05/06/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 126)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 126

Date: 05/06/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This morning I found myself thinking about a study I heard a few months ago which sampled people of various age groups, who were asked to quantify their social values, and then asked if they think their values will change drastically over the next 10 years.  It was found that most people believe their values are for the most part largely fixed, and that they will be maintained over that period.  Interestingly, in every age group studied, from those in their 20’s to their 80’s, in each decade of a persons life there is a gradual transition that takes place. This shift in values is not dependent on age and there is no lull in the shifting nature of it.  With this fascinating topic on my mind, I decided to record a piece with two phases, the first being an initial set of “values” and the second being the transition of those values.  

I made it my aim to create a two-part piece with a similar shape.  The piece begins with the fullness of a beautiful chord that is played in repetition, which then gradually fades out into almost inaudible silence where it holds still in a moment of limbo.  The second phase then enters with complimentary chord tones, but augmented with a new whole step till in the lower end as well as dots of bright high tones in the top.  I view it in comparison as a grittier, almost diminished version of the former beauty.  This again fades into a shadow of what was before it.

Phase 1: Pitches E (quarter step sharp) C, E (quarter step sharp)

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Palm Eb (slowly trilled) // (Right Hand) quickly trill the F clutch key

Phase 2: Pitches D, C, E (quarter step sharp)

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Palm Eb (slowly trilled) // (Right Hand) quickly trill the G key


The image “Transition of Virgin into a Bride” by Marcel Duchamp (1928)