As part of my ConDiS project I have been looking at various conducting gestures to control electronics or the balance between live electronics and live acoustic sounds. The main task has been finding an answer on how do I add these controls to the professional music conductors gestural library. Do I use classical conducting gestures or do I have to invent some new?
I have come to the conclusion that using already well known gestures is probably the safest way, although I might have to introduce few new. The main reason is purely practical, the professional orchestral conductor has trained for years his musical gestures and it might be difficult to ask to learn new one. Therefore do the use of ConDiS less attractive so to speak. Another thing is that since the conductor is conducting very similar elements in the electronic as for the acoustic instruments why not use same gestures? Therefore I use the following gestures all that are well known in the conducting repertoire:
The original plan, made at the start of the ConDiS artistic research program, controllers (parameters) to be controlled by the conductor were grouped into following categorization:
Volume control (Overall volume)
The conductor can raise or lower the overall volume of the electronic sound. With simple finger gesture, an OK sign, he/she can trigger the volume control feature “on” and then by lifting left arm raise the sound. When the volume level is at “right” level, the volume control is triggered “off” by closing the hand. Same goes for lowering the sound except the arm must be lowered.
Pan control (spatial location)
The conductor can move sound in space. He/she can with finger gesture (thumb up) trigger the pan control feature and then by tilting the hand move the special location of the sound. As with volume control, the pan control function is deactivated (turned off) by closing the hand.
Effect control. (sonority and spectral timbre)
The conductor can raise or lower the overall effect volume. He/she can with finger gesture (little finger out) trigger the effect control feature and then by lifting or lowering left arm raise or lower the sound. The effect control function is turned off by closing the hand.