04/10/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 100)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 100

Date: 04/10/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


Today I decided to explore cells of sound created within a single fingering cycle.  In mental preparation for a clinic later in the day at Cornish College of the Arts, I started my practice session trying to create as many sound colors as possible, using volume as the catalyst to let the sounds resonate of their own accord.  With many multiphonics and overtones, the range of color is often depended on volume.  Mouth pressure and direction of air flow play critical roles, but lately I’ve been curious to explore the dependency of sound in dynamics.

The fingering system used is as follows: (Left Hand) B-A-G keys // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C and Low B.  This is the common Low B fingering, but in this piece I created a 4-beat cycle:

1.  Create the above root Low B fingering.

2.  Open the side Bb key

3.  Back to the above root Low B fingering

4.  Open the G key

I approached the piece with a quiet “drone,” which became the base level action from which the colors of sound would emerge.  The drone sound included a balance of sound between pitches, key clacking and tones from the key cups.  I then allowed each sound cluster to resonate fuller in volume.  I worked with this degree of indeterminacy and tried to shape the immediacy of sound that emerged.


The image accompanying today’s post of filmmaker Maya Deren