08/22/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 234)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 234

Date: 08/22/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Practice room A at South Whidbey High School.  Langley, WA (Whidbey Island)


After 4 days in the wilderness with limited time to practice, I carved out time during my teaching day to buckle down and work on very concrete, finite etudes.  I ended my practice session by playing out of the standard saxophone book “25 Daily Exercises For Saxophone by H. Klose."  The pieces in this book are not particularly challenging from a technical standpoint, but require a great deal of focus on breathing, pacing and tempo.  The exercises are tonal and balance the use of linear, note-to-note playing with vertical arpeggios.  In today’s improvisation I explored the idea of balancing two extremes together, and allowed myself to be directly influenced by this book of tonal etudes.

During this piece I improvised a series of triadic chords played in a triplet feel, along with a more static drone that interrupts the triads.  I worked for some time on various takes, attempted to create a fully balanced piece with two equal parts: the tonal triplets / the chord, with a repeat.  I made it my aim to try and remember with as much precision as possible what triads I had played in the first half of the piece, and to play these again during the second half.  There is a gradual slowing of the tempo during this piece which was not intentional.  I improvised triads which included, approximately in this order (in the tenor key) Bb, D diminished, Bb, D diminished, C, G7, C, F, A minor, E7, A minor, E7, Bb.  Again, as this was improvised, there was some variation and particularly so in the attempt at repeating it.  The fingering for the more stable chord which interrupts the triads was as follows:

(Left Hand) B-A keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-D keys, Low C, Side F


The image "Untitled” accompanying today’s post by Harvey Tulcensky (1997).