03/15/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 74)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 74

Date: 03/15/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


I felt an immediate impulse to conjure gritty, gravely clusters out of my horn this morning.  Like most young students, when I started playing the saxophone I would explore this sound by doing bluesy growls in my horn.  More often than not I would end up hollering or humming into the horn before I could control more of the wheezing sound necessary to growl.  It was years later that I backtracked to start gaining control over the other colors possible by throat manipulation of different sorts.

This improvisation uses a single, common mulitphonic fingering that I’ve used in a prior day on this project.  (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Octave, Palm Eb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C.  This multiphonic creates a wide range of tones all its own, and in this improvisation I hummed either directly within or slightly against specific pitches within the chord.  Humming in tandem with pitches tends to create more low difference tones that broaden the chord, while humming slightly above or below pitches tends to create more grittiness in the chord.  It’s also the case that humming into the horn in the middle to upper register weeds out many of the lower tones and begins creating more high pitched buzzing tones.  The mid section of this improvisation focuses in this mid to upper range.


Image accompanying this post by Alberto Giacometti