04/19/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 109)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 109

Date: 04/19/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


In my improvisation today I worked with the technique of “floating” specific keys.  I used the following fingering: (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Palm Eb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C.  With this root fingering, I slowly open and close the Palm Eb and Low C keys, never fully closing them against the body of the horn.  This sonic approach to this improvisation is very similar to many of the piece I explore, but the “floating” technique allows for a wide variety of colors and harmony with a single root fingering.  When the Palm Eb and Low C become very close to the key cup, the air resistance increases, resulting in a great deal of back pressure.  By creating tension and release in the back-pressure itself, I’ve found that this seems to contribute a great deal towards a variety of color.

In the structure of the piece, I tried to leave myself open to exploring the sound color versus trying to create any kind of harmonic or melodic road map.  I used variations in my air stream to push some clusters out more than others, to to see what new clusters might emerge by simply pushing and then releasing the air flow in tempo.  By lowering my embouchure a straight tone or chord might emerge, which would then evolve into a new color by then putting pressure back on the reed.  During the improvisation I also focused a bit on the pinched, buzzing lip sounds that wanted to come out with this “floating” technique.  


The image “Floating City Sculpture” accompanying today’s post by artist Katsumi HayaKawa.