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Last night I saw Nézet-Séguin conduct Philadelphia in one of the Stokowski celebration concerts. Just above his score he had a monitor (I called it a teleprompter in the subject but surely there is a better name) that allowed him to synchronize the orchestra with a simultaneous projection of Fantasia. I had an excellent seat that allowed a clear view of the monitor from the first tier at about 40 feet. The monitor image showed a smaller version of the projected Fantasia, as well as a variety of visual cues. There was what appeared to be a dial clock on the lower left, a digital clock on the upper right. Periodically a white disk would flash in the middle of the screen on what appeared to be the first beats of the measures. There were also vertical bars that traveled across the screen which were generally white, but also yellow and green in silences between movements (during a projection with the Nutcracker Suite) and purple or red during transitions within the movements.
I couldn't decide whether to concentrate on the music, the projection, or the conductor, so I did my best to absorb as much as possible from all three. Philadelphia played superbly.
I saw the exact same thing when I saw The Lord of the Rings with a live orchestra. I too had a clear shot of the monitor. Pretty interesting huh??
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The same screen was at the conductor's podium when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recently performed the instrumental parts of West Side Story in sync with the projected film.
It seems to me that in each case stated above, the teleprompter was a necessary adjunct to the score on the conductors podium, helping the conductor to align the music to the visual presentation that went along with the music, much like a conductor in a film studio recording would use. It would also seem to me that using a "teleprompter" as the sole means of score usage would not be a good use of technology. The only positive impact would be the total lack of a "Singin' in the Rain" synchronization disaster. From the above mentioned reports, this unique phenomenom did not happen.
I make most of my bones conducting these days, and I can't see how this technology would help me (please note the italics are meant to delineate between an all-encompassing answer and a personal preference, my emphasis being on the latter)as my scores are marked in such a way that makes sense only to me, a habit that would be impossible to duplicate on an electronic device. One can assume that with the advent of "electronic" music reading stands one sees advertised, that there are some conductors (possibly Broadway shows?) who may use this technology.
Chuck "Not a Luddite, I just like what I like and work best within the same"Jackson
I drank WHAT?!!-Socrates
The teleprompter replaces the "click track" that was necessary to synchronize played music with a visual medium, such as movies.
The clear advantage is that rather than have the conductor and musicians wearing headphones, the synchronization can now be visual, leaving the ears free to do what they should be doing regarding tone and balance.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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