08/13/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 225)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 225

Date: 08/13/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I spent a great deal of time working on my improvisation recording today.  The coming together of this piece was a culmination of many dead end concepts and recorded attempts. Some days an improvisational focus seems to come effortlessly to me, and in others it is a slow, gradual process.  

I began by recording pieces with colorful, melancholic chord progressions.  There was one two-chord series that was just begging me to record it.  The sound was so evocotive of my mood, but I could not find the right method of expressing it through sound.  After many attempts, my ears were yearning for an absence of chords.  I began improvising melodic pieces where I worked to develop very strict tonal centers with individual pitches.  The melancholic state in the previous series of chordal pieces seemed to be a fleeting feeling in me, and I worked to overcome it by filling my improvisations with joyful songs.  This included several recorded attempts with the Major Pentatonic scale.  In this scale I stayed strictly on the 5 pitches, but freed myself to explore in any octave.  In my last recorded attempt with the pentatonic scale, I explored folk-like melodies with slight phrasing interruptions by occasionally using double tonging.  The simple concept of “interruption” from the pentatonic piece led me towards my final concept.  

In today’s improvisation I used sliding low octave pitches, double-tonging and a swiping of the pitches indeterminately.  Within these textures I began adding upper octave interruptions.  Except for a few select multiphonics, there is no actual harmony taking place here, but rather the illusion of overlapping sound.  Beyond the described attributes for the piece stated above, the material was fully improvised.


The image “Poster For National Bunraku Theatre” accompanying today’s post by Tadanori Yokoo.