STEIM Radio #8: Music of Michel Waisvisz

STEIM Radio #8 at Concertzender will be a special mix of rare recordings of the late Michel Waisvisz (1949 – 2008). Live broadcast on Wednesday, March 14 at 23:00 and will be streamed afterwards here.

Here is the text I wrote for the show:
Michel Waisvisz’ (1949-2008) work widely impacted many disciplines across electronic music, free improvisation, experimental theater, academia and hacker ideologies. He surprised his audience with energetic and provocative performances and encouraged other artists to experiment through his directorship at STEIM.

Although I only knew him for the last 3 years of his life, his work has largely influenced how I have developed as a musician, curator and producer in the last decade. My most memorable conversations with him were after office hours at STEIM when the building was quiet and he would come down to fix his instrument or to record sounds for his next performance. He would tell me about crazy theater performances he did in the 70’s or musical robots he made in the early 80’s, which all sounded bizarre and unreal to me.

From these conversations I had a good sense of how his career took path, but it wasn’t until after his death that I started to look into his rather limited discography. He always insisted on the live moment, so working on albums didn’t seem to have the same appeal for him. However, in his last months of health in late 2007, he worked extensively in the studio on new pieces with his instruments The Hands and the Cracklesynth. After playing me the first mix down of Shepherding on the Data Farm, he told me how he was never happy with studio compositions made with The Hands, but this time he “got it.”

This mix is a collection of recordings by Michel Waisvisz – some officially released, some found on hard drives. There are many more to be uncovered from piles of ancient media left in his studio. I hope some day to release these recordings along with his writings and drawings.

Sometimes when I work late at night at STEIM, I feel the presence of Michel, not in a ghostly way, but as a warmth. I feel protected and safe knowing that these walls were built by a man who was driven by an artistic vision and always found ways to play through, even in difficult moments.

Track List:
1. Intro made with excerpts from:
– Interview by Kristina Andersen (2008)
– Symphony No 6 – Gunter Hampel & Michel Waisvisz (1971, from The Music of Gunter Hampel LP)
– Crackle.2C (Unknown, recordings recovered from Yamaha AW4416)
– Crackle.2C (Unknown, recordings recovered from Yamaha AW4416)
– Crackle.2C (Unknown, recordings recovered from Yamaha AW4416)
2 Kinderen 2 (1999, unreleased)
3 Bruitomzaag 2 (1998, unreleased)
4 De Brug Gaat Open (1976, from Crackle LP)
5 Dutchjazzcircus (1977, from Crackle LP)
6 Wig Wag – Christine Sehnaoui & Michel Waisvisz (2006, from Shortwave CD)
7 Lady of the Prunes – Terry Day & Michel Waisvisz (1977, from K’Ploeng LP )
8 The Way/Pearl Street/The Duck – Steve Lacy, Michel Waisvisz, Han Bennink (1974, from Steve Lacy Sideways LP)
9 Baby, in your arms – Moniek Toebosch & Michel Waisvisz (1983, from Nit-Hit 7 inch)
10 Budahop (2001, unreleased)
11 Interview by Kristina Andersen (2008)
12 N.I.P. workshop concert at STEIM (2007, live)
13 Crackle.2C (Unknown, recordings recovered from Yamaha AW4416)
14 Peeling (2003, from Ctrl Alt Del CD)
15 Rocky 2 (2001, unreleased)
16 Shepherding on the data farm (2008, unreleased)
17 “Is this the end?” Moniek Toebosch & Michel Waisvisz (1983, from Nit-Hit 7 inch)
18 Outro made with excerpts from:
– Interview by Kristina Andersen (2008)
– Studio session by Michel Waisvisz & Tarek Atoui (2008, unreleased)
– untitled.aif (unknown, unreleased)

selection, mix and text by Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff)

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