07/15/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 196)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 196

Date: 07/15/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I was up early this morning and had a steady flow of students form the morning until early evening.  Between students I worked on the fingering system used in this improvisation.  I recorded several interpretations of this piece before doing a final take that explored the concepts captured in today’s improvisation.  This fingering system was as follows:

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave // (Right Hand) High F# key, clutch key above the low F key (manually press it down with the thumb).  The High F# key should be played with the pinky or ring finger.  To help facilitate the upward bends, I would also occasionally put down the Low C key in the right hand as well.

This fingering naturally creates a steady open fifths drone with the tenor middle octave B, an F# a fifth above it, and an additional F# in the upper register.  I tried at serval points throughout the day to perform a version of this piece that explored sound clusters combined with tiny changes in wave vibrations.   In these versions the piece held a steadiness with very few blatant interrupts, but because of the back-pressure with the fingering, I fought to hold back high register tones that wanted to enter into the sound field.  Near the end of the day I eventually embraced these higher tones and recorded the improvisation here.  This is a piece that uses the open fifths drone sound, but with occasional bursts of high octave color that would bend upwards to become the main focus, only to recede again into the drone.


The image “Bahrain I” accompanying today’s post by Andreas Gursky (2005)