Lecture and Performance Out of the Absurdity of Life!


Aga Khan University Karachi

Audio-visual Stories around subcultural and experimental music in Africa, Asia, and Switzerland today. Thomas Burkhalter, founder of Norient.com, a network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture, mixes music, video-clips and quotes from his physical and virtual fieldtrips and talks about new developments in what he calls «World Music 2.0»: Musicians from Beijing to Tijuana, from Istanbul to Johannesburg, mix and manipulate local and global sounds and ideas within their music. They network with artists and multipliers (e.g., curators, producers, journalist, and scholars) worldwide and experiment with new ways of producing, distributing, and selling music. Style-wise, the sample is broad: commercially successful styles of pop music like reggaeton and kwaito, and electronic music styles like kuduro, tecno brega, baile funk, mahragan (electro sha’abi), shangaan electro, or cumbia electronica form the popular end of the spectrum. The experimental end offers African, Asian, and Latin American musique concrète, free improvisation, noise music, and sound art.

Burkhalter is director of the Norient Musikfilm Festival, performer with «Sonic Traces: From Switzerland», and author of the recently published books «Local Music Scenes and Globalization – Transnational Platforms in Beirut» (Routledge), «The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity» (Wesleyan University Press), and «Out of the Absurdity of Life – Globale Musik» (Traversion). Info: http://norient.com