The conduction symbols we use are from a mixture of sources, from some of those invented by Lawrence D “Butch” Morris, the originator of the term Conduction. Also from The London Improvisers Orchestra, from Orchestra Foco in Spain and, from Josep Maria Balanyá based in Catalonia.
1. Everybody. Open arms, an arch shape above head.
2. Sustained sound. Hand out flat palm upward.
3. Rolling hands. Carry on, continue, develop what you’re doing.
4. Stop gesture. Grabbing the sound, fist closing. Can be a sweeping gesture to cover all orchestra.
5. Staccato sound. Open palm, other hand from some a fist held up.
6. Take a solo. Playing an air sax.
7. Play with a pulse. Point to your watch, real or imaginary, can be given with a specific tempo or not.
8. Volume gesture. Hands apart, going vertical for more volume.
9. Pointillism. Making little dots in the air with index fingers.
10. Texture. thick or thin. Palms facing each other, Moving horizontally, together, thick texture, I.e no space, moving apart for a thinner texture.
11. Holding fingers up. 1 finger means one person plays, 1,2,3 means three people play. Musicians decide themselves.
12. Memory. Conductor points to head and taps. We can have memory 1 or up to 3. Musicians remember what they’re playing and will be called on to repeat it sometime.
13. Tugging ear and pointing to someone. Play with someone, imitate their sounds, accompany them.
14. Finger to lips, or holding up index finger and thumb close together. Play quietly
13. Stroking an imaginary bunny. Play something sweet
14. Pointing to mouth. Use your voice
15. Hand over mouth. Play unvoiced sounds/unpitched/noises
16. Wiggle glasses (imaginary glasses if conductor doesn’t have any!) Do something completely different.
17. Fist in air. Play free jazz
18. Loop. Index fingers draw a circle
19. Stirring an imaginary pot. Morph, move, in own time an when appropriate, from what you are playing to something else. Sign you are moving to will always be given.
20. Hands making a pyramid shape. Play concert A