03/26/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 85)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 85

Date: 03/26/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Performance Hall at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA


I’m fascinated by scales and their pure, evocative power.  Today I improvised a symmetrical 12 note scale that, to my ears, seemed to have a several sombre melodies within it.  At the heart of this scale I chose to explore a series of minor gestures with a repetitive, downward motion. 

The pitches used follow a b3, 2, 1 shape which is then transposed down a half step following each third pitch.  In concert key: Gb, F, Eb, D, C#, B, Bb, A, G, Gb, F, Eb.  The first three notes are identical to the last three, which in my performance none the less still represent a distinct element of the scale, not a repetition.  The minor b3-2-1 inner melody has a total of 4 iterations within the scale.  Each of these gestures could be interpreted as their own minor melodies, but to my ears the natural chromaticism that occurs after each third note lends itself to a somewhat unstable structure.  Despite the loose tonal center of the scale, the fact that the first three pitches are repeated again at the bottom created a framework of Eb minor as I performed the piece.


The image “Self Portrait” accompanying today’s post by George Bouzianis