Extended Play [triptych for the child survivors of war and conflict] [2007]

The sound installation 'Extended Play' continuously and positively celebrates hope and new beginnings, for child survivors in all situations around the world. Inspired by the artists own family legacy spanning from his mother’s birth in Warsaw in 1942, and the birth of his first child in 2005. He began drawing the comparisons and differneces between two very diverse childhoods.

The departure point for the composition, came from learning about the 'Jodoform' system of secret musical messages, that were broadcast by the BBC World Service, during World War II. The music they played was given a particular meaning, which was interpreted by The Polish Underground. Schaefer discovered from the original Jodoform log book, that the Polish folk song 'Tango Lyczakowskie', was broadcast on the day his mother was born. The song describes how children in 1918, had been forced to take up arms, in defence of their town. From this tune, a short rising musical phrase was chosen, and with the arranger Michael Jennings a ten minute score was developed. Each of the three solo parts was then recorded separately, edited, and cut onto vinyl.
In the gallery, 3 x Cello EP's, 3 x Piano EP's, and 3 x Violin EP's are played at either 33, 45, or 78rpm using nine retro record players. These play continuously, and each was modified to stop playing briefly in response to the audience moving around the exhibition. This has the effect of changing and extending the composition, so that it is never the same again.

In 2008 the project won The British Composer of the Year Award for Sonic Art & The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize.

Original installation top and above, Huddersfield City Gallery, 2007


Installated at The North Wall space, Oxford, with Oxford Contemporary Music 2010


2012 install at the Sonica Festival, CCA, Glasgow 2012.

The Times, review by Richard Morrison : “If you want to experience the thrilling interface where music, visual art, theatre and digital technology meet, hasten to Glasgow where the sparky new Sonica Festival has taken over venues across the city..... ....Best of all is Janek Schaefer’s Extended Play, haunting, elegiac and beautiful." Dec 2012


Exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium as part of a festival commemorating WWI.



Exhibited at:

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 2007
November Music Festival, Holland, 2009
Bluecoat gallery retrospective 2009/10
The North Wall, Oxford, 2010
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, 2012
The Agency Gallery, London, 2013
Kortirjk Festival, Belgium 2015