Germany, 2021 | 96 Minutes | A film by Enrique Sánchez Lansch

A SYMPHONY OF NOISE delves into the sound worlds of celebrated British musician and sound researcher Matthew Herbert. While the artist permanently breaks the genre boundaries of classical and electronic music with his compositions of sounds he records from the environment, he challenges his audience to open their ears to the sound of the world: We are to hear as we have never heard before.



    A SYMPHONY OF NOISE takes the viewer on a journey with Matthew Herbert, right into the mind of the revolutionary British musician and composer who is known for his outstanding pieces combining music derived from real life sounds with politically sensitive issues. Over the course of 10 years, director Enrique Sánchez Lansch has accompanied the musician in his creative process of conceiving, recording and performing his most exciting projects and diverse activities. For the British artist, music is not just a product but a process. In A SYMPHONY OF NOISE, the audience experiences directly how Herbert makes music out of everyday sounds and noises. What drives this exceptional artist, and why does changing the way we hear mean a revolutionary act to him?

    Matthew Herbert’s credo is: attentive and differentiated listening can decisively improve the world, can make it fairer and more worth living in. The film invites the viewers to share this experience with him.

    At the center of A SYMPHONY OF NOISE, we find the greatest creative challenge that Herbert probably ever chose to face: He leaves the genre of music and writes a book in which he describes sounds that come together to form virtual pieces of music which materialize in the imagination of the reader. What at first appears to be a welcome change turns in the process of writing into an artistic challenge of epic proportions…

    We accompany Matthew Herbert into the forest and listen to the sounds of a tree as it is being cut down. We witness rehearsals with his “Brexit Big Band”, which he founded as a reaction and commentary on Brexit. We listen to a swimmer on her long journey across the English Channel. We see and hear the British sound artist as he records the life of a pig – from its birth to slaughter and processing of the meat until it ends up on a plate – and turns it into music.

    With full intimate access to the life and work of one of today’s most fascinating conceptual artists, the film captures creativity at its core and will challenge the audience in their perception. After watching A SYMPHONY OF NOISE we will listen to music, but also to the world, in a way we have never done before.


    Enrique Sánchez Lansch is one of the most renowned documentary filmmakers from Germany. A special focus of his work is on extraordinary music films: His film RHYTHM IS IT! about a project by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle with school children was a box office hit (600.000 audience in Germany alone) won the Bavarian Film Award, the German Critics’ Prize and two German Film Awards.

    PIANO ENCOUNTERS was awarded at SEMINCI film festival in Valladolid, Spain. THE PROMISE OF MUSIC received the Best Documentary Award at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and THE REICHSORCHESTER was awarded the Diapason d’or de l’année and the Choc du Monde de la musique.

    After studying music with a major in vocal performance, Sánchez Lansch graduated in Romance and German Philology and Philosophy. Later he studied film with a focus on screenwriting at Columbia University, New York and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). He lives in Berlin.


    Writer & Director
    Enrique Sánchez Lansch

    Stefan Kloos

    Thilo Schmidt
    Anne Misselwitz

    Andrew Bird

    Matthew Herbert

    Sound Design
    Pascal Capitolin

    Re-Recording Mixing
    Richard Borowski

    Line Producer
    Maria Shilik
    Veronika Janatkovà

    Kloos & Co. Medien / Kloos & Co. Nord

    Distributor Germany
    Rise and Shine Cinema

    World Sales
    Rise and Shine World Sales


    Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
    Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein
    Creative Europe Programme – MEDIA of the European Union


    World Premiere
    CPH:DOX 2021, Copenhagen, Denmark

    German Premiere
    DOK.fest München Internationales Dokumentarfilmfestival 2021, Germany

    Further Festivals
    Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2021, Poland