The New Norient Space

Norient will reposition itself on the web. Until the relaunch of the new Norient Space, announced for spring 2020, the beta Version will be freely available.

Norient has always been one of the best and most exciting transcultural projects, the web-server a treasure trove of current contributions beyond ready-made world views. The new Norient Space aims to provide a platform for new audiovisual formats, high-quality music journalism, and current music research.

“In 2002, Norient was an attack on Orientalism and exoticism. It was about opening up to contemporary music and music forms from the non-western world. Today it’s about creating a real community of thinkers and artists. (Thomas Burkhalter, founder and artistic director of Norient)

One of the aims of New Norient Space is to create a scientific archive: In addition to music journalistic articles, scientific publications, dissertations, and master’s theses are to be made accessible in order to draw attention to research fields such as popular music studies, music ethnology, musicology, sound studies, artistic research, postcolonial studies, and digital humanities. “Research must reach the public and must not remain hidden in university libraries. Only in this way can it initiate social developments.”

“With the new Norient Space, Norient wants to bring music research to the public, rethink or even reinvent music journalism, and continue to stand for (sub)cultural diversity – with a focus on contemporary music worldwide, as well as the sounds and noise of our time.

Norient sees music and sound as seismographs that anticipate the future and reflect the changes of an increasingly complex world. The Norient online magazine “The Now In Sound” will, therefore, focus on topics that are related to the future. It will be a platform for thinkers* and musicians*, an archive and an audio-visual gallery between art, journalism, and science. You can assume a “modern, multi-layered website for articles, podcasts, videos, photo series and experimental, artistic formats can be expected. With texts on South African electronica, rap from Pakistan, rock music from Chile, folk music from Lebanon, new music, but also field recordings from landscapes, villages, and cities, or reflections on the universality of music, noise-canceling headphones, exoticism or post-colonialism.”

“The world is changing, and we want to take Norient and our content to a new level so that we can go into the future stronger and continue to be heard”.

“For we seem to be moving more and more into a post-critical time. In which only propaganda, shock, advertising or belly brushing reach the public. The fact that Trump and Co. are calling the media fake is frightening. But journalism, research, and criticism also seem to be less and less welcome in the music and art scenes, because they look behind the images and brands of women artists. As observers of the times, how do we encounter these self-staging? Will we continue to get close to phenomena? Can we support music and art, enjoy their magic, and yet also ask questions?

The support of the ((audio))-Team is for sure: Take part in this fantastic project of the Swiss audio activists around our longtime friend and cooperation partner (“Sound in Media Culture”!) Thomas Burkhalter.


This year’s Norient Film Festival in Bern will be replaced by two current events. Norient Info about it:

“In the documentary film “Contradict”, Peter Guyer and Norient founder Thomas Burkhalter together with six musicians* from Accra explored the questions of what is going wrong in Ghana and the world, what our visions for the future, and how can music and art shake the status quo? The film is nominated for the “Prix Du Public” of the Solothurn Film Festival. And on Wednesday 29.1 we celebrate a big Bern premiere in the cinema Rex and in the gym of the PROGR Bern – among other things with a concert by the Rap Duo FOKN Bois and the singer Adomaa (in cooperation with bee-flat)”.

Trailer «Contradict»

“In late January, the redefinition of Norient also comes to an end. The Norient magazine, which has been a mouthpiece for music scenes from Argentina to Pakistan since 2002, was taken off the net in early December. In February we plan to open the new Norient Space “The Now In Sound”, a sustainable portal for current music, high-quality journalism, current research, and multimedia projects. “The Now in Sound” means: You experience via music, sound, noises, and noise what moves today and what is possible tomorrow.”

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *