03/31/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 90)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 90

Date: 03/31/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


In preparation for a performance later in the day, I began this morning with an improvisation focused on a very clear center of action.  I played as quietly as possible in the mid altissimo range.  This is a difficult area of the horn, made more so when a low volume is needed.  Many of my improvisations use a single fingering that elicits a larger chord, but In this piece the single fingering does not play a chord, but rather creates four individual pitches.  

The fingering is as follows: (Left Hand) B-G keys, Octave, Palm Eb, Low B // (Right Hand) E-D keys) Trilling the low F key constantly.

This creates the tenor altissimo pitches C, D and E.  I immediately noticed that a gentle slide was possible from the D to E, which I used throughout this piece.  A technique I seem to favor is a dualistic shape, and I often take my time to make a transition from a first gesture into the second.  I often follow this model whether I’m exploring single notes, rhythm, chords or split tones.  I decided to continue with a dualistic shape but to begin a secondary section more abruptly than what is customarily comfortable for me.   I used the same fingering with a loosened embouchure shape to speak a muted middle octave D.  I decided to use this element near the mid point of the piece, but to transition in and out of it quickly instead of gradually allowing it to evolve.


The image “Highways and Byways” accompanying today’s post by Paul Klee