SONNEN are an experimental electro-acoustic duo with Max Baillie on Viola and percussion and Vahakn Matossian on electronics. Think Colin Stetson eats Stockhausen.

Dancing the line between left-field, experimental music and music rooted in pop-culture, Max and Vahakn create a blend of powerful explorational sound journey and tangible concert experience for the listener with viola, percussion and electronics.

Max’s viola – heard both live and amplified is split and fed into an array of electronic resonators and phase shifters. Vahakn re-sculpts the vibrating strings creating sub-sonics and audible ghosts, creating careful analog synthesis and ‘touchable’ rusty-chain-rubbed and feather-soft sounds they call ‘grain rain’.

British-German violinist and violist Max Baillie is sought after as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader in the UK and abroad. His musical life reflects his interest in the cross-pollination of musical styles, having led Bjork’s string orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall, recorded with guitar maestro John Williams, and dueted with Bobby McFerrin in New York. From folk tunes in the Welsh hills to major festivals across the world, Max leads a chameleonic life-embracing classical, improvisation, and appearances on stages big and small.

Vahakn Matossian also known under his DJ moniker ‘Harky’ live-twists the electro-acoustic world with left-field bleeps and percussion. Son of electronic music pioneer Rolf Gehlhaar (of the Stockhausen generation), he is one half of the GENTLE MYSTICS SOUND SYSTEM DJ duo. His radio show LOST TRACK on musicboxradio.co.uk pulls together other-worldly ‘music from the other side’ and regularly writes and performs with Noemie Ducimetiere in the band NOUM.

SONNEN sọn·nen take their name from the German word ‘to leave in the sun’, also mis-spelling of the German word ‘sons’ as a nod to their musical heritage and as a word which contains the multilingual root word for sound; Son. Sonorous, Resonate, Sonnet, Sonic Consonant, Dissonant, Asonant, Unison, Resound….


Nest Collective LIVE on Resonance FM 25/09/18

Woodburner Dalston, London 25/09/18 pre-show VIDEO

Private Concert, Camden, London. UK 27/12/19

Festival of New, Britten Pears Arts, Snape Maltings, 12/09/20

Church of the Holy Child, St Leonards-on-Sea 22/07/21 flyer

Festival of New, Britten Pears Arts, Snape 10/09/21

Radio Play - BBC details tba 2021

Ragged Art, Coronet Theatre, London 27/10/21 flyer

Proof Positive - Servants Jazz Quarters, Dalston London 22/11/21 flyer

October House EP Launch Party - IKLECTIK, London, 6/5/22 flyer

Radio Play - Cut to Rounds on BBC Night Tracks by Sara Mohr Pietsch 2022 - available on October House Records 


For bookings, press enquiry or contact please email booking@sonnen.live

Artwork by Polly Rothwell

Videos + video stills by John Fensom  /  Vincent Rowley

Live sound by Sam Poole / Synergy Audio.