Hljóðs bið ek – Silence I Ask

Silence I Ask for Voices – For Interactive Conductor and Live Electronics (2013/rev. 2018)

Composer Hilmar Thórdarson conducting the Choir of Kjartan wearing the Conducting Glove.

Written in 2013 for the voices of Choir of Kjartan and premiered the same year at the Rockheim museum in Trondheim.

The text is taken from the first words of the Poetic Edda, Vøluspa that tells the story of the creation and doom of the world.

The mysterious atmosphere of Vøluspa crystallizes in this work by the use of live electronics that respond to the words and volume of the voices. As the singers sing, talk, whispers, etc.… the computer responds with digitally generated effects.

Using a custom-made amplitude envelope follower for analyzing the vocal loudness and controlling the electronics their voices are then transformed via computer to a surround loudspeaker arrangement. 

The singers form a circle around the audience in a group of two with a conductor located mid in the audience. 

As I Stood there conducting on a podium in the middle of the audience the necessity to conduct and control the electronic sound became evident.  What if I could with my conducting gesture mix the sonic balance, bring the electronic volume up and down, change its sonority, and move it around the hall all with my conducting gestures? Creating a conducting tool such as ConDiS became urgent.

Audio recording of Silence I Ask for Voices, electronics and live interactive conducting glove.
Silence I Ask for Voices, interactive conductor, and electronics. Choir of Kjartan,
conductor Hilmar Thórdarson (Rockheim 2018)