Imperial War Museum Manchester

The sound of the first world war in Vertical Echoes

The roar of a First World War biplane and the echoes of a field gun from the trenches will greet visitors to IWM North – through the unique new sound sculpture by American artist Bill Fontana.

The work, Vertical Echoes, will be the first in a major series of contemporary art works, specially commissioned by IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums to mark the First World War Centenary.

The dramatic sound of the Sopwith Camel Biplane and artillery field gun will rise and fall as visitors enter through the 55m high AirShard section of IWM North’s building.

Once inside IWM North, visitors will be able to explore the stories behind the sounds further by discovering the field gun that fired the British Army’s first shot of the First World War and a replica Sopwith Camel biplane.

The Vertical Echoes sound installation installation opens on 1 May and runs until 21 September 2015.

Entry to IWM North and to the installation is free, but visitors can book to see Bill Fontana In Conversation with Ben Borthwick on 1 May (£8). Borthwick, an expert in sound installations, is a curator and writer specialising in international contemporary art.

Fontana’s artwork is the first part of Reactions14 – the first work in a major season of high-quality artworks and live performances, specially commissioned to mark the First World War Centenary.

For more information, visit or connect with IWM North on @I_W_M #IWM North or

(from a press release)