CVhighlights - Janek Schaefer 'Architect of Foundsoundscapes'

"Where you'd thought that Fluxus and everything that came after it had turned almost every stone,
this man keeps coming up with concepts that are so simple they enthral you." Uzine, Belgium.


Sound Artist, Composer, & Entertainer Janek Schaefer was born in England to Polish and Canadian parents in 1970. While studying architecture at the Royal College of Art [RCA annual prize], he created 'Recorded Delivery' [1995] using a sound activated dictaphone travelling overnight through the Post Office. That work was made for the 'Self Storage' exhibition [Time Out critics choice] with one time postman Brian Eno and Artangel. Since then the multiple aspects of sound became his focus, resulting in many site-specific installations, exhibition/dance/short film soundtracks, albums and concerts using his self built record players with manipulated foundsound collage. The 'Tri-phonic Turntable' [1997] is in the Guinness Book of Records. He has performed, lectured and exhibited widely throughout Europe [Sonar, Tate Modern, Pompidou, CCCB], China, USA/Canada [The Walker, XI, Mutek, Princeton], Japan, and Australia [Sydney Opera House].

The context of each idea is central to its development and resolution. His concerts and installations explore the spatial and architectural aspect that sound can evoke and the twisting of technology. Hybrid analogue and digital techniques are used to manipulate field recordings with live modified vinyl and found sound to create evocative and involving environments. In recent years he has become an accomplished Party DJ with his Lucky Dip Disco playing dancoing music from the last 100yrs on 7" & digital. He hosts public & private parties for children sharing his passion for dancing musics, or for adult celebrations, rocking the dance floor till dawn.

His first studio album 'Above Buildings' was released on Fat Cat to considerable praise, [The Guardian CD of the week]. Other solo works have been released all over the world by Asphodel, Sub Rosa, Hot Air, Sirr, Rhiz, Kraak, Alluvial, DSP, Diskono, BiP_HOp, Cronica, LINE, Room40, Desire Path, Fat Cat, audiOh!, Staalplaat, Dekorder, and 12k. He has collaborations with Philip Jeck (Songs for Europe CD), Robert Hampson (Comae CD), Stephan Mathieu (Hidden Name CD), and Charlemagne Palestine (Day of the Demons LP).

In 2008 he won The British Composer of the Year Award in Sonic Art and the Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize, and in 2020 won the British 'Best Mobile DJ' Award for his Lucky Dip Disco. The Bluecoat Gallery exhibited a Retrospective of his 20 year career in 2009. Janek is a Visiting Professor in Sound Art, and in 2023 won Creative Consultant of the Year. He lives and works at Narnia, in Walton-on-Thames, UK.

2013 > onwards Visiting Professor in Sound Art
1994-96 MA RCA [Architecture]: Royal College of Art [RCA Annual OSARCA portfolio prize - specialising in sound/space/place]
1990-94 BA hons 1st Class [Architecture]: Manchester Metropolitan University


'Best Experimental Film' Award. Berlin Indie Film Festival. [LOVE HERTZ]
2023 'Creative Consultant of the Year' Award, W&FI Awards.
2023 'Love Hertz' Official Selection in Art category, London International Creative Awards
2023 'qqquestion' Official Selection in Product category, London International Creative Awards
2022 '. . . on reflection' voted #1 Minimalist Album of 2022 by a worldwide audience.
2020 UK 'Best Mobile DJ' Award, for Lucky Dip Disco, at The Event Entertainment Awards.
2008 Winner of The British Composer of The Year Award in Sonic Art > Extended Play
2008 Winner of The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize
Runner-up for The British Composer of the Year Award [New Media] > Vacant Space
'Jury Selection' at the Bourges 32nd International Competition of Electroacoustic Music & Sonic Art
'Award of Distinction' Prix Ars Electronica music competition, Linz, Austria.
Solo 'Guinness World Record' holder for breaking the most number of vinyl records.
'McKnight Composer in Residence' for the The American Composers Forum USA.
Guinness World Record holder for 'The Worlds Most Versatile Record Player'.
'Honorary Mention' at Prix Ars Electronica music competition, Linz, Austria.
2000 The Guardian 'CD of the week' for 'Above Buildings' ['On the Edge' section 22nd Dec 2000] .
1999 Selected as 'Sound Designer of the Year' for Creative Review Magazine's annual exhibition, London.
1996 'Royal College of Art Old Students Association Award' annual prize for an RCA MA degree portfolio.
1995 Commendation for 'Audio & Image' dissertation, Royal College of Art.
1994 Distinction for '6 Elements of Installation' disertation at Manchester Metropolitan University.
1991 First prize 'Pragmatic structure design' & 'Bird house design' [1st yr departmental competitions].
1991 First prize in RIBA photographic competition at Viewpoint Photography Gallery, Salford.

selected Exhibitions:

2021 'Imagine Our World' installation Coventry City of Culture Biennale
'Speaker Cones' installation for Berghaus, London Design Biennale, Somersset House
2016 7 year soundscape commissioned for the new Design Museum interior, London
'Aerial Aria in the Aviary' Commissioned by the Morley Gallery & The Engine Room London
'' exhibitted at OVADA, Audiograft festival
2014 'Ecstatic Entropy' the Agency gallery, London. Solo Show
'Clouds from Cuckooland' installation, Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury
'Lay-by Lullaby' & 'Love Song' exhibition, Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London
'Love Song' installation, Theatro Circo, Braga, Portugal
'Unlucky Dip Disco' installation Milton Keynes Gallery, group show 'Pleasure Paradox'
'Collecting Connections' solo show at the Agency Gallery, London, premiering new work
'The Changing Room' Residency exhibition at ICIA University of Bath
2011 'The Mill - CIty of Dreams' Soundtrack for the site specific play in a deserted weaving mill in Bradford
2010 'Secret Service' for the Colourscape walk-through inflatable sculpture, London. 16 Radio transmitters and 16 portable retro radios
2010 'Cork Street Gallery' Exhibited the Pickup Putdown sculpture at the Open Exhibition, London
2010 'Asleep at the wheel' Artist in Residence for IF:Milton Keynes International Festival. Exhibition, Old Sainsbury's Supermarket. 10 days 7,500 visitors
2010 Sydney Cooper Gallery Canterbury, exhibition including 'Coda for John Dankworth' and 'Inner Space Memorial [for JG Ballard]'
2009 "Janek Schaefer : Sound Art" Retrospective exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. New Commission 'National Portrait'. 10,000 visitors
2009 'Extended Play' exhibit at the November Music Festival, Holland
2009 'Covers' Installation and concert at Lydgalleriet, Bergen Norway 219
2008 Foundation Liedts-Meesen 'New Media Award 2008' with 'Vacant Space' exhibition at Zebrastraat, Ghent
Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemorary Art 'Vacant Space' exhibition

'Extended Play' installation, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Ars Electronica 'Vacant Space' exhibition, Austria
2007 'Two by Two by Two by Two by Too many by Too much' Installation in Canary Islands, about the Population Pollution crisis
2007 'come on up' Installation in the Gueildpost gallery, The Netherlands
'Vacant Space' exhibition. A collaboration with Chris Watson and David Tinapple, South Hill Park, UK
'Texelectronica' Fortworth Museum of Modern Art: Short Stories installation
'Vinyl. Records and Covers by Artists' exhibition at MACBA museum in Barcelona

'The Science of Aliens' Soundtrack for The Science Museum, London touring for ten years to United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, France, Spain and Canada.
'Shuffle Mode' installation at the new Perth Concert Hall's Threshold Gallery, Scotland
2005 'Optical and Kinetic Art 1950-1975' Strasbourg Museum of Art installation of Skate and concert
2004 'Sons et Lumières' exhibition at thel Pompidou Centre. Includes one of my compositions.
'Weather Report' Installation using MP3 mobile phone floating from helium balloons, ISEA, Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia.
'Love Lounge & Weather Report' Installation/performance on Valentines night, The Walker Art Centre, USA.
'Lisbon Biennale 2003' Audience interactive display of Tri-Phonic Turntable at Experimenta exhibition.
'Love Song' installation at Niewe Vide, )Toon)4 festival, Haarlem, Holland [in a shared space with Philip Jeck].
'Skate [in a lift]' Sound and reactive light installation in an industrial lift at Kulturhauset, Stockholm.
'Pulse Field' Extensive sound art exhibition, Georgia State University, USA. Includes my music and vinyl products.
'Sound Art?' Selected records shown in exhibition of Vinyl Art , Floerence Loewry Bookshop, Paris.
'Bandwagon Jumping' Exhibition [inc. Recorded Delivery 7"] at the International 3 Gallery, Manchester.
'Grooves' Selected projects shown in exhibition of Vinyl Art at Huddersfield Art Gallery.
'Skate [in the Attic]' Sound, reactive light and turntable installation at Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent, Belgium.
'New Adventures in audiOh!!!' Comic Strip design for the D-fuse gallery page in The Wire magazine.
'Skate' Sound, video and reactive light installation at Triskel Arts in Cork Ireland.
'The Rumble' Exhibition of the Twin Turntable and On/Off LP, Royal Society of British Sculptors, London.
'Return To Sender' Sound activated tape recorder installation, The Light House Gallery, Wolverhampton.
1999 'OMA Rem Koolhaas:Living' Soundtrack's and graphic design, ICA, London.
1999 'Car Free London' Soundtrack for exhibition in the OXO tower with the Urban Salon, London.
1999 'The World of dR MM' Soundtrack for video by de Rijke Marsh Morgan for 'New British Architects' touring exhibition.
1998 'Masquerade' Design & soundtrack for group fashion/art show disguised as shop in Brixton Market for LPT.
1998 'The Ideal Home' Soundtrack for the 'Oyster House' by Nigel Coates at the Ideal Home Exhibition.
1998 'Architecture Foundation Roadshow' Voiceover/graphic design for London community action initiative.
1997 'The Silver Dream Machine' Soundtrack/video for group show in a converted Citroen CX car. Watershed, Bristol.
1997 'Tri-phonic Revolutions' World Premier performance with the Tri-Phonic Turntable at the Urban Salon, London.
1997 'Portable Architecture' Commissioned soundtrack for show at the RIBA, London.
1997 'Fused' 3D/sound /installation. Collaboration with Pierre d'Avoine & Dianna Burrell at the RIBA, London.
1997 'Public Views 2' Soundtrack for Group show with the Urban Salon, Architecture Foundation, London.
1996 'Objects of Our Time' Soundtrack for world touring group show, The Crafts Council, London.
1996 'Uleybeast Heard' 3d/Sound installation at Prema Arts Centre, Uley.
1995 'Secret Installation' Momentary 3D/photo installation, Lisson Gallery Summer Show.
1995 'Self Storage' Recorded Delivery installation with Artangel & Brian Eno. Acorn Self Storage, London.
1992 'The Boddies Mix' One-man photography show of the Boddingtons Manchester Festival
1991 'Neighbours' Viewpoint gallery, Salford [1st prize photography]
1989 'Machine Intelligence' Exhibition of chair at Young Unknowns gallery, The Cut, London.

Selected Concerts:

Frameless Festival, Germany, live from Narnia concert film
The Union Chapel, London, concert for Daylight Music
Flussi Festival Italy : live music on stage outdoors under the moon with a new 45 min Film, Italy
Cafe OTO concert as part of the Resonance FM fundraiser
Concert at the Ace Hotel, London, for the William Basinski, 'Arcadia' festival organised by Art Assembly
Performer on boombox & record players with The Manchester Camarata for 'Carillon' by Emily Howard
Performance of Pheonix & Phaedra holding patterns at Modern Art Oxford
Headline for Medeiradig Festival, Madeira
Concert with Philip Jeck at Kings Place for the Arctic Circle festival week. Performing Phoenix & Phaedra holding patterns.
Mini Midi Festival, Beijing, China.
2005 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
2003 Solo tour of Australia playing Sydney Opera House, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne.
2003 Concert at the Tate Modern 'user_mode' weekend.
2003 Solo tour of Japan playing Tokyo and Kyoto + Lecture at Space Invaders show.
2002 Concert at Sonar, Barcelona alongside Christian Marclay, Yasunao Tone.
2001 Solo tour of USA playing: NYC,Baltimore,Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto,
1998 Concert at the International Symposium of Electronic Arts [ISEA] 98. Liverpool.

Selected Media highlights:

Iggy Pop BBC Radio6 show features '. . . on reflection'
Netil Radio commission C-120 ambient mixtape 'Nothing breaks like a heart'.
The Vinyl Factory documentary film 'Imaginary Landscapes - The Turntable as Instrument'
Radio 3 interview on Obsessions discussing the value of the original artefact in music.
WNUR Radio in Chicago USA broadcast my 20th anniversary interview hour.
BBC Radio 3 feature interview on Late Junction with Max Reinhardt
The Times Newspaper - featured Extended Play as best in show, Cryptic Festival, Glasgow
BBC Radio 4 interview by Mark Lawson on 'Front Row'
The Times Newspaper - features Asleep at the wheel photo and review
The Wire 4 page feature interview, issue 311.
Cover feature by INTO magazine, Sound and Music organisation
Interview on Canadian CBC radio 3 for the seires 'The Wire' the influence of electricity on music
Full page photo and interview in The Scotland on Sunday glossy mag for Shuffle Mode launch
1hr radio special inc Weather Report on 'Some Assembley Required' on Radio K, Minneapolis.
Broadcast in collaboration with FX Randomiz shared with Herbie Hancock on WDR3 Cologne.
Photograph published in London's Metro newspaper read by everyone with a job there!
Blow Up magazine, Italy double page articlle.
BBC Radio 3 broadcast of ICA 'Cut & Splice' concert/interview.
Radio Canada, broadcast of Mutek concert recording.
Gonzo Circus magazine, Belgium, double page interview.
Fear Drop magazine, France, three page article + exclusive track on CD.
BBC World Service 'The Music Biz' programme interview at the Sonar Festival
Radio 4 'Today' programme interview for the Turntable Hell Tour.
Leonardo Music Journal [MIT Press] publication of in depth autobiographical essay.
Grooves magazine two page interview/design.
The Guardian CD of the week 22/12/00, [Above Buildings].
The Wire one page interview, issue 201.
1999 The Wire [Photo + live review]
1998 Artists Newsletter + Blueprint [Tri-phonic] + Channel 4 News [dRMm voiceover].
1997 The Times, The Wire + Architects Journal [Fused].
1997 Blueprint [The Brit Pack!] + Building Design [Public views 2].
1995 'Kaleidoscope' Radio 4 [Self Storage interview].
1989 The Guardian [Machine intelligence].

Work Experience & Lectures:
2013 Research Fellow at the Sonic Art Research Unit, Oxford Brookes University
Chair of the Jury for the British Composer Award for Sonic Art
2002 onwards
Full time freelance Sound Artist
, then Entertainer and Professor
2004 Visiting Lecturer at RCA [Architecture MA] and Central St.Martins [Audio/Visual BA]
Visiting Lecturer, Brighton University, Digital Music/Sonic Design BA + Music and Visual Art BA.
2003 Lecture at TN Probe, Tokyo as part of the 'Space Invaders' exhibition.
2000-2002 Urban Salon architectural assistant [BBH Ad agency re-design 1st place].
2000 Graphic Design of Adverts for National Press and business Logo for Personam Search and Selection.
2000 Photoshop freelance image processor for Ehouse + Desktop Personnel agency.
2000 Exhibition maker/technician for Harris Blyth, London.
2000 Presentation of 'Comae' with Robert Hampson at The Chicago Arts Institute.
1999 Visiting Lecturer at London College of Printing HND in Sound Design course.
1999 Tutor in QuarkXpress to intermediate level at Hoxton Bibio-tech.
1999 Exhibition designer for 'Imaginaria' digital art exhibition at the ICA. [won via competitive pitch].
1999/2001 Bi-annual lecture given to London College of Printing HND in Sound Design course.
1999 Lecture to music students at Goldsmiths College, London.
1997-1999 Senior architectural/graphic designer, de Rijke Marsh Morgan [Short listed Concept House competition].
1997-1998 Branson Coates Architecture: freelance designer [1st place Lisbon Expo 98 competition].
1996-1997 Freelance work for Zaha Hadid [RA bridge model] Pierre d'Avoine [graphics] Alex de Rijke [graphics].
1996-2002 Soundtracks for exhibitions designed by The Urban Salon.
1996-2003 Editor & graphic designer of the '8th Floor Diary' for Nigel Coates [RCA publication].
1996 Exhibition graphic design for 'The Regeneration Game': Alsop & Stormer Gallery.
1996 Art Director's assistant. Photo shoot of Tricky for 'Detour' magazine [USA] by David Lachapelle.
1996 Lecture at the Architectural Association, 'City Sonics vol 1'.
1995 'Art Bar' refurbishment RCA [manufacture & detail design].
1995 Exhibition Designer 'Make Believe' art curation show, RCA.
1992-1993 Sami Mousawi Architects, Manchester [1st place Mosque of Muscat competition].
1992 Assisted the foundation of Expressions Gallery, Manchester.
1991-3 Principal photographer for 'Pulp' magazine, Manchester Polytechnic.


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