Tom Chi  

CHI Interview: Michel Waisvisz

April 18th, 2005 by Tom Chi :: see related comic

At CHI I had a chance to interview Michel Waisvisz, this year’s closing plenary speaker. He is based in Amsterdam and has spent his life creating novel electronic instruments as well as expressive electronic augmentations to traditional insutrments.

During the plenary, he performed an improvised electronic piece after explaining his “hands” interface. This interface uses a few “traditional” controller inputs like buttons in combination with more novel pressure sensors, ultrasonic rangers, accelerometers, resampling microphone, and mercury switches. These speak through MIDI to the Lisa-X sound manipulation engine.

His vision is to expand electronic performance to accomodate human expression and he has done extensive work with experienced musicians (for example, violinist Laurie Anderson ) to bring electronic dimensions to their instruments.

Here is a snippet of Michel warming up (first he wrangles with a water sound, then demonstrates some expression against a monophonic instrument sound).

Here is a recording of our interview (warning: this is an unedited 30 min interview and might it might be a bit much for people who don’t follow electronic music technology):

download the interview (mp3 - 5.7MB)

If someone wants to set up a torrent, that would be most helpful…


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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?