12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 123
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
Today’s improvisation focused on the theme of persistence. Most days I work through a regular practice routine that involves traditional techniques–scales, arpeggios, chromatic movements, melodic exercises, overtones, etc. before delving into extended technique. Today however I found myself with less time to practice and little desire to move through my routine. Instead, I decided to freely play a variety of gestures in repetition until coming upon a cycle that my mind felt an impulse to grab onto. The result was a four-part gesture performed at medium-slow tempo, and extremely fast tempo.
I came upon this gesture while improvising motives at a quick tempo, and once I stumbled upon it I decided to explore at various points between extremely fast and extremely slow. I was the most interested in the results found at the fastest possible tempo and at the medium-slow tempo. From this point I decided to run the tape and explore at these two tempos. I had not pre-planned to play the medium-slow motive for such a long duration.
The fingerings and select pitches from each of the four gestures are as follows:
Fingering 1. (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Palm D, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C
In ascending order and in the tenor key this created the pitches: C# D, F (quarter step sharp) A#
Fingering 2. (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Palm D, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E keys
In ascending order this created the pitches: E (quarter step sharp) C#, A#
Fingering 3. (Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Palm D, Low Bb
In ascending order this created the pitches: C#, D#, A#
Fingering 4. (Left Hand) B-A keys, Palm D, Low Bb
In ascending order this created the pitches: D (quarter step flat)
The painting “Who Doesn’t Put on a Face” by Georges Roualt (1922)