07/12/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 193)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 193

Date: 07/12/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The rec room of my childhood home in Edmonds, WA


Today’s improvisation is a response to the early rising I’ve been doing lately, and the combination of physical and phycological implications that a dramatic shift in routine can cause, better or worse.  I enjoy waking up early.  I feel at the end of these days that I’ve been more productive by having a jump on the morning.  After 5 consecutive days with this abrupt change in my sleep cycle, I’ve noticed that my mind feels a bit fuzzy about 2 hours after waking up, when typically it feels very clear during this stage in the early day.  My improvisation today explores this feeling.  

In this improvisation I tried to develop a dream-like state where activity is occurring but the motions of it have a hazy after glow.  The chord progression that opens the piece has a very rich sound to it, with multiple layers of tones that interact so differently as I shape my embouchure.  The fingering action was as follows:

(Left Hand) B key, Octave // (Right Hand) F-D keys, Low C, Side F.  Slowly close and open (as in a slow trill) the C key in the left hand.

The hazy tone color of the progression is accompanied by interruptions from an equally ambiguous melody, played with the following pitches (notated descending as in the recording): Db B A Ab Gb E D Bb B A G.  While improvising this piece, my challenge was to balance the two very different sound worlds of chord movement and single note melodicism.  Sometimes I chose to side the two one after the other, and at other times to leave some space between them.  I used slight changes in tempo and volume to help shape these transitions and the improvisation as a whole.


The image “Paal 120, Durgerdam” accompanying today’s post by Ger van Elk (1991)