12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 151
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
This morning during my practice session I worked on challenging intervalic sixteenth shapes with no tonal center. When tackling exercises of this kind it’s amazing how familiar the most abstract shape can become. My improvisation today was influenced by this theme and identification of “markers” in a line that the ear becomes drawn to once intimate familiarity has been established.
These markers were brought to life in this improvisation by using two finger cycles with the same tonal territory. This improvisation makes use of triple and duple subdivisions. There is a steady underpinning of quarter note pulse overall, but I tried to let the time be a little malleable depending on the shapes coming out of the horn. By making adjustments in my air flow and embouchure new tones would emerge into the grid, changing the order of the pitches being played. It was also the case that completely different rhythmic feels would emerge even while moving my fingerings in a steady pattern. This was due to multiphonic/overtone chords being caught inside the overarching rhythm and finding their own place within it. These new rhythms and chords became markers in my mind to reference back to within the improvisation.
The two fingering cycles were as following:
Triple Subdivision (1-2-3)
1. (Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low B (Right Hand) F-D keys, Side C, High F#
2. Same as No. 1 but release the Side C in the right hand
3. Same as No. 1 but release the Side C in the right hand and B key in the left hand.
Duple Subdivision (1-2)
1. (Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low B (Right Hand) F-D keys, High F#
2. Same as above, but lift the B key in the left hand.
The NASA image accompanying today’s post is an “Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights” as scene from the International Space Station.