Michel Waisvisz

Michel Waisvisz (photo © Jan Sprij)

Michel Waisvisz

Michel Waisvisz (NL) (1949-2008) was a musician, best known for The Hands, and for being the director of Steim in Amsterdam.

Michel Waisvisz was known for his highly physical, sensitive and ecstatic electronic music performance using The Hands (a gestural sensor instrument) he developed at the STEIM foundation in Amsterdam. Waisvisz has since the late sixties developed whole new ways to achieve a physical touch with electronic music instruments; sometimes literally touching the electricity inside the instruments and thereby becoming a thinking component of the machine. He was one of the first to use synthesizers on stage and the first to develop and perform with what is now called gestural controllers. He also is the inventor of the CrackleBox and The Web and many other instruments based on touch interaction.

Beside the solo performances he also has collaborated with a great variety of musicians/composers: Laurie Anderson, Steve Lacy, DJ Spooky, Najib Cheradi, The Nieuw Ensemble, Willem Breuker, The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Maarten Altena, etc. Waisvisz has been the co-founder of electrical sound festivals in Holland.

The so called Touch exhibitions, with electronic music instruments that can be played by the visitors, has travelled through Europe.

He lead the STEIM foundation in Amsterdam where performance artists from music, theater, dance and new media art, and DJ"s and VJ"s, work to develop their personal electronic instruments.

Waisvisz was the founder of "Physical philosophy;" a science where axioms are replaced by physical objects.

Waisvisz has made works and performances in a variety of musical scenes, he has started as an independent "student" and worked in the avant garde of new music as well as in more popular venues; he is a dedicated "technomad".



Michel Waisvisz participated in the Test_Lab: Audio Objects on October 18, 2007.

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