Hannes Liechti

Hannes Liechti [*1987] lives in Bern, Switzerland, as a musicologist, curator, cultural producer, and music journalist. Since 2013, he has worked for Norient as an editor, curator, and project manager in several projects as the Norient Online Magazine, the annual Norient Musikfilm Festival, the 1+1 recording project (2015-2016), and the Sonic Fiction concert series (2018). Currently he is working on a doctoral thesis on creative strategies of sampling in experimental electronic popular music.


Hannes Liechti studied musicology and history at the University of Bern (CH) and the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (D). He finished his studies in 2012 with a thesis about the world music scene in Bern (title: «Eine Stadt voller Menschen, Kulturen und Klänge: Musik der Welt in Bern»). In this thesis – under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Britta Sweers (University of Berne) – he was looking for different musical styles from all over the world, which are played in Berne and he tried to reach a new definition of the controversial term «world music».

Since 2016 he is working on a doctoral thesis on creative strategies of sampling in experimental electronic popular music at the Bern University of Arts and the University of Bern. He is also part of the Graduate School of the Arts GSA. The PhD project asks about what material has been sampled, how it has been manipulated, and, most of all, what kind of motivations and intentions lie behind the sampling of material with strong political or cultural connotations. The project aims to contribute a small part to a greater Ethnography of Sampling in (popular) music which still has to be written. The project (supervised by Prof. Dr. Britta Sweers and Dr. Thomas Burkhalter) is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF). For a project overview see here, for his series «Sampling Stories» on Norient here. Liechti is part of the board of IASPM D-A-CH, the german-speaking branch of the international association for the study of popular music as the national representative for Switzerland.

Since 2008 Hannes Liechti is working as a freelance journalist. He has written articles (among others) for the magazine for culture Ensuite, the Swiss Music Revue SMZ, the Bernese daily journal «Der Bund» and the magazine for religion and society, Aufbruch. He has been taking part of the editors board of the latter. He did some internships in Switzerland (journal «reformiert.») and Germany (Donaukurier Ingolstadt).

Liechti is further heading the Theaterensemble Johannes. With this amateur theater ensemble consisting of children and young adults, he is co-producing their own well respected biennial plays in Swiss German on subjects around religion, church, and society as well as antisemitism and racism (next project autumn 2019). Beside that he is doing several musical projects. He plays classical guitar and is part of the choir Vokalensemble Belcanto, which is having concerts twice a year.

Publications (Selection)

→ Articles by Hannes Liechti on Norient.com

Beyer, Theresa; Burkhalter, Thomas; Liechti, Hannes (ed.) (2015): Seismographic Sounds – Visions of a New World, Bern: Norient Books.

Liechti, Hannes (ed.) (2011): Allein mit Gott. Gebete eines Menschen, der nicht betet, texts by Janusz Korczak and illustrations by Walter Loosli, exhibition catalogue, Bern: Ev.-ref. Kirchgemeinde Johannes

Lectures (Selection)

2019, October 19, Zurich University of the Arts (CH), Expert-Day «Worldmusic 2.0»; Lecture «Ländler, Rap und Gangnam Style: Weltmusik im Wandel der Zeit»

2018, May 25, University of Vienna, Institute for Musicology (A), Collegium Musicum Populare (CMP) by IASPM D-A-CH; Paper: «Prinzipien des Samplings in der Forschung»

2017, December 2, Bern University of the Arts (CH), Research Symposium «The Future Sound of Pop»; Paper: «Rattling Chains and Cackling Chickens. Non-Musical Sampling in Experimental Electronic Popular Music»

2017, June 26, University of Kassel (D), 19th Biennial IASPM Conference; Paper: «Sampling Politics. Cultural Commentary through Sampling in Experimental Electronic Pop Music»

2016, December 15, University of Bern (CH), 2. GSA Forschungstag; Paper: «Spurensuche im Global Pop»

2016, October 22, Karl Franzens University Graz (A), Darüber hinaus … Populäre Musik und Überschreitung(en). IASPM-D-A-CH-Konferenz 2016; Paper: «Remix von Orts-Referenzen im Global Pop. Ansätze einer multiperspektivischen Track-Analyse»

Academic Activities (Selection)

2018, October 18-20, University of Bern/Bern University of the Arts (CH), Biennial Research Conference by IASPM D-A-CH «Pop – Power – Positions», organizing committee.

2017, July 14, TU Berlin (D), PhD Workshop: «Cut’n’Paste Culture – Sample-based Pop Music and its Analysis» feat. Bonaventure & Kabuki, organization and paper.

2016-… (ongoing), National Representative Switzerland for IASPM D-A-CH, german-speaking branch of the international association for the study of popular music.

Cultural Production (Selection)

2018 [Project Management]: «Sonic Fiction – Concerts and Audiovisual Performances that Shape the Future»: a concert series at Schauspielhaus Zürich, curated by Norient and Rewire Festival (Den Haag, Netherlands).

2017, October 22-November 12 [Direction]: Theaterensemble Johannes, «Lied einer neuen Welt – Luther & Co. proben den Aufstand»: theater play to mark the 500th anniversary of Reformation.

2015-2017 [Curation]: «Seismographic Sounds – Visions from a New World». An exibition by Norient, presented at Forum Schlossplatz Aarau (CH), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie ZKM (D), CTM Festival Berlin (D), Castelgrande Bellinzona (CH), Base Milano (I), Kornhausforum Bern (CH).

2016-… (ongoing) [Project Management]: Norient Musikfilm Festival, editions in Bern, Lausanne and St. Gallen.

2016-… (ongoing) [Project Management]: Norient Online Magazine.

2015-2016 [Project Management]: 1+1 – a recording project by Norient and Sound Development conducted in Cairo (Egypt), Honolulu (Hawaii/USA), Lome (Togo), and Zurich (Switzerland).

2015, October 11-November 8 [Curation and Direction]: Theaterensemble Johannes, «‹Da draussen bei den Heiden› – Szenen zu Mission, Rassismus und Sklaverei»: play and event series to mark the 200th anniversary of the Basel Mission.

2014, August 15-October 10 [Curation]: Norient @ K-eck-Kiosk Basel, invited by H3K, House of the Electronic Arts Basel.

2013, October 13-November 13 [Curation and Direction]: Theaterensemble Johannes, «Allen Gewalten zum Trotz – das Leben der Sophie Scholl»: play and event series around the German resistance fighter Sophie Scholl.

2012, November 24-December 2 [Curation]: event series to mark the international Korczak year 2012, proclaimed by the Polish government. Collaboration with the embassies of Israel and Poland in Switzerland.

2011, October 16-November 13 [Curation and Direction]: Theaterensemble Johannes, «Geranien im Ghetto. Janusz Korczak – ein Leben für Kinder»: play and event series around the Jewish-Polish pediatrist, educational reformist, and director of orphanages Janusz Korzcak.



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