Conducting Collective Instruments : A Case Study

Comajuncosas, Josep and Guaus, Enric

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

According to the tradition, music ensembles are usually lead by a conductor who is the responsible to coordinate and guide the group under a specific musical criteria. Similarly, computer ensembles resort to a conductor to keep the synchronization and structural coordination of the performance, often with the assistance of software. Achieving integration and coherence in a networked performance, however, can be challenging in certain scenarios. This is the case for configurations with a high degree of mutual interdependence and shared control. This paper focuses on the design strategies for developing a software based conductor assistant for collective instruments. We propose a novel conductor dimension space representation for collective instruments, which takes into account both its social and structural features. We present a case study of a collective instrument implementing a software conductor. Finally, we discuss the implications of human and machine conduction schemes in the context of the proposed dimension space.