Sonic Traces from the Arab World


An audio­vi­su­al per­for­mance to music, noise and protest in the Arab World by norient:

Text, quotes, music: Thomas Burkhal­ter; music, audio mixing: Simon Grab; video, sounds: Michael Spahr
By the 1960s, musi­cians from Arab coun­tries had begun cre­at­ing new and diverse musi­cal and socio-polit­i­cal posi­tions. The rev­o­lu­tions in 2011 did not come out of thin air. In the audio-visual per­for­mance SONIC TRACES: FROM THE ARAB WORLD we hear pro­pa­gan­da music from left-wing and right-wing groups, psy­che­del­ic Arab rock from the late 1960s, the noise of bombs and machine guns, the new syn­the­siz­er music “New Wave Dabké”, old rare shel­lac records from the early twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, death metal, rap, elec­troa­coustic music, Musique Con­crète, and much more. In SONIC TRACES: FROM THE ARAB WORLD, insights into issues of glob­al­iza­tion, dig­i­tal­iza­tion and music are trans­lat­ed into audio-visual per­for­mances. Researchers and audio and video artists turn sounds, music, pic­tures, inter­views and back­ground texts from the Arab world (Fokus Mashriq) into a dense col­lage of sounds and images. They demon­strate how sounds in the envi­ron­ment around them shape the sound aes­thet­ics of con­tem­po­rary musi­cians and sound artists in the Arab world.