03/17/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 76)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 76

Date: 03/17/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone 

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


After a long rehearsal a few days back with my comrade Chris Icasiano, I’ve had motivic development on my musical mind.  Chris recently performed a solo drum composition which has several pre-scripted rhythmic cycles that are repeated, then altered and repeated.  These rhythms were orchestrated to highlight specific areas of the drums.  We performed an improvised version of this composition later that night where I would create a solo gesture and repeat it at will until moving on to another gesture to be repeated.  Chris’ work was partially improvised but mostly composed, whereas mine was intended to be fully improvised.  One of the many challenges with this approach included finding ways to effectively interact with one another despite the limitation of not knowing each others cycles would sound like ahead of time.  

As Chris had certain compositional areas of the instrument determined ahead of time, in this improvisation I decided to select a specific multiphonic sound.  To ornament this sound I limited myself to only a few possible fingering moves and within these parameters I would create indeterminate cycles to be repeated.  These cycles had a variety of independent focal points in my mind, including rhythm, harmony, melody, or just raw pockets of energy.  I would try not to consider with too much thought what my next move would be, but would instead just allow it to come out, then repeat and explore the sound until the moment felt right to move forward.