03/09/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 68)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 68

Date: 03/09/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


In my practice session today I worked on flutter-tonging, and trying to control my use of this tonging in the middle to upper register. Flutter tonging is akin to rolling your r"s for an extended period of time. This is a technique I’ve only worked on for about two years or so, and I have a long way to go as far as control and flexibility are concerned. The challenges for me in using this style of tonging are in controlling the consistency of the sound produced, and being able to phase in and out of the tonging.

During this improvisation I attempted to have an escalating shape in energy and density of the chord. Using the same fingering, I would stop the flutter tonging and switch to straight and steady tones with no tongue at all. The fingering used in this improvisation is a multiphonic: (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Palm Eb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C. During the periods of sustained tones, I would occasionally punctuate the sound field by quickly opening and closing my left hand G key or right hand D key. While flutter tonguing, it’s far easier for me to approach it from more of a high pitch squealing sound, but more difficult to achieve these high tones while maintaining some reference to the lower octave notes. Overall, I tried to make the multiphonic chord sounds more dense and complex as the piece went on, progressively adding these upper shrill tones.