05/09/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 129)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 129

Date: 05/09/2013
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Small bedroom in an acquaintanceâs house. Los Angeles, California


This morning I found myself with an hour of time to practice while out on the road. This is a rarity made all the better by a quiet room to focus in. During this improvisation I explored two altissimo pitches: Concert Bb and Concert B, using atypical fingerings to produce a quiet, muted tone quality. By gently closing particular keys against the body, I was able to arch the airflow to create evenly descending pitches while maintaining the upper tones. This particular descending motion is an area Iâm exploring with pretty novice ability, and the descending shape is much more audible from behind the drivers seat. However, the gesture was captured during the recording process.

In this piece there is an imbalance of sound. The upper register tones carry about 99% of the sound space, with the breathy descending shapes and other dots of sound take up the remainder. I anchored my sound on the two upper tones, being careful to maintain them the bulk of the time. As the improvisation progressed I began pulling other overtones and chord clusters out of these fingerings to momentarily break off from the high tones. The fingerings used were as follows:

Concert Bb:
(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Palm Eb // (Left Hand) E-D keys

Concert B
(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Palm Eb // (Left Hand) E-D keys, Side F

To create the downward bending arches of sound beneath these sustained tones, as well as to explore other chord sounds, I would slowly bend side keys closed, most often in the following order: Low C, Low B, Low Bb, slightly close the Palm Eb.


The image “New York 1912” accompanying todayâs post by. Max Weber