12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 221
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
During my practice session this morning, I worked with establishing pitch centers and then interrupting these centers with variations in pitch stability. This was done by using alternate fingerings that were slightly de-tuned from one note to another. In this improvisation, I identified 3 pitches, and worked to create subtle sonic variation within them. This was done by intentionally pitting one pitch against its counterpart a semi tone above or below. I felt that this piece had a bluesy quality to it, and I wanted to explore how changes in intonation can heighten or diminish our musical experience as a listener in the blues. The three separate pitches included: Concert A (low octave , E (mid and upper octave) and G (upper octave) represented my pitch material to select from.
While improvising it is much easier for me to feel emotionally connected to grittier, denser textures. They are very evocative of mood for me, and this is particularly the case when the sounds are thicker and more aggressive. In this improvisation I wanted to pair quieter varieties of these sounds alongside more traditional pitches, the later having slightly different tuning than the former. As I experienced this piece as a sort of blues, the mood throughout was a major focus for me as a listener. To bring out my own melancholic sound in the blues, I used variations in pitch centers, periods of silence, and a focus on the minor third interval between the G and E.
The pitches used, as well as their fingerings were as as follows:
Concert A (low octave)
(Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Low B // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C. Trill the C key in the left hand constantly.
Concert F# (mid octave)
(Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C. Trill the F# key in the right hand constantly. Note: To pull out a slightly different tuning in this note, while also broadening the pitch into a wider series of overtones, I would take away the octave key.
Concert A (mid octave)
(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) F-D keys, Low C. Trill the F# key in the right hand constantly.
Concert A (quarter step sharp than that above)
(Left Hand) B-G keys, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) F-D keys, Low C. Trill the F# key in the right hand constantly.
Concert F# (upper register) same Concert A (quarter step sharp) fingering above.
The image accompanying today’s post is a series of oil blobs from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.