victor gama

PASS presents tectonik:TOMBWA – A solo performance by Victor Gama


Pan African Space Station presents tectonik:TOMBWA – a solo performance by composer and instrument designer Victor Gama on Wednesday 15 May from 8pm.

Where: Chimurenga Factory (157 Victoria Road, Woodstock, Cape Town)

Tickets: R100 at the door from 7pm


In 1983, Angolan anthropologist Augusto Zita N’Gonguenho initiated a research project in the southwest coast of Angola using both scientific and non-western methods such as divinatory practices that stemmed from Angolan knowledge systems.

Unfortunately Augusto Zita’s research was interrupted by his sudden death in an apparent car accident on the desert road from Namibe to the port of Tombwa, in September 1987.

It is now thought that the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the secret services of apartheid South Africa were behind his death. Links were found between Prof. Augusto’s death and operations by the NIS to camouflage South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Programme.

Angolan composer and sound artist Victor Gama was able to obtain and analyse Augusto Zita’s partially recovered notes.

This solo multimedia piece, performed on two of Gama’s unique instruments, the acrux and toha, is a small part of a recovery project on Augusto Zita N’Gonguenho that Gama has been working on since 2006.

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Victor Gama is a composer, performer, designer of innovative musical instruments and researcher. His instrument design theory draws on traditional Angolan instruments technology and knowledge systems combined with cutting edge digital technologies.

Since 1997 Gama has produced projects in his home country, Angola, including Tsikaya, the first digital music archive in the interior of the country and Odantalan (2002), an international musical exchange and residency in Luanda that included musicians from Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Angola and Portugal. His compositions include Rio Cunene for the Kronos Quartet at the Carnegie Hall (2010) and his multimedia piece Vela 6911, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra/ MusicNOW (2012). Gama’s multimedia opera 3 thousand RIVERS unveiled new adventurous directions for an opera of the South with field work in the rain forests of the Amazon.

His debut album Pangeia Instrumentos launched by Aphex Twin on Rephlex Records (2003) propelled Gama to the international arena with works for the series of self-designed musical instruments the acrux and toha.

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This project is supported with an ANT Mobility Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and INSTRMNTS (

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