Features November 8, 2013
Scholar: Thomas Burkhalter
Thomas Burkhalter is an ethnomusicologist, music journalist, and cultural producer from Bern, Switzerland. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Norient, an independent network for local and global sounds. At Norient, Burkhalter organizes the Musikfilm Festival and the audio-visual performances Sonic Traces: From Switzerland and Sonic Traces: From the Arab World. He wrote his dissertation, Creating Sense out of Chaos: New Sounds from Beirut, on experimental and popular music in Lebanon at University of Bern and Oldenburg in 2009. Since then, he has worked on a post-doctorate research project, Global Niches: Music in a Transnational World at the Zurich University of the Arts. In addition to his academic work, Burkhalter has also produced radio features and written articles on music, culture and politics in Beirut, Istanbul, Cairo, Bamako, Duschanbe, Belgrade and other cities for Swiss and German newspapers, magazines, and radio stations, such as New Zurich Newspaper, Swiss National Radio DRS2, Die Zeit, and SWR2. Burkhalter is a fellow at Global Players where he has produced several podcasts on acoustic worlds of the orient for his project Lo-Fi Versus Hi-Fi.  He is the author of Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut (Routledge, 2013) and the co-editor of Arab Avant-Garde (Wesleyan University Press, 2013)