What makes three Norwegian musicians follow the sound of a boat invented in Southern Norway all the way to Zanzibar? And what kinds of sound images arise from an encounter between a high speed catamaran engine, a coast line and the sea, Norwegian sound art and traditional East African music?

The idea of making music inspired by the sounds of the engine of the Norwegian produced high-speed craft Westamaran was initiated by Sigbjørn Nedland. The Westamarans were produced in Mandal and operated along the Norwegian coast in the 70s and 80s. The boats represent a pioneering chapter in Norwegian industrial history. All of this resulted in the realization of an album project and a creative musical collaboration between the performers Hallvard Wennersberg Hagen (Xploding Plastix), Erland Dahlen (Nils Petter Molvær, Odd Nordstoga etc.) and Bjorn Charles Dreyer (Anne Grete Preus, Mari Boine etc.).

A common fascination for the sound of boat engines, coastal culture and Southern Norwegian industry brought Hagen, Dahlen and Dreyer together. They rushed eagerly into the project of telling the fantastic story of the Westamaran. A mixture of an adventurous spirit and a musical urge to explore brought the project to Zanzibar, Tanzania, where the performers tracked down one of several Westamarans that had been operating between the island and the mainland. In Zanzibar a musical collaboration was organized with the local artists Mohammed Issa Matona and Anania Ngoriga. They contributed performances of traditional East African music on original instruments to the project.

Together all musicians in this production share and convey a story, creating a distinctive artistic expression based on coastal culture, industrial history, differ- ent music traditions and sound art.

Sigbjørn Nedland, a radio producer at NRK and a music producer and project coordinator, has, with his extensive network in Africa, assisted in the process, and acted as co-producer. The album was mixed and mastered by Jens Petter Nilsen at Tinfoil Audio, and released on the Hevhetia label.

Together with the band Piston Ltd., Dreyer has previously released an album based on the sound of the well-known Marna engine.

Bjorn Charles Dreyer

Producer, composer and performer.

Guitar, electronics, pedal steel, pedal bass and editing.

Released albums with Boschamaz and Piston Ltd.

Dreyer has worked with Mari Boine, Eivind Aarset, Anneli Drecker, Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, Anne Grete Preus etc.

Hallvard W. Hagen

Composer, programmer and musician.

Member of Xploding Plastix and The Electones.

Has worked with Kronos Quartet, Mike Patton, Kaada etc.

Hagen has composed music for many film and television productions as well as radio programs.

Erland Dahlen

Drums – percussion

Has worked with artists like: Nils Petter Molvær, Madrugada, Pale Horses, Kaada, Mike Patton, Eivind Aarset, Anja Garbarek, Susanna, Hanne Hukkelberg.

Anania Ngoriga

Blind musician living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Kalimba, guitar and vocals.

Belongs to the Wagogo people, whose national instrument is kalimba.

Several tours with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones. Won a Grammy for the record “Throw Down Your Heart” with Bela Fleck.

Participated in recordings and concerts with numerous artists, several of which are Norwegian.

Tour and album release with the Norwegian/Tanzanian group Tanzano.

Mohammed Issa “Matona” Hail

Violin and oud player from Zanzibar.

Artistic director at Dhow Countries Music Academy.

Tours internationally.

Has studied and played with Alfred Gamil, Khalil Joubran, Mari Boine and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Several solo albums as well as participation on miscel- laneous CDs.

Jens Petter Nilsen

Sound designer and general manager at Tinfoil Audio.

Mix and mastering.

Member of Xploding Plastix and Electones.

Nilsen has worked with Saint Etienne, Kronos Quartet etc.

Sigbjørn Nedland

Presenter and music producer at NRK.

Initiates, coordinates and leads international art projects.

Producer of CD releases, music projects and concerts with Norwegian and foreign artists, e.g. Mari Boine, Bel Canto, Kris Kristofferson, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Chiwoniso, Marie Daulne/ Zap Mama and Sinead O’Connor.

WESTAMARAN (Wikipedia)

The Westamaran is a high-speed craft developed by Westermoen Hydrofoil in Mandal in 1973. The boat type became very popular and introduced a new era of passenger transport along the Norwegian coast and elsewhere. On the Bergen to Stavanger route there was already a high-speed connection by hydrofoil, introduced early in the 1960s. The initial Westamarans were slower than the hydrofoils, but the comfort was better, so they were better liked by the public. Spaciousness was better and the catamarans were considerably smoother in rough weather. They were also more reliable and they didn’t have a need for special walkways etc. at the ports of call. The Westamaran had asymmetrical hulls, the inside was essentially flat, and the tunnel between the hulls had a rectangular cross-section. The profiles were in fact quite like a Storm class torpedo boat cut in two, and the construction of the Westamarans built heavily on the experience gained from this boat type. A lot of the Westamarans ended up in Africa and the Mediterranean after finishing service along the Norwegian coast.


Capacity: 166 passengers
Length: 26.67m Beam: 9.02m Draught: 1.20m
Engines: 2 x Diesel MTU 12 V 396 TC 62
Power: 2 x 880 kW
Layout: Shafts through two ZF BW 800 HS 20 hydraulic gearboxes to two LIPS fixed propellers
Aux. engine: Mercedes OM 314, Stamford MHC 2341 generator 32.5 kVA