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A Symphony of Noise from award-winning director Enrique Sánchez Lansch
A Symphony of Noise from award-winning director Enrique Sánchez Lansch

Acclaimed film composer Matthew Herbert is the subject of the new documentary A Symphony of Noise from award-winning director Enrique Sánchez Lansch (Rhythm Is It!) world premiering at CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Film Festival (April 21 – May 12) in the Sound & Vision section.

A Symphony of Noise delves into the worlds of sound of the celebrated British musician and sound researcher Matthew Herbert. Herbert released more than 30 music albums, wrote film scores for Ridley Scott and the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman. With his ground-breaking style, he ranks among the most versatile and visionary artists of our time. While he 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 creates music out of everyday sounds and noises. What drives this exceptional artist, and why does changing the way we hear mean a revolutionary act for 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.

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 its 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 very 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.

At the center of A Symphony of Noise, we find the greatest creative challenge that Herbert probably every 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 into an artistic challenge of epic proportions…

A Symphony of Noise is written and directed by Spanish-German filmmaker Enrique Sánchez Lansch. A special focus of his work is on extraordinary music films: His documentary Rhythm Is It! about a project of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle with school children was a huge box office hit (600,000 viewers in Germany alone) and won the Bavarian Film Award, the German Critics’ Prize and two German Film Awards.

Watch trailer for A Symphony of Noise.

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