01/28/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 28)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 28

Date: 01/28/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


The bulk of my improvisation thus far have centered around repetitive, minimalist shapes. Though I’ve known that this concept is one that I favor I actually was a bit unaware that I am so constantly drawn to this model. On reflecting this fact during my practice session today, I decided to embrace the concept instead of doing an abrupt about face. 

During this improvisation I use a simple rhythmic pattern: 1 e and a 2—, with occasional single pitch interruptions. The fingering sequence used on this piece is very complicated, and keeping it steady was a great challenge for me. While practicing I often choose a sequence of some kind, be it rhythmic, harmonic or melodic and repeat it for some time as an exercise. As is the case with speaking a single word in fast repetition, after several passes it becomes difficult to retain the original quality of sound and feel. This particular fingering sequence uses a multiphonic with a very present upper octave Db. This Db became the single pitches you hear throughout this piece. I use these single pitches as audible markers, or something to create expectation for the listener. My aim was to establish the original melody and rhythm as its own sound world, and then interrupt this with the altissimo (extreme upper register) concert Db and high octave Db. The original 1 e and a 2— rhythm then seems to all of a sudden become secondary to the expectation of continued single pitches to come.