05/25/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 145)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 145

Date: 05/25/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


After spending time working with a variety of textures during my practice session today, I arrived back at a familiar technique of singing into the horn while playing.  This technique is relatively simple with some pitces, but depending on what range is chosen the horn can fight back with an incredible amount of back pressure and physical discomfort.  Today I worked in this uncomfortable range and allowed my body to become acclimated to it’s new physical reality before recording this improvisation.  I sung a static drone and worked to maintain it from start to finish, though I drifted about a quarter step flat by the end of the piece.  I sang a concert Db in middle register and used a single fingering to cull out a variety of colors from my horn.

The fingering was as follows:

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

This fingering natural speaks a concert B in middle range, making the sung pitch a whole step away from what my ears heard as the pitch center.  Keeping my ear focused on the intervalic relationship of this whole step and trying to keep it in tune was a focus throughout the piece.  Weeding out all the other sounds at times and trying to zone on a simple two-note harmonic relationship helps me to maintain better intonation.  As the piece evolved I also created rhythmic and melodic cycles by opening and closing the B key (left hand) and the side C key (right hand) one at a time.


The image “Screw You Peek-A-Boo” accompanying today’s post by artist Yuri Masnyj (2003)