Janek Schaefer – Lay-by Lullaby


There is something special with the sound of passing cars, especially when recorded at night. They always bring a feeling of loneliness, of things passing by and leaving you behind. They make you think of where to go…

For Lay-By Lullaby“, his latest album recently released on 12k, Janek Schaefer recorded the sound of cars passing by on the M3 Motorway (“Right at the end of the road where J.G. Ballard lived”)

The 73 minute album is a continuous mix of 12 tracks – or Radio FM channels – merging the sounds of passing cars with sparse musical fragments, sometimes sounding like a slowed down Country & Western guitar theme, sometimes like church organ, sometimes more abstract sounds or station-call themes, occasionaly a distorted burst of vocals like when shifting to another channel…
In fact none of the channels sound like any actual radio station would ever sound (if only they did…), but all add to the quiet and enjoyable (summer?) midnight atmosphere alongside the M3 Motorway.

Lay-by Installation

Lay-by Lullaby” was created in 2013 as a sculptural installation for Schaefer’s solo London show ’Collecting Connections’ at the Agency gallery. A pair of reclining traffic speaker cones play back the foundsoundscape from a car radio installed in a little leather travel case on infinite loop.
But it is also closely related thematically to the Asleep at the Wheel installation for the 2010 Milton Keynes Festival.

The installations are a different way to present his work, and also a very different way to enjoy it. But since they usually are only meant to be temporary, it’s a good thing that these sounds were re-assembled for this full length album, so you’re able to enjoy it in the comfort of your home environment.
Preferably late at night, so “the speeding traffic dopplertrails reveal fleeting passages of soporific sounds that entice you to recline, drift and fade away.”



Janek Schaefer – Radio 109 FM



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