08/14/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 226)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 226

Date: 08/14/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: A park across the street from Chief Sealth High School in White Center.  Seattle, WA


This morning I recorded in a recently created park across the street from Chief Sealth High School.   The park is built atop the grounds of what used to be Denny Middle school and is now a series of large, open grass fields, baseball diamonds and small islands of manufactured natural landscapes, such as rockeries with cattails, maple trees alongside ornamental grasses and varieties of shrubs and herbs.  These islands are pleasent but look strikingly artificial given the cement pathways that carve through them and the lush, lime green grass that surrounds everything in sight.  I recorded in the park because I craved to play outdoors and was looking for a more natural landscape to become a part of.  I ended up improvising today’s piece hunkered down underneath the branches of a small maple tree in the middle of one of these simulated environments.

I began playing around 8:30am, and because of the early time I played as quietly as possible so as not to disturb any sleeping neighbors.  Curious joggers and Mom’s with kids stared at me as they went by, and eventually a police car parked a hundred or so yards away, and the officer stared me down for a good half hour.  It occurred to me how strange a reality this was, that a police officer was called by a concerned neighbor due to the presence of a person playing the saxophone in the park. And I, the saxophonist was witnessed by the officer as a man hunched underneath a tree at 8:30am in the middle of a cluster of plants with a saxophone in hand.   In recording this improvisation I opened myself to the reality around me.   I looked for the solitude of nature while in the city and found a strange little manufactured bit of it inside this park. 

This improvisation does not use any particular compositional model or any preconceived material, but was a piece inspired by my surroundings, the hour of the day, and my experience in this place.


The image “a: funken 4z, b: funken 13z” accompanying today’s post by Carsten Nicolai (2003)