12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 220
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
During todays improvisation I focused on my familiar theme of phasing in and out of sounds within a single fingered motion. Some of the sound textures explored in this piece cross-faded between one another, and others began or ended abruptly. As opposed to other improvisations I’ve done in this series with a similar improvisatory model, I aimed to focus more in transition rather than direct movement. The periods of transition became essential in regards to my perspective on shaping the improvisation. I tried to establish in my mind a state of calm and focus, and to use this clear-mindedness as a guide to help me phase between sections of the horn. I recorded this improvisation around 9am after having woken up around 5am and trying for over an hour to fall back asleep. I felt calm and pensive this morning, and experienced the morning in a very contemplative state of mind. In many ways my mood felt uncontrolled, but strangely my realization of this fact was a comfort to me.
A wide variety of pitches very used, including single tones, split tones, and multiphonic chords, and there were several direct pitch relationships I seemed to gravitate towards. These included (in the tenor key of Bb):
-C to D in the upper octave. This was a trilled figure between these two pitches.
-E (quarter step flat) in the middle octave
-C (quarter step flat) in the upper octave
-E in the upper octave
C to E (quarter step flat) in the upper octave. This was a trilled figure between these two pitches.
I used a single fingering while continuously trilling the Palm Eb. I trilled in a variety of tempos and varied the pacing of the trill tempo at will. There were a few select periods during this improvisation where I stopped trilling momentarily and this occurred while holding out single pitches. It was not done intentionally but rather subconsciously. The fingering used was as follows:
(Left Hand) B-A-G, Low B // (Right Hand) F-E, Low C. Continuously trill the Palm Eb in the Left Hand.
The image “Haley’s comet as It Looked in 1910” by United Press International (1910)