Local Radio Orchestra

......120 years ago the Radio was patented by Edison. The transmitter enabled one voice to broadcast to many remote people, and the limited range defined each local community. In the Local Radio Orchestra this idea is combined with the engagement of the audience, who create a shuffling and shifting orchestra using the 12 classic portable radios, as they move them around and adjust the settings within range of the transmitter trunk.

Inside the trunk are 24 x Digital short range FM transmitters, and each is tuned to a different frequency between 88-108 FM. The pirate station hijacks and saturates the entire radio spectrum within a short radius. This then enables you to tune out and then tune in to the 12 separate parts of the composition to form infinite new arrangements, while also moving the radios around the space and adjusting the volumes as desired.

A community radio station!...

A radio community ating with it's own accord.




The Transmitter Trunk
12 iPod's 24 x short range digital FM transmitters


The Orchestra Repertoire so far

"Love Hz"
by Janek Schaefer

.............'Love Hz' is composed using a 2 octave series of 12 musical tones C E G A C D E F G A B C.
These extended notes were created using an Indian bellows organ called 'The Shruti Box'. It is designed as a hand pumped drone instrument with fixed notes. Each of the reeds is manually turned on and off to enable it to be heard. I recorded a collection of short passages with each of the notes, which is performed solo, and combine to create a 12 part orchestral score. The 12 solo parts are then each broadcast on a different frequency across the FM radio spectrum in ascending order. The lowest note at 88FM and the highest at 108FM. You are encouraged to join the orchestra and perform your own arrangements by retuning the dial and influencing the character of the work. Please use the radios lovingly. Thank you.

Short film of the 'Love Hz' at South Hill Park outdoor festival 2011


"Secret Service"
by Janek Schaefer

........................In opposition to the above piece, "Secret Service [all creeds all colours]" collects examples of religious celebration music and sound from around the world. Showcasing the glorious diversity of the cultural melting pot we inhabit. There are 28 recordings to tune into on the radio dials. Content originally produced for Colourscape, Clapham Common 2010

Short film of the 'Secret Service' at South Hill Park outdoor festival 2011


by Janek Schaefer

Unfolding is a soundscpe that I wrote for the exhibition
"Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion" held at The Barbican Gallery, London 2010.
The exhibition included some amazing folded fabric designs and techniques, and was framed by a series of vertical veils that divided the exhibition spaces. The sound is a continuously unfolding composition that calmly wove around the galleries.



"Live performance at GALERIE8"
East London, July 2011 - Sunday Sound Waves series curated by Alexa Kusber

with thanks to Tom White for shooting the footage



"Broadcast Day at the Pannier Market"
Presented by Beaford Arts, Bideford, North Devon, Thursday 29th Sept 2011
including an hour with 30 x 10yr olds learning and performing the radios
Coincided with the launch of the Confluence project with iDAT.



Listen below to the 5pm Live interview on BBC Local Radio Devon

I asked the students at the end of the session if any of them would like to buy the artwork,,, and several of them put their hands up !


"Leeds City Gallery"
Nov 2011 in the Loading Bay Gallery

Installed iin the main hall on the amazing map of Yorkshire floor


"Oxford Modern Art"
May 2012 in the Loading Bay Gallery



"Ashley Rainforest Radio"
Workshop presentation to parents July 2012

The children made sounds form the rainforest that I edited and multi-broadcast to the Local Radio Orchestra.
It sounded very convincing... and quite moving as we sat and all listened with eyes shut




The Roaming Radio Roadshow Tour Dates

Summer 2011

'Local Radio Orchestra' World Premier
performing the new 12 channel composition "Love Hz" & "Secret Service"

South Hill Park, Bracknell
all afternoon from 12pm 9th July 2011
come and join the orchestra - free event


GALERIE8 East London
6 - 9pm 24th July 2011
Artist talk, film screening and performance of the Local Radio Orchestra


Autumn 2011

Beaford Arts, Devon
September 29th - 11am onwards


Compass Festival Leeds
November 2011


Modern Art Oxford
May 5th 2012


more dates to follow
if you'd like to book a Local Radio Orchestra event
then please get in touch :->


The local radio orchestra operates an extended form of compositional phasing by transmitting and shuffling
a set of sounds from each piece braodcasting at that time. In Shortwave radiosomething similar takes place
as the radio waves take multiple paths through the ionosphere, the different time delays cause
the signal to exhibit the characteristic phasing sound.


The Local Radio Orchestra is a co-commission by
Oxford Contemporary Music, South Hill Park, Beaford Arts
with funding from The PRS Foundation
Copyright Janek Schaefer






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