03/11/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 70)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 70

Date: 03/11/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


In my practice sessions lately I’ve worked on gaining greater control over my range of melodic and supporting material. A secondary point became using a wider range of volume. Today I improvised a piece that required a variety of dynamic levels for me to pull out the desired sounds. Some sounds are slight, small clusters, while others are full and resonant. In all of these shapes, I worked to contrast volume with melodicism and supporting action.

In this improvisation I developed and referenced particular themes. The concert C (quarter step low) became my touchstone in this piece. For example, the opening gesture: C, D and E immediately became a melodic focal point that I returned to time and time again. The C was used as a pivot point for select multiphonics or split tones that included this pitch. So much of my improvised material uses a single gesture, a single idea or select series of sounds. Today I worked to create a powerful melodic idea at the outset that could make the busier material that came after it seem starkly different.