12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 228
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: A forested area at my childhood elementary school. Edmonds, WA
Before heading to my family’s house, early this morning I stopped and walked around the forested areas at my childhood elementary school. I grew up across the street from this school, and the grassy fields and small, wooded areas were my daily spots for exploration growing up. One of the small forests was my particular favorite as a kid, and I walked through it this morning for the first time since I was in elementary school 20 or so years ago. What once was untamed and densely packed with tress and other foliage has now been turned into a hybrid forest and learning environment. There are still towering Maple, Doug Fir and Cedar trees, but rough-hewn wooden benches now form a half circle around a large bare patch of ground. It’s a calm, quiet spot.
The cleared out ground in the center of this wooded area created a beautiful acoustic environment that held the sound tight within the space. The reverberation from the trees seemed to bounce more in a circle around me than disperse into the woods and disappear. This helped guide me towards my improvisation today, which was an exploration of double tonging pitches. In this piece I balanced linear, that is note-to-note lines, with more disjunct interruptions from high octave chirps. At other points I also centered within the extreme upper register and then interrupted this region with interjections from the register below. The double tonging remained consistent throughout this piece, and despite the gritty pitch combinations explored here, I played relatively quiet until the end of the piece, where I began to increase in volume and intensity considerably.
The image “Mediatheque, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Scale model 1:150” accompanying today’s post by Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, Japan (1995-2001)