In these pages, video presentations, and performance recordings, I have demonstrated that conductors of new music ensembles that perform integrated concerts are utilized and instrumentalized by the composers and the artistic directors who employ them. The reasons and motivations behind this utilization can be presented in two nonexclusive categories: pragmatic and artistic. The pragmatic reasoning includes economic considerations such as easing and managing the rehearsal process and creating a central focal point for audience and performers alike. Conductors were also employed for the practical expectation that they have a working knowledge of electronics and can balance the needs of composers and curators. Artistic instrumentalization ranges broadly, from conductors’ movement repertoire being used to frame pieces or programs, create intimacy, or trigger electronics to also being deployed tactically to make one small shift in tempo. Frequently, conductors are employed for their ability to respond spontaneously to live concert situations and especially to centralize those impromptu shifts for ensembles. On the other hand, the presumed hierarchy of conductor over ensemble found in Western art music performance ritual was questioned by composers through their use of (the role of) the conductor as the subject of their pieces, either by relying on performance ritual to tell their stories such as in Khubeev’s Ghost of Dytopia or redefining performance ritual by changing the perspective of audience and performer as in Prins’ Third Space.
With this new development in the role of the conductor comes a new performance practice and that practice must continually ‘adapt to meet the music it serves’.  Håkon Stene’s post-instrumental practice and Simon Steen-Andersen’s hyper-concretism offer insight into how to adapt. Both are ways of applying methodology learned or trained for playing one instrument to another. In post-instrumental practice, we step back from our main instrument and apply our bodies to another instrument (often composer-made), learning to play it from the same basic trained principles. Hyper-concretism is the practice of applying the same playing method uniformly across a range of instruments. For example, in AMID, the winds’ breathing is first rationalized in percentages which are then transcribed to each instrument. As conductors we have a basic set of trained and practically gained knowledge in musical and other pragmatic skills. For example, baton technique, rehearsal management, and musicianship are all accepted expectations of a conductor’s toolkit. My research has shown that this toolkit has expanded to include finding bespoke solutions during rehearsals, working cooperatively as a chamber music conductor, and having a good understanding of how live electronics function. In the examples cited above, the instrument, a conductor’s body and recognizable movement repertoire, have been utilized ‘as is’ to give weight to silence and frame polyrhythms. This instrument has also been altered to extend musicians’ gestures, balance dancers’ choreography, and even paint pictures. Applying post-instrumental practice, we can then step back from the conventional conductor’s role and see the menu of options and tools at our disposal. Together with the employing composers and artistic directors, we can then dexterously step into the newly customized role. For example, in Light Music and AMID, I have oriented my training in conducting gestures respectively towards generating sound and extending musicians’ physical (and musical) gestures. When generally recognizable movement repertoire has been hyper-concretely applied to new situations, such as in Schubert’s Point Ones or Applebaum’s Tlön, the conductor and their technique become a new instrument, or at least the same instrument but with a new sound. Each piece requires intense study to discover, but the realization that it is a tactical deployment helps to grasp its function. In my own practice, when approaching new solo or ensemble works, I now first determine the artistic and socioeconomic reasons for my employment as conductor usually in direct consultation with the artistic director and composer. Once having established my role and any possible instrumentalization thereof, only then can I put together a piece-specific toolkit or performance practice. For example, in preparing for six to five, Jessie Marino and I first discussed rehearsal strategy, collectively deciding to tactically apply both of our abilities to physically lead a rehearsal. This concept stretched into the artistic presentation of the piece when I, as conductor, was deployed in only strictly framed passages to make live, impromptu artistic decisions. I will approach Jennifer Walshe’s new piece in a similar manner. Though little in the piece is as yet fixed, we have already settled on playing with the audience’s perceived perception of hierarchy on stage. I am thus aware that any rehearsal management responsibilities will not extend into the performance arena. We have also discussed focusing on my hands, applying traditional gestures in new ways and inserting non-conducting gestures into the ‘conductor’s frame'. I can therefore also expect to learn a new instrument and develop or at least add new physical movements to my gestural toolkit.
Because conductors very rarely work alone, their performance practice must also include their relation to their fellow performers. At the conclusion of the case study on AMID, I suggest that the civil, industrial, and domestic value regimes, as detailed by Boltanski and Thévenot,  offer valuable perspectives on forming a working practice for conducted ensembles. Based on the premise that the conductor stands on a more equal footing with the musicians, the civil regime suggests taking a collective approach towards the entire rehearsal process, finding bespoke solutions instead of a top-down, authoritarian approach exacted through gestures alone. Along the same lines, values found in the industrial world propose taking on a more faciliatory role as conductor, helping where needed, but rigorously applying economical gestures. Paraphrasing Matthynssens, a conductor on stage is kind of like a dancer, therefore all visible gestures can gain artistic weight and should be taken into account. This very value is abundantly in evidence in Light Music, in which conductor’s gestures function both to serve timing and most especially as musical material themselves. And finally, the domestic value regime confirms the performer’s ‘mutual commitment’  to the score. There is a common understanding that each musician, including the conductor, will do their best to learn, understand, and perform the composition as intended by the composer. A convenient feature of new music is that generally the composers are still living. The combination of the domestic values and the living presence of the composer leaves little room for any conductor-imposed interpretations.
The role of the conductor is no longer fixed in the ensembles I studied and instead has become a tactical leadership role, deployed where necessary and then ‘discarded’  when no longer required. Marino’s six to five provides such an example of this style of tactical leadership deployment. Artistic and strategic decisions are often made cooperatively or by a (temporarily) nominated artistic director. Therefore, when a conductor is present, there must be specific artistic and/or socioeconomic motivations for their presence. A fourth value regime, Boltanski and Chiapello’s project city,  demonstrates that the conductor (just as the musicians) operates in a networked world and must continually adapt to the current situation. To optimize this, a new level of cooperation must arise in which both conductor and ensemble direction comprehend and communicate the manner in which the conductor is to be deployed in each (new) situation.
The reasoning and motivations behind employing, utilizing, and instrumentalizing conductors is continually developing. Since beginning my research, I know of at least six new compositions that have found new ways of instrumentalizing the conductor and/or its role. I, myself, have also added to this development by commissioning Marino and Walshe, the latter of which will be premiered after I have published this website. Luckily, art continues to evolve. Therefore it is possible that Walshe’s piece will even make some of what I have written here either irrelevant or incorrect. This is, after all, a tool to better understand the role of the conductor in new music ensembles. And, as our audience member so eloquently said, tools are developed by artists in ways in which their creators never could have foreseen. This study does, however, offer the chance to bring into focus the manner in which the role of the conductor in the last seven decades has been problematized, manipulated, utilized, and at last instrumentalized. The systematic study of this changing and developing situation allowed me to find tools and methods for forming the required piece-specific performance practices and thus better function as a tactical and curated conductor.
 Varela, ‘Adecuación, Expansión y Ruptura’.
 Boltanski and Thévenot, On Justification.
 Hardt and Negri, ASSEMBLY.
 Luc Boltanski, Eve Chiapello, and Gregory Elliott, The New Spirit of Capitalism (London: Verso, 2018).