05/15/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 135)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 135

Date: 05/15/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


During my improvisation today I worked with the theme of selected focus.  When I improvise it’s sometimes the case that I will zone in on one or two main ares of the shape being explored.  I will of course listen to the entirety of the sound around me, but it becomes helpful for me to ground myself on a particular focal point in order to almost liberate my mind to explore deeper.   Sometimes this is done for the sake of improving the main area of focus, and other times it is done out of necessity.  The fingering system may be extremely difficult, or the overall sounds being explored may be so abstract that they require a very concise area of focus.  For example, while screaming through my horn and creating blasting tones, I might focus on the sheer energy of the piece versus the extreme particulars of its parts.  In this improvisation I explored two fingerings with a  consistent pulse, and while doing so I tried to meditate on the pitches C# sand A.  

The two fingerings used in the improvisation create chord clusters all their own, but I decided to place my mental focus on the two main pithes as well as the constancy of pulse.  I maintained an even tempo based off a quarter note pulse during the improvisation.  I freely altered the rhythms at will, but none-the less always remained focused on the quarter note pulse.  The fullness of the chords was also on my mind along tones within the chords, but while doing so, again I focused my energy on the two pitches C# (quarter step high") and A (quarter step low) as my main point of departure for exploration.

The two main fingerings used in the improvisation were as follows:

Fingering 1: C# (quarter step high)

(Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Octave, Low Bb, Palm D // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C

Fingering 2: A

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C


The image “Off York Island” by John Marin (1922)