See Janek Schaefer's Extended Play again

Extended Play
Posted on 25.05.12
Janek Schaefer's award winning installation Extended Play will make its debut at festivals in Scotland and Copenhagen this year.

The installation - commissioned by hcmf// in 2007 - is a poignant, but ultimately uplifting tribute to child survivors of conflict. It was inspired by Schaefer's reflections upon the contrast between the circumstances surrounding the birth of his daughter in Surrey in 2005, and that of his mother, born in war-torn Warsaw in 1942.

Schaefer took a phrase from a Polish tango song that formed part of Jodoform, a system of coded messages transmitted to underground resistance fighters by the BBC World Service. This particular song was broadcast on the day his mother was born. Working with arranger Michael Jennings, he adapted it into a piece for violin, cello and piano. Each part was recorded separately and pressed onto a onto a 12" vinyl EP.

For the original installation, nine identical record players in Huddersfield Art Gallery simultaneously played copies of the three recordings at 33, 45 and 78 rpm, creating a bittersweet blend of harmony and dissonance that echoed the uncertainties faced by children born into conflict. Additionally, motion sensors attached to each turntable caused the music to halt briefly when visitors passed, underlining the impact of each individual upon the lives of others.