03/08/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 67)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 67

Date: 03/08/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


My current reed is at a stage where it’s flexibility is beginning to fade. The clarity of tone is there, but the reed is beginning to fight me in areas such as intonation and overall ease of playability . With my particular set-up, it’s ironically at this stage in the life of my reed that staccato playing becomes the easiest for me. My improvisation today focused on staccato articulation with a declining tempo, spread over a six minute period of time. 

I made an effort to try and maintain a steady stream of sixteenth notes, with the initial tempo as fast as possible, down to a medium-fast tempo at the end of the piece. There was no tonal focus in this improvisation, though I did center around the mid range of the horn, and found myself referencing a concert A to concert Bb a minor 9th above quite a bit. I did also seem to carry this concept of dissonance and chromatic octave displacement throughout this piece. 

The sixteenth articulation pattern remains static, but I gradually evolved away from my initial articulation model. In the opening minute or so I would articulate the same pitch two or three times before moving. This, along with more air, made certain notes sound much more articulated than the rest. As the piece went on my articulation gradually began to focus on only note-to note articulation. This smoothed out the wrinkles and the accentuation needed to come mostly from more forceful tonguing. 


The image “circles” from painter Louise Schanker