Visions of a New World – South Africa

Seismographic Sounds - South Africa

After London, Berlin, Cairo and Milano, we are excited to present our mixture of Live-Music and Music Discussions in South Africa. Join us for the «Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World» launches on October 6, 8 and 14 in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, and follow up with our travel blog.

With Norient our aim is (first) to be close to the phenomenon of music itself. Then we try to discuss it and reflect on it (multi-modally) through academic articles, journalistic texts, blog posts, podcasts, mixtapes, films, or an exhibition. We try not to describe the world from our own point of view alone, but in collaboration with writers, podcast producers, musicians and sound artists from across the world – for our book and exhibition «Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World» we therefore collaborated with 250 people from 50 countries – A big thanks again to all of them! Through you we keep learning: contemporary expressions are rich fields of experimentation; judging is delicate; much is unfinished, not fixed but in flux, quickly switching between peaks and failures. And: music is changing on almost all levels—in its production, financing, promotion, distribution, and in its shapes and formats. We thus strongly believe: It is time for research. And not time for big theories. It’s about finding the massive diversity of music that is being produced today. It’s about showing how it is produced? And how one track can lead to insights and debates around our daily lives: our possibilities and challenges, our dreams, hopes and fears.

To be back in South Africa with a project like «Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World» is a great honor and joy. I presented my sound-lecture «Soundscapes from the Edges» in Cape Town in 2007 (listen here), and I found a challenging audience to discuss issues around appropriation, exoticisms, new avant-gardes, modernity, ... topics that are at the core of Norient today – and led to performances like «Sonic Traces: From the Arab World» or films like «Ghana is the Future» (see below). This time I will travel with the two Swiss musicians Bit-Tuner and Dubokaj, and we are going to meet up with local artists and writers Umlilo, Dope Saint Jude, Stash Crew, Hlasko, Future Nostalgia, Atiyyah Khan, Percy Mabandu, Fortune Shumba, Bit-Tuner, Dubokaj, and Dylan Culhane. The events are going to happen in Keleketla in Johannesburg (October 6), Side Street Studios in Cape Town (October 8), and Khaya Records in Durban (October 14). Join us!

On our trip in South Africa we will stay in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and plan to come up with interviews, podcasts and photographs from South African artists – a first research round-up you find on our Soundcloud Playlist (below). These upcoming blog posts will add to the many articles you already find about South African music on Norient (here).

I hope for loads of meetings, discussions and fun in South Africa and I look forward to see you all! Thanks to everyone that made this trip possible!

Thomas Burkhalter, September 30, 2016


The Events

The events which form part of residency programmes supported by Pro Helvetia, sees Swiss musicians Bit-Tuner and Dubokaj join South African artists Umlilo, Stash Crew, Hlasko and Fortune Shumba in Johannesburg, and Dope Saint Jude and Future Nostalgia in Cape Town, teaming up for an exciting performance programme. Alongside the performances the two event spaces will also home panel discussions featuring Percy Mabandu (see his article «Exotica in South African House Music»), Thomas Burkhalter, Umlilo (read «Queer and Of Here») and Dylan Culhane.

Thursday, October 6, Johannesburg: Keleketla. Facebook Event Invite Here.
Saturday, October 8, Cape Town: Side Street Studios. Facebook Event Invite Here
Friday, October 14, Durban: Khaya Records, Durban. Facebook Event Invite Khaya Records, Durban

Videos of some of the live acts:


The Playlist

// Sophisticated or full of pre-sets // Trap, Playful Explorations, Gqom, Voice Experiments, Mali Blues, Cut Up Pianos, Distortion and Echoes, Field Recordings, F*ed up Rhythms, Drones, Stretched Time; LGTB Visions, Masculine Pathos, Showbiz, Spoken Word // «No Justice», «Give me the Government Coins, «I am warning you», «You are disgraceful», «Rise Up», «I can feel the changes» // «I'm fucking with the clubs, and the books and the streets» Dope Saint Jude (Track 1 / 1’27)