JANEK SCHAEFER – Inner Space Memorial In Wonderland


Janek Schaefer: all sounds, composition

You don’t have to be a kid to helplessly stand in awe in front of a phenomenon that lacks opportunities for objective intellection. A chance for us grownups exists to cut some time in the thin paper sheet of our beingness, using it to fine-tune the varying oscillations between a mysterious beatitude and the regret for a gift – say, an enriching isolation – that we have unwisely squandered or, inescapably, are going to lose sometimes for that stupid fear of “remaining alone”. Janek Schaefer is the man for the job when one needs to be escorted through these types of psychoacoustic setting. His installation work – largely founded on superimpositions of “glimmering monochrome” sonic emanations, voices and recollections – might even attempt to touch the heart of a distrustful scientist. OK, maybe not. But I’m willing to exploit the benefit of the doubt.

Inner Space Memorial In Wonderland is half of a brace of LPs released simultaneously, the other being Unfolding Luxury Beyond The City Of Dreams. The source of inspiration for this project was J.G. Ballard, who used to live close to Schaefer’s home. Unable to “go and say hello” before the writer’s death in 2009, the composer created a soundscape to honor him called “The Inner Space Memorial”, which is also the first track’s name. The second, quite obviously titled “Wonderland”, coincides with the finale of the soundtrack of a previous exhibition, Asleep At The Wheel. Both movements present trademark scenarios built upon layered vinyls, occasional spoken fragments coming out of nowhere, location recordings and, unquestionably, an inordinate amount of private experiences melted into unremitting washes of dateless orchestral loops.

As always, the beauty of what Schaefer conveys lies in the mixture of comfortable intimacy and sense of uncertainty. You’re not likely to locate discordance anywhere, however a “what-happens-after-the-end?” halo surrounds the whole. Following a long stay within the barely graspable, and yet so well-known reverberations of what looks like a highland of eternities, the feeble pulsation of a tentative correspondence with our surroundings acquires strength, encouraging us not to waste the last seeds of innermost resonance.

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