Tayo Rapoport and Rohan Ayinde present their debut collaborative work iwoyi: within the echo (2024). A new five-channel film and sound installation exploring the radical potential of Black British music to manifest reparative futures. It has been created in collaboration with Errol and Alex Rita’s Touching Bass and is supported by NOWNESS.

Across an immersive, 16-minute symphony of image, feeling and sound, iwoyi weaves together original film, personal archival footage and an original score composed by Melo-Zed to tell its story.

With the black hole as a central concept for rupturing time and space, Ayinde and Rapoport guide us on a non-linear, afro-surrealist journey between the past, present and into a reimagined future of music’s transformative potential. Here, it is devoid of exploitation, while truly celebrating and being rooted in black imagination, reparation, an appreciation of rest/slowness and the ability for art to construct alternative realities.

Accordingly, filming is primarily set against a backdrop of sites in South London that resonate with the layered histories of b/Black British life and a shared, broader diasporic history. The marriage of these elements come together to form a hopeful and radical vision of one of British culture’s most vital forms of expression.

The installation plays across five large screens with immersive surround sound provided by world renowned loudspeaker manufacturer, Danley Sound Labs. The central screen becomes the nucleus of attention, placed on the ceiling and inviting viewers to lie beneath it and embrace rest. Maroon red — both a reference to black liberation and the process of gravitational redshift — envelops the floors and walls within the exhibition space.

The project marks Touching Bass’ debut exploration of the film and art installation creative mediums proper. A development on previous, creative collaborations with the likes of White Cube (Frieze London), Lisson Gallery (with Devon OJAS) and Jenn Nkiru (Black To Techno, 2019).

iwoyi: within the echo has been commissioned by Dr Aleema Gray and premieres at the British Library as part of Beyond the Bassline (26 April – 26 August 2024); the first major exhibition to document the 500-year musical history of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Inspired by the British Library’s sound archive, the exhibition explores the people, spaces and genres that have transformed the landscape of British music.