Artist, composer, entertainer, and visiting professor, Janek Schaefer was born in England to Polish and Canadian parents in 1970. While studying Architecture at the Royal College of Art, he recorded the fragmented noises of a sound activated dictaphone travelling overnight through the Post Office. That work, titled ‘Recorded Delivery’ was made for the ‘Self Storage’ exhibition [Time Out critics choice] with Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson and Artangel.
Since then the multiple aspects of sound became his focus, resulting in many site-specific installations, sonic sculptures, exhibition & dance soundtracks, albums, and immersive performances, using his self built devices with manipulated foundsound collage, exploring new realms of sound, space, and place.. with well over 30 albums to date.
He has exhibited, lectured, and performed in 30 countries, for over 30 years throughout Europe [Sonar, Tate Modern, ICA, Strasbourg Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art], USA/Canada, [Walker Art Center, Mutek, Princeton, XI], Japan, and Australia [Sydney Opera House]. His concerts and installations explore the spatial and architectural aspect that sound can evoke and the twisting of old and new technology. The context of each idea is central to its development and resolution, often exploring themes of appropriation, accident, & alteration.
In 2008 he won a Paul Hamlyn Award & the British Composer of the Year Award in Sonic Art. The Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool exhibited a Retrospective of his career to date in 2009. UK 'Best Mobile DJ' Winner 2020 Event Entertainment Awards, is a Visiting Professor in Sound Art, and in 2023 won Creative Consultant of the Year. Lives and works at Narnia, Walton-on-Thames.

Listen to BBC Radio 3 interview


Selected Awards

2024 'Best Experimental Film' Award. Berlin Indie Film Festival. [LOVE HERTZ]
'Creative Consultant of the Year', W&FI Awards.
2023 'QQQUESTION' Official Selection, Product, London International Creative Awards.
2022 '. . . on reflection' voted #1 Minimalist Album of 2022 by a worldwide audience.
2020 UK 'Best Mobile DJ' Award, Event Entertainment Awards.
2013 Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University.
Winner of The British Composer of The Year Award in Sonic Art. BASCA.[+ Chairman of the jury 2013/2014].
2008 Winner of The Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers Prize.
2007 Runner-up for The British Composer of the Year in Sonic Art Award.
2005 Jury Selection at the Bourges 32nd International Competition of Electroacoustic Music & Sonic Art.
2004 Award of Distinction, Prix Ars Electronica, Austria.
2002 McKnight Composer in Residence for The American Composers Forum USA.
2001 Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica music competition, Austria.
1999 Selected as Sound Designer of the Year, Creative Review Magazine's annual exhibition, London.
1996 Royal College of Art Old Students Association Award - annual portfolio prize. 100th anniversary.
1991 First prize in RIBA photographic competition, Viewpoint Photography Gallery, Salford.

Selected Exhibitions

2021 Coventry City of Culture 2021 'Imagine Our World' installation with deflated globe
2019 Good Vibrations [10,000 steel styli] El Born Centre for Culture and Memory, Barcelona
2018 Somerset House, London Design Biennale, soundtrack & custom speaker cones, for Berghaus installation
2015 Morley Gallery, London. 'Aerial Aria in the Aviary' installation
2015 Underdog Gallery, London. Soundtrack for a Speedo swimwear soundscape
2015 OVADA Gallery, Oxford, 'Foundsoundscape' installation, Audiograft Festival
2014 the Agency gallery, London. Solo Show "Ecstatic Entropy"
2014 Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury, 'Clouds from Cuckooland' installation
2014 Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London, 'Lay-by Lullaby' & 'Love Song' exhibition
2013 Theatro Circo, Braga, Portugal, 'Love Song' installation
2013 Milton Keynes Gallery, group show "Pleasure Paradox", featuring premier of 'Unlucky Dip Disco'
2013 the Agency gallery, London. Solo Show "Collecting Connections"
2012 Design Museum, London. 'Designed to Win' soundtrack.
2012 Modern Art Oxford. 'Local Radio Orchestra' installation.
2011 South Hill Park, Bracknell. 'Local Radio Orchestra' installation.
2011 ICIA Gallery, Artist in Residence, University of Bath. 'The Changing Room' installation.
2010 Cork Street Gallery, Open Exhibition, London. 'Pickup Putdown' sculpture
2010 Milton Keynes International Festival, Artist in Residence. 'Asleep at the wheel...', 10 days 7,500 visitors
2010 Sydney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury. 'Coda for John Dankworth' and ' Inner Space Memorial [for JG Ballard]'
2009 Bluecoat gallery, Liverpool. 'Janek Schaefer : Sound Art' Retrospective exhibition, 10,000 visitors
2009 Lydgalleriet, Bergen Norway. 'Covers' installation
2008 Foundation Liedts-Meesen, Ghent. 'Vacant Space' installation
2008 Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. 'Vacant Space' installation with Chris Watson
2007 Huddersfield Art Gallery. 'Extended Play' installation
2007 Ars Electronica, Austria. 'Vacant Space' installation
2007 Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Canary Islands. 'Two by Two by Too many by Too much' Installation
2007 Gueildpost Gallery, 'come on up' Installation, The Netherlands
2006 Fortworth Museum of Modern Art, Texas USA. 'Short Stories' installation
2006 Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona. 'Vinyl. Records and Covers by Artists' exhibition
2005 The Science Museum, London. 'The Science of Aliens' Soundtrack
2005 Threshold Gallery, Perth Concert Hall , Scotland. 'Shuffle Mode' installation
2005 Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art'. 'Skate' installation
2004 Pompidou Centre, Paris. 'Sons et Lumières' exhibition includes my composition.
2004 Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia. 'Weather Report' Installation.
2004 The Walker Art Centre, USA. 'Love Lounge'.
2003 'Lisbon Biennale', Portugal. 'Tri-Phonic Turntable' at Experimenta exhibition.
2003 Kulturhauset, Stockholm. 'Skate' installation.
2003 Georgia State University, USA. 'Pulse Field' Extensive sound art exhibition.
2002 Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent, Belgium. 'Skate' installation.
2001 Triskel Arts in Cork Ireland. 'Skate' installation.
2001 Royal Society of British Sculptors, London. 'The Rumble' Exhibition.
1999 ICA, London.'OMA Rem Koolhaas:Living' Soundtrack's and graphic design,
1998 Brixton Market, London. 'Masquerade' Design & soundtrack.
1998 Ideal Home Exhibition, London. 'The Ideal Home' Soundtrack for the 'Oyster House' by Nigel Coates at the
1997 Watershed, Bristol. 'The Silver Dream Machine' Soundtrack..
1997 RIBA, London. 'Fused' installation. Collaboration with Pierre d'Avoine & Dianna Burrell.
1997 Architecture Foundation, London.'Public Views 2' Soundtrack.
1996 The Crafts Council, London. 'Objects of Our Time' Soundtrack,
1996 Prema Arts Centre, Uley. 'Uleybeast Heard' installation.
1995 Acorn Self Storage, London. 'Self Storage' installation with Artangel & Brian Eno.
1992 Manchester Festival. 'The Boddies Mix' One-man photography show
1991 Viewpoint Gallery, Salford. 'Neighbours' [1st prize photography]
1989 Young Unknowns Gallery, The Cut, London. 'Machine Intelligence'


Selected Performances

2021 Frameless Festival, Germany, live from Narnia concert film
2020 V&A Museum of Childhood DJ in residence - Jan 2020
2019 Union Chapel, London. Daylight Music event and the first concert my children had been able to attend. Magical.
2017 20th anniversary concert performance evening and lecture, Sonic Waterloo festival, Iklectik London.
2013 Soloist on record players for the World Premier of "Carillon" by Emily Howard & The Manchester Camarata.
2010 Exhibition & Performance at Centro das Artes, Madiera.
2008 Mini Midi Festival, Beijing, China.
2007 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival multi award winning commission toured internationally.
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.
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.
1997 Madame Jo Jo's, Soho, London. 1st gig by invitation of Bruce Woolley from The Buggles !


Selected Media

2022 Iggy Pop BBC Radio6 show features '. . . on reflection'
2020 Netil Radio commission C-120 ambient mixtape 'Nothing breaks like a heart'.
2019 The Vinyl Factory documentary film 'Imaginary Landscapes - The Turntable as Instrument'
2019 Radio 3 interview on Obsessions discussing the value of the original artefact in music.
2017 WNUR Radio in Chicago USA broadcast my 20th anniversary interview hour.
2016 BBC Radio3 - Half hour interview on Late Junction.
2015 BBC Radio4 - interviewed by John McCarthy on 'Something Understood'
2014 Lead feature in The Independent on Sunday magazine in article about Paul Hamlyn Award winners.
2014 The Guardian Guide, top 5 write up in the clubbing section for the Lucky Dip Disco.
2012 The Times Newspaper - best in show review of 'Extended Play' at CCA.
2011 The Guardian & The Telegraph, 5* reviews for 'The Mill: City of Dreams' soundtrack.
2010 BBC Radio4 interview by Mark Lawson on 'Front Row'.
2010 The Times Newspaper - features 'Asleep at the wheel...'
2010 The Wire 4 page feature interview, issue 311.
2009 Cover feature atricle by INTO magazine, Sound & Music organisation, London.
2005 Interview on Canadian CBC radio 3 for the seires 'The Wire' the influence of electricity on music.
2005 Full page photo and interview in The Scotland on Sunday glossy mag for Shuffle Mode launch.
2003 1hr radio special inc Weather Report on 'Some Assembley Required' on Radio K, Minneapolis.
2003 Broadcast concert programme shared with Herbie Hancock on WDR3 Cologne.
2003 Photograph published in London's Metro newspaper read by everyone with a job there!
2003 Blow Up magazine, Italy double page article.
2003 BBC Radio 3 broadcast of ICA 'Cut & Splice' concert/interview.
2002 Radio Canada broadcast of Mutek concert.
2002 Gonzo Circus magazine, Belgium, double page interview.
2002 Fear Drop magazine, France, three page article + exclusive track on CD.
2002 BBC World Service 'The Music Biz' programme interview at the Sonar Festival.
2002 Radio 4 'Today' programme interview for the Turntable Hell Tour.
2002 Leonardo Music Journal [MIT Press] publication of in depth autobiographical essay.
2001 Grooves magazine two page interview/design.
2000 The Guardian CD of the week 22/12/00, [Above Buildings].
1998 Artists Newsletter + Blueprint + Channel 4 News.
1997 The Times, The Wire + Architects Journal [Fused].
1997 Blueprint [The Brit Pack!].
1995 'Kaleidoscope' Radio 4 [Self Storage, interview with].
1989 The Guardian - photo of my sculptural furniture in The Young Unknowns Gallery exhibition 'Machine intelligence'.



janekschaefer.com - sound artist

creative-consultancy.com - facilitation

luckydipdisco.com - entertainer / party dj

audiOh.com - music & creative archive

handymantastic.com - local creative solutions

foundsoundscape.com - calm locations collage

being-kind.com - be the change you want to see

qqquestion.com - a perfect gift, of curiosity



Artist enquiry:

email : Janek@JanekSchaefer.com

www.janekschaefer.com [artwork & installations]


Gallery enquiry:

the Agency Gallery London.

email Bea de Souza: info@theagencygallery.co.uk




24page full colour catalogue of 'Janek Schaefer : Sound Art'

Retrospective Exhibition, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool

Purchase Sold Out