09/10/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 253)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 253

Date: 09/10/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)


I spent the morning working on a solo guitar piece for my friend and musical comrade Simon Henneman, which he’ll perform at our collaborative Racer Session concert in October.  In Simon’s playing I hear a tremendous force of expressiveness that seems fully personal, complete, and inherently different from other musicians.  This influenced my approach to composing a piece of music for him, and while doing my 12 Moons documentation today I continued on with the idea of individual stylization.  

In today’s improvisation I used 5 multiphonic chords and identified a melodic shape by arranging the chords in a particular order.  I then worked to bring out specific tones within the chords to be able to improvise a melody that my ear could latch onto.  I purposefully used chords which had different timbral qualities from one another, as well as chords with differing degrees of harmonic definition.  By this I mean that one chord may clearly ring out a major shape or some assemblage of tempered pitches, and others are clusters of sound with less definable harmonic qualities. 

I used 5 multiphonic fingerings which are written below in order of their first playing.  Although a chord may have been repeated this is the order that each new chord was introduced, so therefore they were not necessarily always played in this order.  The fingerings were as follows:


(Left Hand) A-G keys // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low Eb

Chord 2

(Left Hand) B-A keys // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low Eb

Chord 3

(Left Hand) B-G keys // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low Eb

Chord 4

(Left Hand) B-A-G keys // (Right Hand) E-D keys, Low C

Chord 5

(Left Hand) B-A-G keys, Octave // (Right Hand) E-D keys


The image “Distracting Distance, Chapter 16, 2010” accompanying today’s post by R.H. Quaytman (2010).