04/17/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 107)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 107

Date: 04/17/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


Today is a beautiful day on the island–clear, cool and bright.  While my wife was watering the garden this morning the scent in the air reminded me distinctly of my childhood walking in the grass outside my grandparents house in Brewster, WA.  They lived hours from even a modest sized city, in a dusty town close to the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington, their house a quarter mile from the great Columbia River.  Amazingly, when I checked my email this morning my mom had sent me an areal picture of Brewster, with the orchards, brown fields and the river that held close their little town.  This was an extraordinary coincidence, and I felt it warranted an improvisation.  In this piece I aimed to capture the clear newness of an early morning, and the quiet framiliarity of a old place.

This improvisation is based on a single melodic/harmonic phrase.  But to create the full phrase the fingering system is broken down into three parts (notated below in the tenor key).  As the piece progressed I added a chord resolution to B major after Part 3.  This was done by adding the D key in the right hand. 

Part 1. Pitches C#, E, F#

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low Bb, Palm Eb // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C

Part 2.  Piches G#, A# 

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

Part 3.  Pitches E, F# (Middle Octave) F# (upper octave) is also occasionally added.

(Left Hand) Fork F, A-G Keys, Octave // (Right Hand) F-E  keys, Low C


The image “Erased De Kooning Drawing” by Robert Rauschenberg (1953)