12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 164
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Practice room B at South Whidbey High School. Langley, WA (Whidbey Island)
I’ve come to feel very natural recording inside the small, mostly cement Practice Room B at South Whidbey High School. The room is very bright and reverberant without distorting the sound of the saxophone into a wash. Performing loud, abrasive improvisations seems to be a recurring theme for me in this space. I love being encompassed by sound in that room until my ears are ringing and pulsing with the sound filling it up. Today I decided to work with a wide spanning, bendable sound concept with a few sympathetic fingerings.
I aimed the bell of my horn directly at the microphone, standing about 4 feet back from it, nearly against the rear wall. The slight changes in fingering and embouchure movement created a multidimensional sound that seemed to fill the space from floor to ceiling. I experimented with some slight declines in volume, but overall the improvisation was performed at maximum volume. The wide upward and downward bends were achieved mostly by rapidly “chewing” my lower lip embouchure to pull out the full range of sound. Between fingerings there were internal pitches that crept up or down by semi tones that gave the piece a tightly held range of harmonic motion. The fingerings used were as follows:
(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Palm Eb, Low B // (Right Hand) F key, Low C
-Same as above, but put F-E keys down in the Right Hand
-Same as above, but put F-E-D keys down in the Right Hand
The image “The Crouched Ones (Los agachados)” by Manuel Alvarez (1934).