The Swiss ethnomusicologist, film festival director, documentary filmmaker and music journalist Thomas Burkhalter is no stranger to the Media Design program; in fact, we can already look back on a long and successful collaboration. Most recently, in 2014, he presented his exhibition project “Seismographic Sounds” (2015/2016) as part of the event “The New People. Music as Seismograph”:
The Norient book “Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World” introduces a new world of diverse music, sounds and music videos. It is edited by Theresa Beyer, Thomas Burkhalter and Hannes Liechti. One of the contributions, that on “Loneliness and Decay,” is by Holger Lund.


The content: Scientists, journalists, bloggers and musicians from Bolivia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Switzerland and 46 other countries discuss artistic positions that have not yet made headlines, but already anticipate changes of the future. Produced in often small studios from Jakarta to La Paz, Cape Town to Helsinki, the featured compositions experiment with the new possibilities of the digital age and illuminate new spaces behind the barriers of commercialism, propaganda and fanaticism. They predict changing geographies of multi-layered modernity, beyond old worldviews of North versus South, West versus East.


Themes: Music and money, music and loneliness, music and war, exotica, gender, sampling culture, post-digital pop.
Examples: Punk in Bolivia and Indonesia, Electronic Music in Egypt, Underground Pop from South Africa and Nigeria, Rap in Pakistan, Serbia, Chile and Ghana, Noise Music from Israel, Seapunk and Vaporwave from the US, Post Digital Pop from the UK, New Conceptualism, and more.



Thomas Burkhalter is founder and editor-in-chief of Norient, the Network for Local and Global Sounds and Media Culture. He works as an ethnomusicologist, curator of the annual Norient Music Film Festival, cultural practitioner (including audio-visual performances “Sonic Traces: From Switzerland”), documentary filmmaker (“Sound Translations”) and music journalist.