04/11/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 101)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 101

Date: 04/11/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This improvisation is a celebration in sound.  I had the day off today, the first day completely free of any obligations I’ve had in a very long time.  I planed for this day well in advance, as many of my students are on spring break.  Along the way many temptations came up, including my record label Spring fundraiser and several students that asked to take lessons over their break.  The only person that seemed to give me any grief was myself.  

I woke early and decided that today was dedicated to my garden.  I spent 8 hours in the front yard digging up grass, pounding out the moist earth from dirt clods, reburying earth worms, building planter boxes, raking soil and hauling dirt.  The air was cool and mild.  I talked with my neighbors and was kept company by my dog.  It was a joyous day.

I recorded this improvisation in the mid point of the day when I couldn’t resist the temptation to practice any longer.  This piece, like so many others, translated very differently to recording than my own perception of it in the room.  I feel the recording lacks the breadth of sound and resonance of the chords as the cycles undulate.  However, for the purposes of this project I take it as it lays. The cycles created in this improvisation move around a central fingering: (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Low B, Octave // (Right Hand) F key, Low C.  At the outset of the piece I improvise a cyclic pattern and sustain the root fingering, allowing to to wobble.  Going forward I began to explore various elements of the chords produced, including upper resigner sustained single tones and split tones. I intentionally tried to produce a variation between more of a free-blowing, wild sound, and a more controlled and subdued sound.  This naturally made me feel inclined to explore wide variations in dynamics.