[14 December 2011]
British composer/installation artist Janek Schaefer’s latest release, Phoenix & Phaedra Holding Patterns, is the result of a live concert involving an immersive sound system in combination with a short range FM transmitter, which broadcast to a collection of portable radios given to audience members. With no performer present the piece takes on an eerie but beautiful quality that probably doesn’t come off entirely in the recorded medium. No matter, there are some real moments of beauty here, where there is plenty of evidence as to why Schaefer has managed to sweep up plenty of acclaim in his native land. Don’t let anyone tell you that experimental music is all dross.