Zelig Sound co-Founder Matthew Wilcock debuts provocative art installation

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Matthew Wilcock, co-Founder at award winning music and sound design company Zelig Sound, is behind a vital and poignant new sound installation that explores our disconnected attitude to war, in particular the conflicts currently raging in Gaza and Ukraine.

‘Cease. Fire.’ by Matthew Wilcock

Called ‘Cease. Fire.’, the sound installation is to debut at pop-up gallery Garden Walk in London’s Shoreditch from 13-16 June.

It features 20 cassette players in a grid hanging from the ceiling, playing looped recordings from social media videos and news reports from conflict zones. Sounds include grenades being fired at tanks, bombs, rockets, people hiding from gunmen and children being mortally wounded.

They’re taken from recordings Matthew has collected over the last two years from Ukraine, Russia, Israel and Palestine, to create an installation that demonstrates the disconnect we often have when we hear war reports.

The idea for the installation was initially sparked when Matthew experienced the Beirut 2020 seaport blast from a distance, in which 218 people died and more than 7,000 injured.

The tapes will very gradually degrade as the exhibition continues, a stark metaphor for how our memories of media reports about violent events fade over time.

Wilcock said: “The idea for ‘Cease. Fire.’ originally came from the 2020 Beirut Explosion and me trying to process it.

“I was about to video call a friend in Beirut and he was running a couple of minutes late, when suddenly he sent me a distressed voice message saying ‘It’s the port or something…” and I could hear glass shattering, sirens and panicked people in the background.

“I was sitting on my own in London during lockdown in shock: “What. was. that?” Then 15 minutes later the news reports started coming in.

“Since then, I’ve been drawn to these global incidents and conflicts and how they’re depicted in the media and how they affect us, whether it’s Beirut, George Floyd, Ukraine-Russia or Israel-Palenstine.

“I find myself often avoiding the news and avoiding these clips on social media as they make me feel incredibly anxious, hopeless and helpless but, they’re freely shared, promoted even, by millions of people who are facing infinitely less danger.

“It’s really hard to reconcile or make sense of and I think this installation is me trying to do that.”

In his day job co-owning London’s Zelig Sound, Wilcock works overseas original music and sonic branding for some of the world’s most recognised brands, including Prime Video, Formula 1, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Coca Cola, Virgin Atlantic, Nike, Adidas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Channel 4.

Wilcock designed the acoustic vehicle alerting system used by Transport For London’s electric buses, and he was behind the BBC’s first ever master sonic brand.

He also scored the BAFTA nominated feature film Apostasy and Palme D’or winning film Waves ’98.

He recently exhibited his sound and video installation Out for four months at the Outernet London’s Now Trending Space,

The exhibition is open to the public from 13-16 June and is at First Floor, 4 Garden Walk, EC2A 3EQ, 12-4pm.

Launch event invite here.