08/08/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 220)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 220

Date: 08/08/2013

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)