ConDiS – Conducting Digital System Extended role of the conductor in mixed music performance
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- Institutt for musikk 
Hilmar Thordarson presents his work a doctoral project in the Norwegian Fellowship Programme for Artistic Research, carried out at NTNU Department of Music. ConDiS - Conducting Digital System is a personal artistic research project in which I have tried to solve certain practical and artistic problems through the application of my own artistic vision. This vision is based on the desire to combine electronic sound processing with the conductor's expressive gestures shaping the musical material of the orchestra. This has long been a dream of mine: to find a way to treat the electronics with the same precision and expression as the notes of the written instrumental score. For these reasons, the ConDiS artistic research project has been from the beginning an exciting journey exploring what happens when these tools are put in the “hands” of the conductor. With a custom-made conducting glove – “Con Glove” – the conductor can conduct and control the overall balance, volume, tempo, and synchronization of the electronic sounds written in the musical score. That way extending the role of the conductor in mixed music performance. ConDiS – Conducting Digital System is, in its artistic essence, a tool that brings the electronic aspects of musical expressivity directly under the conductor´s control, and in doing so the conductor is able to rely on this ability the tool affords him. So, in turn, it enables the writing of through-composed mixed music with precision while maintaining a certain amount of flexibility and expressivity. Writing through-composed music for mixed music media is a challenge especially when writing for larger ensembles. In these cases, synchronization between the acoustic instruments and the electronics becomes critical. In order to reduce these variations and compose music with more precision, as required of through-composed music, I needed to create the ConDiS system. The possibilities bestowed by this system are exemplified in my composition Kuki no Sukima (Between the Air) written for Trondheim Sinfonietta and conductor Halldis Rønning. What turns a written composition into music is the musician’s interpretation of the written musical score. It is what is written in-between: the interplay between what is written and what is performed. It has everything to do with the interpretation of music in time and space; hence the creation of ConDiS – Conducting Digital System.