05/30/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 150)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 150

Date: 05/30/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


After working some time with more controlled textures during my practice session, I decided to improvise a piece that explored gritty tones and screaming through the horn.  The end result was an improvisation that balanced clustered block sounds with dipping and diving muted tones.

I structured the improvisation to make constant reference to the screamed tones as the primary point of action.  The secondary action, that being a lightening of tension filling more of a transitional role, included middle register pitches using the Fork F fingering with the right hand down.  In these phrases I included extreme dynamic shifts from medium loud to nearly inaudible levels of quiet.  I tried to make the phrases like swallows darting in and out of sight–full of action and constantly in motion.  This contrasted the block, screamed chords, which I viewed as having more of a stable point of action.  I used the Low B fingering with the Side Bb and Octave key depressed, which in and of itself creates a multiphonic major chord, but by overblowing the horn and screaming into it extraordinary colors are possible.


The image “untitled film still #16” accompanying today’s post by Cindy Sherman (1978)