04/14/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 104)

12 Moons Solo Project Day 104

Date: 04/14/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Rec Room of my family home. Edmonds, WA


A specific region of the horn I’m exploring lately is the lower right hand stack clutch key.  When the notes F, E, D and F# are played this secondary clutch key is depressed, but there is no traditional fingering that allows it to close on its own.  The discoveries I’ve made so far are limited in application, because the key has more of a complimentary effect when put against other pitches rather than any jarring change–at least through what I’ve uncovered so far.  My improvisation today makes use of this key to create fluttering tones that combine with embouchure techniques to explore mid and upper range tones.   

I recorded this improvisation at a medium volume, trying to incorporate the key tones from the body of the horn as much as the played pitches themselves.  There is a static upper register Concert Eb to D that is created by trilling the clutch key with my right hand, and using the following fingering: 

(Left Hand) Fork F, A, G keys (Right Hand) trill the lower stack clutch key.  I also continuously trill the G key in the right hand, though at a much slower tempo than the trill maintained in the right.

My aim during this piece was to create a static universe with the continuous gesture, and to explore the upper tones at will.  About 2/3 through the improvisation there is an abrupt drop in octave and pitches.  This was done with my embouchure and not through any change in the fingering system.  I drop down once again near the end of the piece, though this time I worked to incorporate tones from the mid register as well.