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Michel Waisvisz

Michel Waisvisz is a composer/performer of live electronic music, who has developed new ways to achieve physical touch with electronic music instruments. Sometimes this is done by literally touching the electricity inside the instruments and thereby becoming a thinking component of the machine.

He was amongst the first play with synthesizers on stage and very early developed and performed using gestural controllers.
He also is the inventor of the CrackleBox and The Web and other instruments based on touch interaction. Together with Frank Bald? he has designed live performance software like LiSa and JunXion.

Beside the solo performances and the composing for music theatre he has collaborated with a great variety of musicians and composers: Laurie Anderson, Steve Lacy, Jan Werner (Mouse on Mars), Truus de Groot, Najib Cheradi, Hans Tutchku, Moniek Toebosch, The Nieuw Ensemble, DJ Spooky, Willem Breuker, The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Maarten Altena, etc.

Waisvisz was one of the first organisers of electronic sound festivals in Holland and The Touch exhibition, with electronic music instruments that can be played by the visitors, is traveling regularly through Europe.

He leads 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 is the founder of 'Physical Philosophy' a science where axioms are replaced by physical objects.

He also advocates that artists, in order not to have their work being polluted by the generic typicality's of the aplied tools, appropriate their tools and instruments by modification, or even complete custom builds. Waisvisz in the seventies introduced the slogan: "If you don't open it, you don't own it". In this realm he also more recently instigated the OIK (Open It Kit) project at STEIM. Nowadays this statement is at the root of the work philosophy at STEIM: music makers are encouraged to also play an important role in the design and building of their authentic live electronic performance instruments.

Waisvisz has made works and performances in a variety of musical scenes from starting as an independent student to working in the avant garde of new music as well as in more popular venues

Michel Waisvisz died peacefully in his home on the 18th of june 2008 after fighting the mean cells in his body for the last eight months.
Please visit the Steim website for condolences.