STEREO FIELD is a beautiful touchplate instrument and controller

This might just be a real spiritual successor to the Cracklebox. (That’s the classic – and very nicely unpredictable – creation of Michel Waisvisz, one associated with the research program at STEIM and many of the ideas about expression and nonlinear sound ever since.) STEREO FIELD is a sound box / controller centered around touch plates, marked with concentric overlapping circles that represent the interconnection of two analog stereo circuits. It’s a sound generator: you can make some (raw sounding) analog, atonal sounds by patching its circuitry to an output. It’s also a sound processor: use incoming signal to combine …


Scenes from Amsterdam’s Music Inventors: When Circuits, Code, and Concept Meet

Making your own instruments may not be for everyone, but getting to witness the bleeding edge of musical DIY can give real insight into how electronic music performance can work, and what matters in sound. Last week, the famous sound research center in Amsterdam STEIM generously hosted an edition of Handmade Music, inviting inventors to make noises and performances with their self-made creations and to talk about their work. Ben Terwel, one of the artists, shot the video above. It includes discussion in both Dutch and English, but if you don’t speak Dutch, you’ll still get the gist of a …


Obituary: STEIM Founder, Cracklebox Inventor, Musician Michel Waisvisz

Sad news has arrived via Scott Looney: I have the sad news to report that STEIM’s founder Michel Waisvisz died peacefully in his home last night "after fighting the mean cells in his body for eight months" – which i assume is a reference to the cancer he had been battling. Michel developed one of the very first alternative controllers in the 1970’s called the Hands and subsequently the Krakdoos – aka the Cracklebox. He subsequently founded STEIM and served as its head for 27 years, and inspired many musicians and improvisers around the globe. Obituary at STEIM: Michel Waisvisz …