STEIM (STudio for Electro Instrumental Music) is a center for research and development of new musical instruments in the electronic performing arts, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Electronic music in STEIM's context is always strongly related to the physical and direct actions of a musician. In this tradition, STEIM supports artists in residence such as composers and performers, but also multimedia and video artists to develop setups which allow for improvisation and performance with individually designed technology.
STEIM has existed since 1969. It was founded by Misha Mengelberg, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Dick Raaymakers, Jan van Vlijmen, Reinbert de Leeuw, and Konrad Boehmer. This group of Dutch composers had fought for the reformation of Amsterdam's feudal music structures; they insisted on Bruno Maderna's appointment as musical director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and enforced the first public fundings for experimental and improvised electronic music in the Netherlands.They were offered a budget for their collective multimedia opera "Reconstruction" which was premiered in the Holland Festival in 1969. The technology used in this opera was then taken to Amsterdam's Prinseneiland which was STEIM's first location. Soon, in 1971, the studio moved to the Groenburgwal in the city center, where there was more space for workshops and concerts. Since 1986, STEIM has been at the Achtergracht in the city center's southern area. Its premises include three studios, a concert hall, hard and software workshops, offices, and a guesthouse for artists in residence.
As a headline for most of STEIM's instrumental developments it can apply that "Touch is crucial in communicating with the new electronic performance art technologies".As in traditional musical instruments, it is believed here that also in contemporary developments the physical touch of a musician contains essential aesthetic factors. These qualities tend to get lost in the non-realtime use of studio technology, in which the process of music production gets rather rational but bodily involved. The Touch philosophy — which can be considered as STEIM's interpretation of the widely used term interactivity — theoretically subsumes several stages of STEIM's developments, from the analogue touchable "Crackle" surfaces in the 1970s to today's experimental Gestural MIDI Interfaces.
STEIM is a foundation, financially supported by the Dutch ministry of Culture. It invites international artists in residence of different musical and artistic styles and scenes. Aside from offering support in theoretic and practical development of contemporary musical instruments, STEIM also hosts in-house concerts, exhibitions and workshops. The work in progress of supported artists is presented in open studio events.
A music sequencer is a device or application software that can record, edit, or play back music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically CV/Gate, MIDI, or Open Sound Control (OSC), and possibly audio and automation data for DAWs and plug-ins.
NATO.0+55+3d was an application software for realtime video and graphics, released by 0f0003 Maschinenkunst and the Netochka Nezvanova collective in 1999 for the classic Mac OS operating system.
An electronic keyboard, portable keyboard, or digital keyboard is an electronic musical instrument, an electronic or digital derivative of keyboard instruments. Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.
A MIDI controller is any hardware or software that generates and transmits Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) data to MIDI-enabled devices, typically to trigger sounds and control parameters of an electronic music performance.
A laser harp is an electronic musical user interface and laser lighting display. It projects several laser beams played by the musician by blocking them to produce sounds, visually reminiscent of a harp. The laser harp has been popularised by Jean-Michel Jarre, and has been a high-profile feature of almost all his concerts since 1981. The laser harp became famous in Asia by Japanese artist Susumu Hirasawa.
A kraakdoos or cracklebox is a custom-made instrument, in the form of a noise-making electronic device. It is a small box with six metal contacts on top, which generate various unusual sounds and tones when pressed by the performer's fingers. The human body becomes a part of the circuit and determines the range of sounds possible, thus different people shall generate different results.
A wind controller, sometimes referred to as a wind synthesizer, is an electronic wind instrument and usually in the form of a MIDI controller associated with one or more music synthesizers. Wind controllers are most commonly played and fingered like a woodwind instrument, usually the saxophone, with the next most common being brass fingering, particularly the trumpet. Models have been produced that play and finger like other acoustic instruments such as the recorder or the tin whistle. One form of wind controller, the hardware-based variety, uses electronic sensors to convert fingering, breath pressure, bite pressure, finger pressure, and other gesture or action information into control signals that affect musical sounds. Another form of wind controller uses software to convert the acoustic sound of an unmodified acoustic wind instrument directly into Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) messages. In either case, the control signals or MIDI messages generated by the wind controller are used to control internal or external devices such as analog synthesizers or MIDI-compatible synthesizers, synth modules, softsynths, sequencers, or even non-instruments such as lighting systems.
Buchla Thunder is one of many in the family of MIDI controllers consisting of tactile control surfaces, which are manipulated by hand.
The Buchla Lightning is the second in a series of MIDI controllers developed by Don Buchla. It consists of two independent hand-held electronic wands and a box unit that enable a player to initiate sounds and to manipulate those sounds spatially.
Michel Waisvisz was a Dutch composer, performer and inventor of experimental electronic musical instruments. He was the artistic director of STEIM in Amsterdam from 1981, where he collaborated with musicians and artists from all over the world.
The Yamaha WX5, WX11, and WX7 are models of monophonic MIDI wind controller musical instruments manufactured by the Yamaha Corporation that have since been discontinued. The fingering system is based on the saxophone basic fingering. Like a keyboard controller, wind controllers send MIDI note information electronically to an external sound module or tone generator which in turn synthesizes a tremendous variety of musical tones. Unlike a keyboard controller which is usually polyphonic, a wind controller is monophonic. The only limits to the kinds of sounds available are the limitations of the external module/tone generator, not the WX5 itself. A WX5 performer can sound like any melodic instrument: wind, string, percussion, keyboard, or purely electronic, including special sound effects. In addition most tone generators a mix of instruments can be programmed.
I-CubeX comprises a system of sensors, actuators and interfaces that are configured by a personal computer. Using MIDI, Bluetooth or the Universal Serial Bus (USB) as the basis for all communication, the complexity is managed behind a variety of software tools, including an end-user configuration editor, Max (software) plugins, and a C++ Application Programming Interface (API), which allows applications to be developed in Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems.
Disklavier is the brand name for a family of high-tech reproducing pianos made by Yamaha Corporation. The first Disklavier was introduced in the United States in 1987.
Live electronic music is a form of music that can include traditional electronic sound-generating devices, modified electric musical instruments, hacked sound generating technologies, and computers. Initially the practice developed in reaction to sound-based composition for fixed media such as musique concrète, electronic music and early computer music. Musical improvisation often plays a large role in the performance of this music. The timbres of various sounds may be transformed extensively using devices such as amplifiers, filters, ring modulators and other forms of circuitry. Real-time generation and manipulation of audio using live coding is now commonplace.
Controllerism is the art and practice of using musical software controllers, e.g. MIDI, Open Sound Control (OSC), joystick, etc., to build upon, mix, scratch, remix, effect, modify, or otherwise create music, usually by a Digital DJ or Live PA performer, often called a "controllerist". Controllerism is also a nod to traditional musicianship and instrumental-ism paired with modern computer sequencing software such as Ableton Live and Native Instruments Traktor. However a working knowledge of scales and chords is not necessarily required as the performers typically focus their efforts more on sequencing events, software effect and instrument manipulations using buttons, knobs, faders, keys, foot switches and pedals than on instrumental notes played in real time. With recent developments in music technology, particularly in software instruments, a USB MIDI controller enables musicians almost unlimited possibilities to control a wide variety of sound types.
Lindsay Vickery is an Australian composer and performer.
The Miburi is a wearable musical instrument which was released commercially by the Yamaha Corporation’s Tokyo-based experimental division in 1994.
Keith McMillen is an audio and music technology engineer and entrepreneur, known for developing electronic music instruments, including the first modern violin to control synthesizers, first programmable audio mixer, the first blue-tooth violin bow, and several MIDI controllers as well as innovations to improve audio quality for internet telephony.
Laetitia Sonami, is a sound artist, performer, and composer of interactive electronic music who has been based in the San Francisco Bay area since 1978. She is known for her electronic compositions and performances with the ‘’Lady’s Glove’’, an instrument she developed for triggering and manipulating sound in live performance. Many of her compositions include live or sampled text. Sonami also creates sound installation work incorporating household objects embedded with mechanical and electronic components. Although some recordings of her works exist, Sonami generally eschews releasing recorded work.
Takuro Mizuta Lippit is a turn-tableist, curator and producer, who works in experimental electronic arts and improvised music.