09/05/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 248)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 248

Date: 09/05/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Practice Room B at South Whidbey High School.  Langley, WA (Whidbey Island)


This is my second day in a row documenting from Practice Room B at South Whidbey High School.  Yesterday I explored the room by creating the illusion of polyphony with specific single-pitch cycles.  Today I approached the space with the criteria of dynamic range as my main improvisatory drive.  I improvised a piece with wide timbre shifts from bright to muted pitches, and used a wide spectrum of volume to further widen the differences in timbre. 

The brighter tones and muted tones originated from a common parent fingering which became my springboard for sound exploration.  This fingering was as follows:

(Left Hand) B-A, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) F, Low C.  Trill the E key in the right hand constantly.

This created a bright, upper register tone that oscillated by a semi tone sharp as the E key was trilled.  I then slightly opened the Fork F key, which created a split tone about a quarter step high.  This bright split-tone dominated the sound spectrum in the room.  By taking away the octave key, again with the same fingering, a muted Concert C in the middle octave (quarter step sharp) abruptly takes over.  The stark difference between these two sound worlds became a point of departure to add additional tones and to explore sound color.  Also of note, the multiphonic chord occasionally used is again derived from the same fingering, but pulled out with an adjustment in my embouchure.


The image “Surface is the Between, Between Vertical and Horizon–Descended Triangle No. 5” accompanying today’s post by Shoichi Ida (1987).