12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 250
Instrument: soprano saxophone
Location: Beside a creek in Daggettville, Oregon
While still camping on the Oregon coast today, my wife and I drove down Highway 101 for about 70 miles (140 miles round trip), making our way from Cannon Beach to about Newport. We experienced an extraordinary array of scenery, from grand vistas looking out at the Pacific Ocean, to beach-side towns with families and tourists, open farmland and heavily treed foothills. Near the town of Hebo, OR we took a highway going East off of Highway 101, passing a very small farming community called Daggettville, and again followed another road into the foothills. We eventually stopped alongside a medium-sized creek, located well outside the town on an old road.
I set up my mic on a natural earthen overhang above the creek, and improvised a simple bluesy melody that I thought fit the mood. The location was serene, with old chestnut trees, birch and cedar along the bank tucked into a lightly forested landscape. The air was warm a clean, with an occasional breeze reinforcing it, or instead bringing with it the smell of cattle from nearby farms. The spirit of this place led me towards this bluesy piece. In it, I explored the common Dorian Minor scale in the concert key of A. I used traditional fingerings in the first half but all the while sung the same pitches into the horn. In the later half of the piece I again maintained the singing and the same scale, but used the low B fingering while opening and closing the side Bb and side C, creating a fingering cycle that fractured the purity of the straight tones explored in the first half of the improvisation.
The image “Working Drawings for Numbers and Trees #7” accompanying today’s post by Charles Gaines (1989-90).