There was a section in The Typewriter score which I felt was best described as throwing a cat down a set of the stairs – the cat of course, naturally and defiantly landing squarely on its feet, turning back, and hissing, “Hah!”. And now that section has a little twist of humor with the players, owing no doubt to the poorness of my cat conducting imitations.
Conducting is special, it really is, even if it’s for educational purposes and not a regular performance-based effort (perhaps even especially so). Pointing and sign language was probably the first kind of human communication; a lot of gestures have a universal sort of meaning and understanding, unlike verbal languages with its small armory of onomatopoeia like Savage Garden’s Crash, Boom, Bang. And together with this basic common understanding is a complex system of sound sculpturing able to contain specific and a wide range of meanings, even cheap feline humor. Beyond that is the general meaning of “conductor” which actually includes the ability to makes flow from one end to another; and it is a good sentiment to not only make music, but more importantly, help people work to make music together.
Those of us in music have all met our share of prima donna conductors, who Exhaledly Boss their way around Nuclear Winters (personal jokes there, sorry), but the spirit behind the endeavor remains a magical one, perhaps even a more human effort than a musical one.