Norient, subtitled an independent network for local and global soundscapes, is a Swiss-based organisation aiming to develop an understanding of cultural globalisation. Norient produces, co-produces and curates large and small projects, locally and internationally. From making DJ nights to film nights, articles and photographs, Norient creates and draws connections across the globe.
They organise concerts and meetings around themes of cultural globalisation, music and censorship, town planning and gentrification. Recent events include PLAN_B – a multi-media event in Switzerland focussing on cultural and socio-political questions in Berne. International musicians and artists were invited to participate in interdisciplinary activities with local artists. Last year there were also events with Christiaan Virant, one of the most important representatives of the underground scene in Beijing, and his FM3 project - a concert, and a radio show about cultural policy and censorship in rapidly changing China.
Norient is involved in regular radio and Web radio projects including: NEUE MUSIK AUS ISTANBUL Schweizer Radio DRS3, and NORIENT IN BEIRUT live on VibeLebanon.com and they often organise or take part in international conferences.
The Norient web site acts as a platform for the publication of articles, and the group also contributes papers to journals, magazines and conferences. They have released two compilation CDs Sounds from home - La Suisse Internationale
and Mischpult Schweiz -La Suisse Internationale
, and released a documentary film Buy More Incense
(2002) about Indian and Pakistani musicians of second and third generation in the UK, produced by Thomas Burkhalter and Michael Spahr.
Norient was founded by Thomas Burkhalter (1973), an ethnomusicologist and cultural journalist from Bern (Switzerland). He has written on the music and cultural scenes of cities like Beirut, Istanbul, Cairo, Duschanbe, Belgrade, and Mumbai for Swiss and international media.
CTM.07 > BUILDING SPACE: SOUNDSCAPES FROM THE EDGES