The conductor is a rhetor, her audience the orchestra itself; she persuades this collection of distinct subjectivities, who have been practicing to be persuaded in just this way, to function as--to be--one body, even in silence. It is for this reason that he faces them, and largely ignores their audience, though this is a ruse of sorts, designed to convince the orchestra still more of their unity, of the all-encompassing vibrancy of their unity as one subject, and the relative unimportance of their audience.
She is convincing them, like Kierkegaard's Abraham in Fear and Trembling
In this double movement, of course and however, the orchestra executes precisely the will of their absolute--becomes ethical relative to their audience, which desires to witness an improbably unified subjectivity glorying in its submission to wordless transcendence of the ethical, a unity indifferent to the demands or existence of its others.
For those of us who constitute such an audience, this is a satisfying reassurance of the possibility--the reality and even primacy, since it occurs in indifference to our presence--of psychic unity in wordless transcendence, of a return to the extrasymbolic womb (both more symbolic, symbolically hypercharged, and beyond the domain of the symbolic). What matters in this unity is its indifference to the ethical, its absolute permissibility of being. And where better might this be found than in the domain of music, which as Kierkegaard argues (in the Either
The tragedy of the orchestra for its audience is that it is a fantasy, that the subject-permissibility it embodies has been a ruse. Music is not, after all, the erotic--the extrasymbolic real of beings-in-relation--but only the sexual, or at worst the pornographic. It is only another language, after all, though spoken ever so fluidly.
The orchestra's real appeal, however, is that it has worked, not only as an illusion of the primary unity of the subject in wordless transcendence but also as its invocation. The masterfully conducted symphony has been a seance with the spirit of absolute permissibility, departed with our accession into the symbolic order that makes unity thinkable and, in being thinkable, impermissible. This, however, is only visible from behind the orchestra, whose spirit has animated the conductor whose audience it is. The seance has been conducted within the conductor.
But this, too, reaches its conclusion, and the men and women in black and white, and the encores of the orchestra's audience, echo together as the cries of a child who cannot help but be human. Which is to say, cannot help but be impermissible.