Joris de Laet was born in 1947 in Antwerp. Apart from some years of music lessons at the music academy (in violin and cello) De Laet was largely self-taught, and was mainly interested in the thought-processes of the avant-garde. In particular, the possibilities of amplified sound intrigued him, an interest that even led him to build or adapt his own instruments.
In order to increase public awareness of the music of the avant-garde, de Laet set up the Studio voor Experimentele Muziek (SEM) in 1973. Under the auspices of this studio, he organised monthly concerts in various locations (the studios of Flemish Radio 2, deSingel concert hall…), performed by leading musicians of his time. The holding of lectures, seminars and the dissemination of music on tape further stimulated the contact between the audience and experimental music. In 1974, the SEMensemble was founded, with the aim of producing live performances of post-production studio techniques (a constant in de Laet’s oeuvre), thereby allowing electronic means to become real time communication. In the performances of this ensemble, many different artistic disciplines (such as theatre, poetry and experiments with light) were combined into a whole by such composers as Karel Goeyvaerts and André Stordeur. For the performances including traditional instruments, he drew on the talents of, amongst others, Luc Brewaeys and Serge Verstockt.
During his sojourn at the Instituut voor Psycho-akoestik (IPEM) in Ghent from 1972-1975, de Laet came into contact with Karel Goeyvaerts, resulting in a number of concerts (including a performance of Partiduur 12345) and works on which the two composers collaborated (Tot Barstens Toe [Full to Bursting], MaskerSade). At the IPEM he also met Lucien Goethals and Herman Sabbe.
Joris de Laet taught composition (electro-acoustic music) at the Royal Conservatory in Antwerp from 1978 till 2012. He is also co-founder and vice-chairman of the Belgian Federation of Electro-Acoustic Music (BeFEM / FéBeMe). In 1997 he received the SABAM prize for electro-acoustic music.