My first reflexion is focused on the use of the ConDis technology and its functionality both for practical and artistic use. A sequence of short videos is in the making in order to make it easier for others to follow and hopefully comment. I apologize that the first video is a bit amateurish hence my limited experience in the world of video making. Hopefully, that is going to change as I get more experienced.
Looking at the first page of my composition Kuki no Sukima – Between the air, we can see in the upper left-hand corner of the opening page that the conductor has to do some preparations before starting the piece.
- OK sign to activate the Volume interface of DAW
- Click the 3rd. finger button to activate play-head button of the DAW
- Click the 2nd finger button four times to set the tempo
- Close your hand to activate the Volume Value Control
- Move arm up or down to set the Volume Value
- Open your hand (five fingers out) to deactivate the Volume Value Control
First, she needs to give an OK sign with left hand wearing the Conducting Glove (ConGlove). That gives an indication to the computer to activate the Volume control unit of the ConDiS interface. Then she needs to close her hand to activate the volume control levels and raise her arm a bit. That will set the volume level of the electronics.
Also, pay attention to the Vol_Pan_Fx_selector that indicates finger positions from little finger slider-values to the left to thumb too far right. When the OK sign is given the index finger and thumb go down.
After activating the volume the conductor has to give the given tempo by clicking her index finger (finger no.2) three times, indicated with.
That should set the interface metronome somewhere close to the given tempo (m.m. 48)
Then the conductor needs to press the button on the third finger once to stop the metronome counting.
Now the conductor is ready to start the performance by pressing button three once more
This rather complicated preparation turned out to be a bit confusing for the conductor. She felt there were too many things to do before being able to start conducting so I decided to most of the preparation beforehand.
I manually had the volume control activated and used the metronome given by the computer. Therefore she only needed to press the third button once, to stop the metronome counting and start the piece.
That was a last-minute compromise that I need to fix before next performance. It suffered the tight synchronization that was supposed to be between the played instrumental sound and the live electronic sound since the conducting beat was significantly faster than indicated in the score. Since there are spots (marked with button 4), where the conductor synchronizes the score and electronics it never went far off but still it hurt the performance. Surely with a bit more time to practice the conducting signs, it should have worked but since my aim is to have the system simple enough for conductors to use as a “natural” extension of their conducting tradition this needs to be fixed.
I have already thought about ways to set up the volume control and volume value, but I don’t believe that I have alternatives for the metronome except that the conductor does not need to give the metronome beforehand but can immediately after starting the piece press the metronome button to give “right” tempo. This has also led to the conclusion that I have to change the order of the button so that the index finger (button 2) is not used for metronome setting but rather for start/stop messages. The middle finger (button 3) will be used for jumping forward messages and ring finger (button 4) for the metronome setting. That should give a bit more natural finger combination since most of the indications are start/stop (2nd button), jump forward (3rd button) and metronome setting (4th button).
That should do it for this week blog, looking forward to the next one where I will go into more detailed analyses of the use of ConDiS.