Artist gives permanent desert home to ’80s ‘Africa’
Many people around the world know the hit song from 1982 Africa by American rock band Toto. Some people like it, some don’t. Some of them might have enjoyed it in the past, but now they’re sick of hearing Africa played over and over again.
But one man thinks the song so highly that he decided to make it a permanent home in the desert. And the desert, unsurprisingly, is “in Africa”.
The man’s name is Max Siedentopf. He lives in the South African nation of Namibia. Siedentopf placed six loudspeakers in an empty, sandy area of the Namib Desert. Speakers sit together in a group. They are connected to an MP3 player that reads Toto’s Africa – and only Africa – continuously, day and night.
A video from his website shows how the music mixes with the wind and other natural desert sounds.
Siedentopf says his musical project aims to honor “probably the most popular song of the last four decades.” The artist adds that he chose the Namib Desert because it is not only the oldest desert in Africa, but the oldest in the world.
Still, the Namibian-German artist has yet to say exactly where his Africa tribute East. An image on its website identifies an area where it can be found, but it appears to cover most of the Namib. The desert stretches for 2,000 kilometers along the southwest coast of Africa. It covers land in Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
So unless Siedentopf provides more information on the whereabouts of his creation, you will have a very hard time finding it. By the way, the artist says that he plans to continue playing the song for a very long time. Part of its website, called “Toto Forever”, notes that the music player is powered by solar Battery. This, he says, will “maintain Toto for all eternity.
Siedentopf told the BBC that since the Namib is 55 million years old, he hopes Africa would continue to play in the desert for another 55 million years. But he admitted that the harsh conditions in the desert will surely damage the equipment over time.
The band Toto had their heyday in the 1980s. They won the Grammy Award for Best Record Album in February 1983. That year, their song Rosanna won the Grammy for Best Record. However, Africa ended up being the group’s first and only number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list in 1983.
The song Africa has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. rolling stone The magazine says a big reason for this is that American pop-punk band Weezer recorded the song last year. Toto has also been the subject of many articles on the Internet memes.
Even before all the recent attention, Africa was already one of the most streamed world songs, Billboard.com reports. The song’s official YouTube video currently has over 444 million views.
It’s not the first time someone has honored Africa with an original creation. In January 2018, a YouTube user posted a video of Africa playing on his self-built “Floppotron” music machine.
I am Brian Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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words in this story
decade – nm a period of 10 years
tribute – nm something people say or do to show respect and honor to someone
solar – adj. relating to or involving the sun
eternity – nm time that goes on forever
same – nm an interesting object, such as a photo or video, that spreads through social media
flux – v. to send continuous sound or moving images using computers