04/16/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 106)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 106

Date: 04/16/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I spent the day teaching at a music camp in South Seattle.  During a jazz improvisation workshop I found myself saying the phrase “make your statements more declarative."  This seems to be a theme for me while playing these past few years, and particularly so when it comes to my use of cyclic patterns and phrases.  The cycles themselves allow me to explore a wide swatch of color within a given framework, and it’s that idea of a "given framework,” in that I specifically give myself boundaries from which to begin my exploration.  Today I decided to use specific multiphonics that have a very sine wave sound to them.  There’s a tightness to the chord, and when I trill one like mulitphonic against another the motion is noticeable but still very slight. 

With the multiphonics used in this improvisation, I approached the piece as though I were playing a chorale with ornamental trills.  The slight variation from one chord to another has its own kind of repetitive movement, and after listening for some time the chords began to sound very tonal to me.  I based this piece off of the following fingering:

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C, High F)  

To create the other chords, the A key is lifted in the left hand or the Fork F key is added in the left.  At other times the right hand F key is opened and closed.  The dramatic shifts in volume during the piece use the same root fingering above, which then carried a sustained middle octave Concert C (quarter step high).  The upper register tones that were added to the Concert C were drawn from the multiphonic chords, which reappear in their fullness once again when played at high volume.


The image “Organization” accompanying today’s post by painter Arshile Gorky