02/26/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 57)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 57

Date: 02/26/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Small theater, Chief Sealth High School in Seattle, WA


My improvisatory impulses today lead me towards the upper end of my horn. I dedicate a great amount of time to expanding my altissimo range, as well as working on creating higher whistle tones. However, I rarely find myself as interested in working exclusively within this range during an improvisation. Today I carried with me the desire to sit squarely in the upper range, and my improvisation centers around a few select pitches from an altissimo Db and up.

This improvisation uses only one fingering: (Left Hand) Fork F and C keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C. I set my embouchure with my lower teeth near the soft, pink part of my inner lip–far higher than a traditional shape. With a good amount of pressure applied, this fingering yielded a very clear altissimo Concert Db. By adjusting mouth pressure and air flow, a Concert D, E, and F also spoke very easily. Very tight, clustered pitches would occasionally emerge when I centered on the Concert E, which I believe are the Concert D and Db simultaneously. Further colors were achieved by using a bit of vibrato and approaching the overall playing style by using the saxophone as more of a bugle. This perspective helped me to feel more inclined to freely bend the pitches upward and downward.

Photo by agnes-cecile