02/02/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 33)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 33

Date: 02/02/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


As a student of music, I often set out on a blind path to find new sounds and colors on my horns. I often make an irregular fingering and then manipulate my embouchure, or experiment with opening and closing every key on the horn. In this way, I slowly build a new kind of saxophone vocabulary for myself on a daily basis. My improvisation today uses one of these recent discoveries.

I used the following fingering: (Right Hand) Palm F (played with the pinky) octave key and Middle C // (Left Hand) trilling the low F key. I put my right hand into a very irregular position to perform the trill, with my hand straight out and my fingers bent down at about a 45 degree angel. In this position I can execute an extremely fast trill in a very controlled way. 

As with my improvisation yesterday, I explored this new fingering by focusing on the natural imbalance between the created pitches. In the upper register the ringing of the tone holes and the fast pulses of pitches around the high C are very clear. When I take the octave key away the middle C becomes the absolute focus of sound, and the tone hole ringing and sound pulses becomes extremely quiet but still there none the less. During this improvisation I begin with no tongue articulation, and as I gradually incorporate this the articulation becomes a greater focus of sound as well.