06/25/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 176)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 176

Date: 06/25/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


My wife and I spent the day up at our small, one room cabin in the cascade mountains.  It’s located off Highway 2 on the West side of the pass.  It rained most of the day, so we sat by the fire and kept it burning for several hours.  I came home this afternoon with such a clearer mind than I left with this morning.  Though I was tempted to record at the cabin, I decided to wait for my familiar practice space back at home.  The result was a piece not directly inspired by mood or place, but more the state of my mind.

I practiced for about an hour before recording this improvisation.  The current condition of my reed lent itself towards double-tonging, and I decided to sculpt a piece around this use of this technique.  The improvisation covers a medium range on the tenor, from the low F# to the high F#.  I used the initial figure as a springboard for chromatic and whole-step actions in lower register.  This used the following fingering:

(Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Low B // (Right Hand) E-D keys.  Trill open and close the low C in the right hand and the G key in the left hand.

In the mid point of the improvisation I departed from the chromatic action to play a scalar figure that ascended up two octaves and stopped on the high F#.  I would also occasionally play the same scale and stop on the middle octave A, or I would combine this scale with the longer version and the lower octave chromatic action.  During this improvisation I also explored the pacing of pitches.  I would try to give the impression that melodies were speeding up or slowing down despite the fact that the articulation remained static.


The image “Vlad Tcepec (Paper Mask) plate VII from the series Prints for the Counter Chronicle” accompanying today’s post by Gustav Kluge (1984)