An espresso with…
Ludovico Peroni and QRO

Image Credits: Quick Response Orchestra © Stefano Mancini

April 23, 2018

Exploring the Chironomic Conduction

The chironomic conduction is defined as a “codified but intuitive system made of gestures to delineate musical shapes, which instrumentalists complete through interplay, sound research and improvisation”. We talked about it with Ludovico Peroni, conductor of the Quick Response Orchestra
> Ivano Rossato

By what have you been urged to set up the QRO project and by what are you characterised?
My training in musicology and then the conservatory have always fed by wish of researching the possibilities of improvisations and its relationships with writing. I met the musicians involved in the project during the many masterclasses we attended together, and they’re people open to everything, especially open to new ideas! Usually, this type of improvisation based on chironomic conduction is carried on by collective groups specifically created, while we are a real fixed line-up. This allows us to work more on the shape, sound and personalisation of some key elements.
Which is the balance between the musician’s improvisation and the conductor’ ideas?
By simplifying the concept, I’d say that for each tune I’m in charge of shape, while the musicians care about the contents, and the final balance actually is based on this. I try to prepare very open scores, and I try to write as simple as possible, so as to make it as close as possible to a suggestion. This form is less rigid than the soundpainting, in which the conductor composes in real time and communicates each single note to the musicians, through a highly formalised language made of about 2000 gestures. The fact of adopting the figure of a conductor allows the listener, through the sight, to sense the creation and improvisation flux and, in a certain meaning, to overturn the improvised music concept, which the audience is normally subject to.
Would you link QRO to a specific musical genre?
Actually, I can’t define us in a specific genre. We listen to every kind of music, and also when we’re playing live there are nights during which we look like Tool, others in which we remind John Scofield and, yet, others when we are closer to Snarky Puppy’s sound. It all depends on theatmosphere and on the audience.
If you consider the chironomic conduction as a real instrument, which evolution of this technique are you expecting in the future?
The most extreme and provocative level could be to be able to improvise something very simple, as for example a lullaby. Our target is to make very simple some elements that, on the contrary, in the past were used and understood as a rupture. I’m thinking, for instance, of the work of an artist I love such as John Zorn. We would like to recover the happy side of experimental and contemporary music.
Which is the most challenging issue for a musician and which projects do you have for the future?
The biggest challenge is to be able to survive thanks to what you’re doing! But, artistically, also to be able to have something to say, or to be honest and, if you have nothing to say, to step aside. For the future, we would like to develop the use of augmented reality on stage and with the audience. The visual elements have a great importance in our tunes and I think that without these elements our music would be mutilated.

Ludovico Peroni QRO Jazzespresso jazz magazine Rossato Interview


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