Michel Waisvisz was director of STEIM and was a musician and builder of experimental electronic musical instruments. He had collaborated with Tarek Atoui.


Crackle Chain


Tape Puller

1970, an instrument to play seated, pulling a tape with both feet over the tapehead, thus using the recording medium in a performative manner.


1974, a portable instrument with batteries and a built-in speaker. The oscillator is played by the direct touch of the fingers on the exposed contacts of the circuit. The player's skin becomes part of the circuit. 2)


1974, Michel Waisvisz' individual synthesizer. After bending a VCS3 Synth (the “Putney”) in the early 70s to play it with a touchable “crackle” surface, this three voiced instrument became Michel Waisvisz' synthesizer development. It has 12 keys with tuning knobs combined with three crackle-patches.

The Hands

1984-1989,One year after the MIDI standard had been introduced, Waisvisz built the first experimental interface making use of sensor data converted into MIDI. The two wooden frames attached to both hands let him play music with hand and arm movements, tilting gestures, and fingered playing

The Hands II


Small Web

1996, also known as 'Belly Web', A multi dimensional parameter controller that is based off of a spider web. The small web has been designed as an instrument for complex control signals.

Simple intuitive finger movements in the wires of the web are translated in a large set of coordinated control variables that can be used to control various inputs of music or image systems in a coordinated manner. The Web is very well suited for controlling timbral sound structures and live control of computer generated images. The Small Web was designed by Waisvisz and built in collaboration with Jorgen Brinkman from STEIM. Jorgen Brinkman is using the Small Web in the performances of his Seven Seas. 3)4)

The Energetica Project

2005, “Energetica” is Waisvisz' vision of electricity provided for electronic instruments by the effort of the player him/ herself, theoretically developed in the last years of his life. As he has always fought pre-configurations and built-in directions in technology, the subjection to the communal power supplies.


Wikipedia article 5)
Crackle website, a site dedicated to the work of Michel Waisvisz 6)
Smal article about Waisvisz 7)

Powland feature as instrument invention of the week 8)Am I allowed to hate powland?, they really piss me off. They got multiple things wrong with Small Web (the date as well as the name of the instrument, on top of never mentioning that Waisvisz is not on social media since he died in 2008) I feel like it just misleads people so bad and does next to nothing to directly link to or explain or truly promote the artists. Its more like click bait and feeding off the appreciation the artists should be getting directly.

michel_waisvisz.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/13 02:18 by mete
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