design and music for dialogue

Victor Gama is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. He makes music for dance, film, theater and multimedia performances using his unique set of musical instruments as exclusive sound libraries. He's been commissioned to compose for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra/MusicNOW, the Kronos Quartet or the Prince Claus Fund and has created instruments for collections  in museums such as the National Museums of Scotland. INSTRUMENTOS, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

3thousandRIVERS 90' multimedia opera

A multimedia opera that offers a contemporary portrait  on the environmental and social impacts of the current wave of industrialization  underway in the rain forests of the Amazon in Colombia and Brazil. Gama collaborated with local communities and artists who live along some of the main rivers in the Putumayo, Caquetá, Chocó and Pará to hear the voices of those who suffer these impacts first hand. The work was developed in close cooperation and support with environmental and artist's organizations Amazon Conservation Team Colombia, Mas Arte Mas Acción and Flora ars+natura based in Bogotá.


commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

VELA 6911 90 minute multimedia concert

based on the diary of Lindsey Rooke, a woman officer who was part of a secret nuclear test undertaken in Antarctica in 1979. Commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered at Harris Theater in 2012 as part of the CSO's MusicNOW concert series. Written for eight orchestral instruments and Victor's own instruments acrux, toha and dino, the piece was conducted in Chicago by Cliff Colnot and twice in Portugal by Rui Pinheiro and Pedro Carneiro. The video component was shot in Antarctica by Victor Gama and his collaborator Álvaro Barbosa.


with support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

RIO CUNENE 15 minute multimedia concert

Rio Cunene is a piece written by Victor Gama for the Kronos Quartet and premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2010.

It's European premiere took place later that year at CCB in Lisbon.

During the process of development the piece’s meanings and focus evolved and centered around Victor Gama's instruments the Toha and the Gacrux (a version of the Acrux) and instruments made by children from a village, called Xangongo, on the banks of the Cunene river in the southern province of Cunene in Angola.


with generous support from Vivian Cohen

download Rio Cunene catalogue

INSTRUMENTOS exhibition /concerts/workshops

INSTRUMENTOS is an interactive exhibition where the visitor is encouraged to actively engage and interact with the work on display. The exhibition effectively turns the gallery into a performance space and the visitors into performers. The exhibit includes a collection of over thirty new musical instruments and sound installations with workshops and concerts running in parallel and in the same space. INSTRUMENTOS can be installed for a few days or weeks at festivals, cultural centers, for educational programs or corporate workshops.

RIO CUBANGO multimedia concert

Rio Cubango was commissioned by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and the Prince Claus Fund. Featuring harpist Salomé Pais Matos and Zapp4 string quartet the piece premiered at the Concertgebouw in 2011. Victor and Salomé are playing a toha, one of Gama's instruments from the Pangea Instruments series. The toha drew its inspiration from the nest of a weaver bird. It has a totemic significance, hence the name deriving from Totem Harp. It has no relation to a cora, neither in sound, playing technique or design.


with support from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and the Prince Claus Fund

GIGANTIKARPZ 60 minute performance

GigantikArpz is a contemporary musical instrument / sound installation with 10 long piano strings of 75 meters assembled across lakes, rivers, along beaches and in parks. It's made of two pairs of resonating boxes fixed to the ground on each side of the margins of a lake. The piece shown here, for GigantikArpz and electronics, was written by Victor Gama and Pedro Carneiro for the Next Future Festival of Contemporary Arts and Culture in 2011, performed in two movements, one during the day and another at night. The GigantikArpz has been installed earlier at the Earagail Arts Festival in Ireland, the Serralves Foundation in Porto and other major open air venues.


commissioned by NextFuture/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Pieces for Acrux and Toha

is a multimedia solo show featuring pieces for Acrux, Toha and Dino, from the Pangeia Instrumentos series of contemporary musical instruments, and projected footage from the Tectonik:TOMBUA project in the Namibe desert.

"In Pieces for Acrux and Toha, Victor Gama develops a sound palette with his instruments that square the circle between Gamelan music, the work of turn of the century composers such as Eric Satie, and the music of the twentieth century minimalists Steve Reich, Michael Nyman or Arvo Part". Performing the instruments he has created, Gama pushes the envelop of folk based structures while mixing sounds from his lap-top and electronic loop stations.


Watch the full SOL(t)O concert at Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium


Gama was in residence at Stanford University during fall quarter 2010 as the SiCa/SHC joint fellow in Arts and Humanities. He performed a multimedia solo show at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on October 27, 2010. The performance was sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center, the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, Center for African Studies, Latin American Studies, Department of Art and Art History.


His second Stanford residency has taken place at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics in 2014/15, fall and winter terms, where he worked on new projects and the redevelopment of several of his instruments.


© Victor Gama

Skype:  vegeacustico

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