which immediately transport us elsewhere, giving us the most diverse sensations.

Do you know Toto’s song “Africa”? This American pop song is an icon, one of those that immediately marked the 80s, from the first notes that compose it. Although released in 1982, it is still appreciated by the general public, so much so that there is an artist who has decided to bring it “home”, for eternity. How? ‘Or’ What? Thanks to a curious installation in an unknown place in Namibia.


image credit: Max Siedentopf

Max Sidentopf is a German-Namibian artist who, at only 30 years old, has already made a name for himself. You know, when a song goes into your head so much that you just can’t seem to chase it away? This is surely what happened to Max with “Africa” ​​by Toto. So he must have said to himself that there was no better place to broadcast it than the Namib Desert, one of the most fascinating corners of the entire African continent, if not the planet.


image credit: Max Siedentopf

In a place kept secret to avoid sabotage and vandalism, he is equipped with  six speakers and an mp3 player which contains only one song: “Africa”, of course, repeated in a loop. I hit the play button, the song started ringing in the Namibian desert air, and will do so for a long, long time.


image credit: Max Siedentopf

“The Namib Desert is not only the oldest desert in Africa, but the whole world – can we read on the Siedentopf website – my sound installation wants to pay homage to what is probably the most popular song. of the past four decades “.

Max is not at all mistaken about the popularity of the title “Africa”. Almost become a “meme” on the web, we can say that it is one of the favorite songs on the internet. So much so that videos have been created on Youtube that repeats it for hours, and that there is a  Twitter bot that, every 3 hours, publishes parts of the song’s lyrics!


image credit: Ohconfucius/Wikimedia

The playback and speaker system designed by Siedentopf “down in Africa” ​​(to quote a passage from the text) is powered by solar batteries which, Max swears, will make “Africa” ​​play forever. It is no coincidence that the work was called Toto Forever . Of course: eternity is a concept impossible to obtain, since it concerns technological devices subject to wear, and above all exposed to the most varied weather conditions. It is, however, nice to get carried away by the idea that, right now, in a remote part of the desert, that intimate and dreamy melody is ringing out, isn’t it?

Here is the link to the video which shows and allows to listen to the work of Siedentopf in action.

source used:
The Guardian

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