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Japanese Fashion via Janek Schaefer (MP3)

Currently on display at the Barbican Art Gallery in London is the exhibit Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, for which Janek Schaefer composed an installation score at the invitation of Barbican curator Catherine Ince. The exhibit space involves four different stereo loops, each about 45 minutes in length, playing on eight speakers (four pairs) spread around the gallery. The shifting gauze of Schaefer’s score, available for free download (MP3), provides a sonic parallel to both the eternally gauzy textiles and milestone-marking technological innovations inherent in fashion.

[audio:|titles=”Unfolding”|artists=Janek Schaefer]

Schaefer titled his piece “Unfolding” and writes of it at his website,, “Unfolding was inspired by the ephemeral unfurling fabric of fashion, viewed through the vertical veils of the Future Beauty exhibition design.” Note that the downloadable version is simply a single stereo mix of the overall score, a snapshot of what is, in fact, a much more random and disparate field of sounds.

More on the exhibit, which opened on October 15 and closes February 6, 2011, at The above image is a 1993 dress design by Koji Tatsuno.

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By Marc Weidenbaum

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