05/10/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 130)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 130

Date: 05/10/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Dead end of a service road off I-5 between Los Banos and Merced, CA.


Now on day five of our Bad Luck tour, this morning Chris flew back to Seattle to play a show and I drove the car from San Diego up to San Francisco.  I struck out by myself at 4:45am.  There’s nothing like waking up early and driving away. 

I recorded this improvisation about 9 hours into my 11 hour solo trip, between Fresno and the turn off onto the highway towards San Francisco.   The landscape is consistent, marked by almond and citrus tree groves, dusty fields with brown and tan hills in the distance.  At one point the Freeway began cutting through the hills, and I found a good spot to exit off.  I followed a service road until it stopped well into a cattle grazing area.  To the East the highway was clearly audible, but to the West the hills seemed to go on infinitely in their independent environment.  I decided to record an improvisation inspired by the urban promise of the freeway and the stark natural beauty of the hills.

I explored a two-fold shape, the first being an ascending sound that quickly worked up from a concert E into the altissimo range, exploring a combination of tempered pitch and noisy embouchure flutters.  The second shape was the sustaining of an indeterminate chord, where I would balance the low register with altissimo pitches. During both shapes I growled or hummed into the horn against the low E fundamental.  It’s also of note to say that I was plagued by tiny black sand flies that bit my face and arms as I recorded.


The image accompanying today’s post by Peter Brotzmann.