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Full text of "Unity-Diversity_II (music score for conducted improvisation)"

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ANTI-DETAILED CONDUCTION SIGNS 

(Unity-Diversity II, conduction version). For ensemble ad lib, may be large. 


BASIC VERSION: 

Sometimes improvisors gather around one kind of sound, regardless whether it’s one kind 
of texture, of melodic movement, of a special timbre, or around one pitch - whether 
loud or soft: that's unity. At other times, it's fun to hear a lot of contrasting, 
individual phenomena in the air: that's diversity. 

The conductor's role here is to listen and make sure these possibilities are 
discovered and explored. This is done by occasionally showing a sign. Signs are always 
given to the whole group, never to individuals or sub-groups. Before showing it, he/she 
may raise both hands for some time to secure the attention of all. Everything else is 
free . 

Signs should be given only now and then. Standing before the ensemble is a kind of 
sign in itself. Conductor may indicate coherent periods of non-influencing by sitting 
down. Resist temptations to influence details, stay neutral in mimics and other 
gestures. Even better than having one conductor, however, would be to allow each 
ensemble member one sign during one playing process or another collective arrangement. 

- On how to specify unity and diversity in practise, see Unity-Diversity I for ideas. 


NAME 

MORE UNITY 

MORE DIVERSITY 

THUMBNAIL 

(picture) 




GESTURE 

Conductor 

points 

fingers 

towards 

each other 

Conductor 
points fingers 
away from each 
other 

MEANING 

Seek unity, 
gradually 

Seek 

diversity, 

gradually 


ADVANCED VERSION: 


NAME 

THINK FOR A 

MOMENT 

MORE PAUSES 

VARY DYNAMICS 

REFRESH 

THUMBNAIL 

(picture) 

09 

A 



GESTURE 

Fingers 
touching the 
head 

Finger before 
mouth 

Hand shown with 
fingers apart 

Big half-circle 
movement with 

one hand 

MEANING 

Think and 

feel free to 
maybe change 
something (or 
pause) 

Less is more! 

Dynamics are 
too predictable 
- vary them! 

Also 

individually! 

Try something 
different! 


The conductor can have some signs in addition to the two first ones that might add a 
twist. "Think for a moment" - don't do anything specific, but if you find it could be 
time to change something (or pause!), feel free to do so according to your own idea. 
"More pauses" - to counteract congestion of sound. "Vary dynamics" - discover this 
parameter instead of predictable collective ups and downs - could there be more loud 
and soft together (don't just play louder when you see this sign, maybe you need to do 
the opposite). "Refresh" - to get on if it's stuck or simply, more variation. 

These signs were made as an attempted alternative to conducting systems that tend to 
fix details and lead to rather monophonic textures. Instead, there is an endeavour to 
encourage the polyphonic diversity of the ensemble/orchestra, and the intuitive, 
irrational dimensions of playing. .