08/12/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 224)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 224

Date: 08/12/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I decided today to make reference to the use of singing through my horn from the 12 Moons project a few days ago.  In day 217, I sang a fixed pitch or “drone” through my horn and altered my fingerings to create new textures with a common thread of harmony within.  In today’s piece I instead used a fixed low Bb fingering and adjusted the pitches I chose to sing.  In this improvisation I wanted to create a wide variety of moods and textures.  To explore the polar ends of this spectrum, I balanced the use of singing through the horn (again with the fixed fingering) dovetailed with freely improvised single note melodies that broke away from the low Bb.  Unlike many of my other improvisations, there are no multiphonic fingerings used in this piece, but there are however a multiplicity of pitches sounding simultaneously, particularly when singing through the horn on the overtone rich low Bb fingering.

In this improvisation, I wanted to cull up dramatic transitions between sections.  This accounts for the  sometimes starkly vacant sounds of the single note melodies, or at other points densely packed melodies or widely stacked chords on the Low Bb.  Of the sung pitches with the Low Bb fixed fingering, I sang a full octave span between the Low and Middle Bb pitches.  I gravitated towards the Ab (in the tenor key), creating a kind of Dominant 7th chord sound, and the G, which along with the overtones sounded a beautiful Eb Major chord.  But again, I gave myself the liberty of snaking above, below and between these two pitches to create a variety of other textures and chord shapes.  Played at various other points during the piece, the Eb chord stated above concludes the improvisation. 


The image “Portrait of Gala” accompanying today’s post by Salvador Dali (1935)