12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 161
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
During my practice session this morning, I explored sympathetic key clacking inside of melodic phrases. I approached it a variety of ways, including cross fading pitches and the key clacking, or creating different rhythmic cycles with the clacking itself while playing a melody. I eventually settled on a bluesy theme with 4 pitches, where I performed a piece inspired by steel body guitar playing. In my own playing I tried to replicate the twangy, gutsy tremolo by fluttering open and closed the lower stack “clutch” key on every pitch played. I maintained this flutter only when actually playing a note and did this to give the effect that the clacking was more a part of the note sounds themselves rather than something used for affectation. I used my index and middle fingering, rapidly alternating one after the other as though trilling two keys on a piano.
This improvisation uses pitches divided in the upper register and middle register. The upper register uses the traditionally tempered pitches Eb, G and Bb–an Eb major triad. In the middle register I used alternate fingerings to create breathy, bluesy tones with the pitches Db and Eb. These pitches used the following fingerings:
Db (Left Hand) Fork F, A-G keys, octave
Eb (Left Hand) Fork F, C key, octave
The image “A Near Distance” accompanying today’s post by Perle Fine (1961)