03/10/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 69)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 69

Date: 03/10/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone 
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


This improvisation was recorded before dawn. I decided to work today with a consistent air flow, but to pair this consistency with fingerings that created a variety of natural dynamic levels. With the use of false fingerings, a wide array of muted tones can being created. My improvisation today makes use of this device by setting these muted tones against traditional pitches, as well as incorporating other false fingerings which actually accent certain pitches, making them sound comparatively louder. The result is a tiered structure of pitches at 3 dynamic levels. 

This improvisation is centered in the mid range of the saxophone. By using the Fork F and High F# keys with selected fingerings, pitches can become muted or accented. The muted tones usually have much more physical back-pressure than traditional ones, and are often much more pliable. The notes can easily be bent upwards and downwards within a range of about a Perfect Fourth. The accented notes often have less back-pressure and seem to have an initial push when they are played. I tried to explore this sonic experience in equal measure to the physical feeling of playing notes with three different degrees of back-pressure.