12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Chief Sealth/Denny Middle school performing arts auditorium. Seattle, WA
Many of my improvisations come to reflect work that I’ve practice that day or a conceptualized theme that led to an improvisation. My piece today does not use either of the these models. Besides drive time in my car, my only available recording time today was a 20 minute window between teaching students. Despite being under immense pressure to create this piece quickly and to perform it well, I felt quite relaxed and free to create.
This improvisation uses several “muted” tones centered around a concert Db. I tended to rely upon a particular fingering that is a favorite of mine. This fingering, when a balanced but firm amount of pressure is applied in my embouchure, produces a split-tone chord a major second apart: Concert Db and Eb. By using various tonging and embouchure bending techniques, I am able to make these tones very malleable. This accounts for the wide range of upward and downward bending used throughout. During the peak of intensity I utilize double and flutter tonging to help harden the beginnings of these pitches. I end this improvisation with the aforementioned fingering that produces the major 2nd split tone.