Interview with conductor Halldis Rønning

The following blog is based on an interview I did with conductor Halldis Rønning soon after the Trondheim Sinfonietta, Nordic Tour. Halldis conducted my work, Kuuki no Sukima at concerts in Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland, Nordic House in Torshavn and Christians church in Klaksvik, Faroe Islands and Schæffergården in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Since the conductor and the art of conducting is one of my focus points in my ConDiS project interviewing Halldis is one of the key points of my artistic research and reflections.

The Interview is based on the following questions:

  • What is your opinion about the idea of expanding the conductor role by conducting the electronic sounds rather than a sound engineer? Is there an Artistic need?
  • What does the conductor do differently with the music when able to conduct the electronic sound as well as conducting the traditional way? Is there a feeling of fusion of the roles of the conductor and performer?
  • How does the conductor feel using the ConDiS, does it feel natural toward his way of conducting?
  • What musical parameters should the conductor be conducting? Volume, tempo, spatial sound location etc.…
  • Is there too much information in the written score (Partitur), too many parameters to control, is it complex or simple enough.
  • During the “Nordic Tour” performance took place in different “concert” halls with different placements of the ensemble.
  1. Did a different resonating hall make a difference in the performance?
  2. Did a different location of the ensemble make difference for you? Can you describe the difference?
  3. Ensemble located on stage behind the front speakers. (Harpa)
  4. Ensemble located on stage with front speakers on their sides. (Nordic House and Christians Church, Klaksvik)
  5. Ensemble located on stage with front speakers behind. (København)
  • Has your opinion of using the ConDiS system changed from the day you were introduced to the technology and its possibilities to now when you have had five performances
  • With more experience and practice using the ConDiS system, has there been any changes in your use of its possibilities?
  • Is there anything that should be added to the ConDiS system or score writing?

Question 1.   The idea of ConDiS? What is your opinion about the idea of expanding the conductor role by conducting the electronic sounds rather than having a sound engineer doing it?

In the above video conductor, Halldis Rønning says “it is a good contribution…to the music field or conductors job” These positive reactions are very important for my research because they mean that Halldis has experienced positive experiences with using ConDiS. Therefore, it can be concluded that my attempt to create a simple device for controlling electronics while managing acoustic sounds have been successful. She did not have much time to take on this instrumental tool but seemed to be quick to catch up with it and perceive his necessity.

Is there an Artistic need?

As stated in the above video interview, Halldis believes that “all integration of electronics and live controlling or having an impact on  the actual electronic sound combined with the acoustic sound is very nice, very fruitful I would say.”  I think this is an excellent proof that ConDiS is a fairly simple and manageable “natural” system, though it may undoubtedly improve it in the future.

The positive respond of Halldis where she agrees with my opinion that there is a need for a new conducting tool and there is an artistic need to expand the role of the conductor led to a question to even expand the role to conducting other media such as video or film.

Controlling Video?

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