01/21/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 21)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 21

Date: 01/21/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton WA (Whidbey Island)


I awoke this morning with the message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on my mind. This patriot and man of peace made this nation a better place for us all. His message of love, justice and freedom continues to ring true today, and I feel indebted to his struggle and those that struggled with him. This struggle continues, and I believe we can all play a part in preserving the freedom that this county allows us as our birthright. Black, white, gay, lesbian, the forgotten impoverished–there is much to be done.

My improvisation today is a spirit song for the great Dr. King. I believe that the major and minor pentatonic scales are the mother sound–the scale that binds all music in all cultures throughout this world. This piece is centered around the Ab major pentatonic scale, with melodic diversions into the Ab major scale. To elicit Dr. King’s message of peace, I used strong, steady intervals in this improvisation. The Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th and Octave are used frequently, as is a constant return to the opening melodic theme with the scale degrees 6-5-2-1. A Dr. King would elevate his speeches with powerful repetition, I attempted to create a piece for him that used a similar model of strength.