02/17/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 48)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 48

Date: 02/17/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Office storage room on 45th avenue.  Seattle, WA 


From the loudest possible guttural sounds to the quietest closing of a key cup, I find solace in exploring the extremes of my instrument and the control of my body while playing.  My practice session today felt very scattered and unsettled, namely one of those inevitable days where I found it difficult to walk away feeling positive about my efforts.  This project does not allow me to put the horn away without having explored a concrete idea, and thankfully the music offered itself to me towards the end of my session.  

This improvisation explores consonant chords and a simple, somber melody.  This particular improvisation could only be created at a whisper soft volume, with a great deal of air and a loose but focused embouchure.  The breathiness of my horn and the crackles from my saliva are as much a part of the music as are the notes themselves.  The simple melodies explored in this piece use the concert pitches Eb-Db-Eb-E (middle register) as well as B-Bb-B-C#-B (upper register).  With the chords that accompany these melodies there is also melodic counterpoint that introduces consonant pitches into the harmony.  I tried to maintain an even-keeled balance in volume with the initial melodic content, and to allow new tones to enter as they or I saw fit to do so.