04/02/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 92)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project

Date: 04/02/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Woodland park overpass at 50th and Aurora in Seattle, WA


My brother once lived in a house next to a freeway barrier off of I-5 and would sit outside and pretend that a river was flowing on the other side of the concrete wall.  Living in a rural place these past several months has made me appreciate the distinctive, ambient noise of traffic.  This improvisation was recorded about an hour after the peak volume of traffic had passed over highway 99 just South of downtown Seattle.  My improvisation was a response to the dwindling traffic on a Tuesday evening.

I used a base fingering in this piece which was as follows: (Left Hand) B-A-G, Octave, Palm Eb to Palm F.  By moving from the Palm Eb and then adding the Palm F, a wonderful, fluttering tone cluster emerged.  I would interrupt the serenity of this sound by playing a middle octave Concert Ab and low octave Concert Ab while opening and closing the F-E-D keys in the right hand.  Just as the base fingering in this piece had a natural fluttering sound all its own, I artificially created a fluttering sound on the Ab pitches.


The image “Lightscape/Night Sky” at Great Basin National Park accompanying today’s post courtesy of the National Park Service.