Michel Waisvisz

Dutch composer, performer and inventor of experimental instruments Michel Waisvisz was born in Leiden on 8 July 1949.

Waisvisz is generally recognised as the first person to invent a practice for ecstatic live performance with live electronic instruments. His inventions include Tape Puller (1970), CrackleBox (1974), CrackleSynth (1974) and The Hands (1984).

From 1969, Waisvisz was involved with STEIM, the award-winning Amsterdam-based centre for research and development of instruments and tools for the electronic performing arts which was co-founded by Waisvisz' friend and mentor Dick Raaymakers. From 1981 for twenty-seven years, Waisvisz was director of STEIM, inspiring many live electronic performance arts pioneers to work there.

He died in Amsterdam on 18 June 2008, aged fifty-eight, following a long illness. STEIM commented that Waisvisz was '...a musician, visionary and occasional gardener - touched by sound and forever happy to be surprised' and that he 'was the source of an enormous surge of energy that continues to flow through STEIM into the world. We will miss his touch, crackle, inspiration and constant improvisation of the now.'