01/15/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 15)

12 Moons Solo Project Day 15

Date: 01/15/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle school performing arts hall. Seattle, WA


During a practice session or performance, I work to tame my mind and to control my focus on a task at hand. In many ways I feel that practicing music is engaging in a process similar to traditional meditation. Attempting a subtle, thoughtful activity such as meditation requires a calm mind, but also a very active engagement in the process of this “clearing.” My improvisation today explores this reailty and my own internal tendencies while engaging in any highly focused activity.

When I sit to practice, there is always “mental particulate” clouding my mind and preventing my ultimate goal of clear and vigilant focus. When I practice, it generally takes me about 1 hour to arrive at a state where I feel fully invested in my activity and I can begin to find these focus points. In this state I feel creative, in control and calm. 

In this improvisation I attempted to create an atmosphere that represents this particulate. I play a variety of flighty quartertone pitches centered around a concert D. Some of these pitches are muted and cloudy, while others are brighter and more direct. As the piece progresses, I begin introducing two mulitphonic chords, which in the context of this improvisation represent my ultimate focus point. As this piece progresses the two chords become more and more a center of the overall sound. Near the conclusion of the improvisation they become the only subject matter, or rather, the ultimate area of focus remaining.