12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 72
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
A combination of abstract sound and concrete sound has been of interest to me lately. Striking a balance between two contrasting musical worlds is a difficult challenge, and in this improvisation I aimed to try and balance the two in equal measure. The “abstract” sounds in this piece I defined as the swooping, reverse-pedal sounding melodies, and the notion of “concrete” sound being represented by a scale.
The scale used in this piece is as follows: Ab G Gb F D Db Bb B Ab G Gb F E. I approached the execution of the scale in rapid single-tonging. In my brief study of Indian music some time ago, I was fascinated by the idea that a raga could have multiple directions within the same scale. Previous to this I thought that scales would either be ascending or descending only and could have no other path within them. As with that model, I view this “concrete” sound as a scale and not as a melody per say. The swooping, reverse-pedal gestures bared no harmonic relationship to the scale, and I attempted to play the scale with the same phrasing and articulation each time is was used.
I often paired the abstract sound directly against the concrete sound, but at other times left space between the two. This included playing the concrete scale two or three times in a row, or leaving a few seconds of space between repetitions. In the mid point of the improvisation I began to augment the scale by playing either a melodic fragment or changing specific notes within the scale altogether. I viewed this as a sort of bridge between the two contrasting worlds, and therefore during this period in the piece I became a little more loose with the execution of the scale.