03/04/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 63)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 63

Date: 03/04/2013
Instrument: Alto saxophone
Location: Hallway outside the the SWHS band room. Langley, WA (Whidbey Island)


Last night I watched a masterful performance by saxophonist Wally Shoup and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Corsano. This was my first time seeing Chris, and I was amazed by the range of sound he pulled out of the drum set. His vocabulary seemed so natural to him it was as though he were taught from the outset of his life to bow the rims of his toms or hum with his face pressed against kit. Wally was in a particularly enlightened state in this performance. In Wally’s playing, I always hear a joyfulness that fills the room. He seems to take any idea that comes from his instrument and sculpt it into a clean, crystalized version of what had come out the moment before. My improvisation today was inspired by his work. 

During this improvisation I use a very common saxophone multiphonic fingering: (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys. Inspired by Wally’s work, I decided to start the improvisation with whatever sound by body and instrument seemed inclined to begin with. I made it my aim to approach this piece without ego, and to let my horn and mind take me where they wished to go. At times I would come upon a new sound and choose to explore it in repetition, or to build a slight phrase around it, or even explore tonality as I did at the close of the piece. At other times I would attempt to execute a gesture and the horn would not speak it, so I would take the sound that the horn offered me and begin anew. It seems that with this approach as an improviser, there is no limit to what you can explore and no end to what can be done in even a single piece.