12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 99
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Performance hall at Chief Sealth High School. Seattle, WA
I decided to work with a ghostly figure today. Singing into the horn is a technique I’ve practice quite a bit, but I’ve barely scratched the surface as to the breadth of what is possible. In this improvisation I sing into the horn while matching the pitch being played. In the first month of this project I performed a similar improvisation, and in that piece I stuck much more stringently to singing single note melodies that moved evenly. Today I approached it similarly, though I worked to bend in and out of the pitches, sometimes with the use of my voice and at other times using bendable fingerings.
The overall range of this piece is just shy of two octaves. Though I can sing from the lowest note on the horn–the low Bb, up to the highest traditional pitch–the high F, I decided to maintain a smaller range that was more comfortable. No matter what the level of volume, I tried to maintain a steady balance between the voice and horn. The natural balance seems to be about 60% saxophone and 40% voice. I explored pitches freely, attempting to anticipate where I was moving next to accurately hear the note in my mind before playing and singing it. This was a particular challenge not only during wide leaps, but also during the slow upward and downward bends.
Also of note in today’s piece, a custodian entered the hall swinging his keys and turning on the lights for me. This is audible during the recording but was not very distracting during my performance.