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Janek Schaefer is a London-based sound artist, composer and entertainer, born in England to Polish and Canadian parents in 1970. He is known for his innovative work with sound and installation art. In 2008, he won The British Composer of the Year Award for Sonic Art & The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize. He is Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes Sonic Research Unit, and In 2009 the Bluecoat gallery in Liverpool mounted a retrospective exhibition of his 20-year career.
Life and career
While studying architecture at the Royal College of Art [RCA annual prize], Schaefer recorded the fragmented noises of a sound activated dictaphone travelling overnight through the Post Office. That work, titled 'Recorded Delivery' 1995 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 releases, installations, soundtracks for exhibitions, and concerts using his self built/invented record players with manipulated found sound collage. The 'Tri-phonic Turntable'  is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the 'World's Most Versatile Record Player'. He has performed, lectured and exhibited widely throughout Europe Sonar, Tate Modern, ICA, 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. His CD Above Buildings  was released on Fat Cat to considerable praise, [The Guardian CD of the week]. He has played in duos and released albums with Philip Jeck (Songs for Europe CD), Robert Hampson (Comae CD), Stephan Mathieu (Hidden Name CD) and Charlemagne Palestine [Day of the Demons LP], with a forthcoming LP with William Basinski. He lives and works at the audiOh! Room in Walton-on-Thames on the left edge of London, with his wife and two children.
In 2008, Schaefer won The British Composer of The Year Award for Sonic Art for his project Extended Play Triptych for the child survivors of war and conflict. The same year he won The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize. He was the 'McKnight Composer in Residence' for the American Composers Forum, USA 2002/3. In 2004 his Random Playing LP called 'Skate' received the 'Award of Distinction' at the Prix Ars Electronica, Austria. He has two Guinness World Records [1997 & 2003]
Schaefer runs his own label [audiOh! Recordings] and websites [audiOh.com & janekschaefer.com] as well as releasing over 25 albums with 12k (USA), Asphodel (USA), Sub Rosa (Belgium), Sirr (Portugal), Rhiz (Austria), KRAAK (Belgium), Mutek (Canada), Alluvial (USA), DSP (Italy), Diskono (Scotland), BiP_HOp (France), Cronica (Portugal), LINE (USA), Room40 (Australia), Fat Cat (UK), Spekk (Japan), Staalplaat (Holland), Desire Path (USA), and Dekorder (Germany).
- Richardson, Mark. "Biography: Janek Schaefer". AMG. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- British Composer of the Year Awards 2003 - Present
- Janek Schaefer websites: http://www.audiOh.com + http://www.janekschaefer.com
- Retrospective Exhibition at the Bluecoat Gallery 2009: http://www.audioh.com/projects/soundartretrospective.html
- Recorded Delivery: http://www.audioh.com/projects/recorded_delivery.html
- Tri-Phonic Turntable: http://www.audioh.com/projects/triphonic.html
- Extended Play [Triptych for the child survivors of conflict and war] project: http://www.audioh.com/projects/extendedplay.html
- National Portrait: 24hr Audiofile Album of 1000xMP3's on an exposed USB stick stored in a customised TV remote control http://www.audioh.com/projects/nationalportrait.html
- Rapture - composition for dancers on Frank Gehry Buildings around the world: http://www.audioh.com/projects/rapture.html
- Janek's all ages Lucky Dip Disco with a difference: http://www.luckydipdisco.com recommended in the Guardian Guide <http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/mar/01/clubs-picks-of-the-week>