The new Zurich platform SONIC MATTER is an invitation to go on a common journey of discovery, exploration and creation in the field of experimental music. This platform comprises a festival in Zurich that takes place each December, and an online forum that is active through the year. With SONIC MATTER, we would like to offer a space for urgent contemporary issues that can be negotiated jointly by artists and audiences over long periods of time.

Sound is at the heart of SONIC MATTER. It is our constant companion, shaping our environment in ways that can be either striking or enigmatic, and that contains within it a multi-layered content: from the critical to the sensual, the unifying to the energetic, the contemplative to the danceable.

SONIC MATTER is open to a broad public: Visitors can participate either as listeners or as partners in a dialogue, while amateur artists can also take part in projects that suit their particular talents.

SONIC MATTER exists as …

_RADIO since April 2021

SONIC MATTER_radio will run 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It will accompany the activities of SONIC ZURICH and SONIC WORLD and is an art radio at the same time. Besides live streams, interviews and music from SONIC-MATTER protagonists, it will present artistic work developed especially for the medium of radio.

_FESTIVAL – since December 2021

Each year around the first weekend of December the SONIC MATTER Festival will take place at different venues in Zurich. It will bring together artists from Zurich, other parts of Switzerland and the international arena for concerts, sound walks, performances, exhibitions, lounges, club nights, and dialogues. Each edition of SONIC MATTER will take place in collaboration with a guest festival from a different part of the world.

  • Where can I find the programme for future and past editions of SONIC MATTER Festival? In our Newsletter and at SONIC ZURICH

_OPENLAB as of April 2021–October 2022

From April 2021 through October 2022, the international research laboratory of SONIC MATTER regularly brought together teams of scientists, scholars, artists, and the local population from Switzerland, South America, and North America. SONIC MATTER_openlab: THE WITNESS turned its ears especially towards ecological and sociological topics and was a forum for the exchange of ideas that are open to everyone who wants to participate.


SONIC MATTER was founded in 2020 after a successful call to tender issued by the city of Zurich’s Cultural Department. During its pilot phase (lasting until 2023) it will receive annual financial support from the City President’s Office. It is the successor festival to the Zurich New Music Days – an institution founded in 1986 by the composers Thomas Kessler and Gérard Zinsstag that had a major impact on the city music scene for more than three decades.