06/11/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 162)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 162

Date: 6/11/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Main performance hall at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA 


I found myself in the large performance hall at Chief Sealth High School once again today.  With sufficient, uninterrupted time to record, high mental energy and a vacant space, I decided to work with the room on short, puckish phrases.  During this improvisation I focused on 2 fingerings and 3 overall actions, with the concept of a change in perception caused by a change in criteria.  There are often fingerings on the horn that when played on their own, will, with some measure of predictabilty create a specific pitch.  However, if that fingering is preceded by another particular kind of fingering the resulting sound of the second pitch can be entirely new.  This was the case during my improvisation today.

The 2 fingerings and 3 total actions used a total of two pitches.  In fingering 1/action 1, this used the tenor pitch “C” in the altissimo (extreme upper) register.  The 2nd fingering/2nd action used the pitch “C#” a half step above.  The 3rd action/1st fingering created the pitches C and C# together in a cluster.  Again, this 3rd action used the exact same fingering as fingering 1/action 1, but would only clearly sound this two-note cluster if coming directly from fingering2/action 2.  During the improvisation this chord cluster can be heard as the aggressive “zip” sound that occasionally ends a melodic phrase.


The image “Predators” accompanying today’s post by Albert Kotin