09/14/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 257)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 257

Date: 09/14/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


Today’s improvisation was born out of a long, laborious process.  This afternoon I had an allergy attack, which is very unusual for me.  This unfortunately coincided with the practice session time I had set aside, and during the two hours I was working the allergy attack spanned the gamut from physical discomfort, to a near inability to play, the hazy mental perception that comes with any kind of cold, and eventually the attack’s passing.  At one point, after every note I played my body responded with a sneeze.  I continued to play because I’ve found in the past that by playing the horn, I can cast out certain ailments like black magic.  By the end of my practice session, my allergy attack was down to a state of mild discomfort.  My improvisation today was a piece that explored the extremes that we all know will exist in these circumstances, the storm and a return to the calm.

During this piece I used a total of three fingerings.  The first two make up the aggressive swatches of sound where I sing into the horn and the third is the calm major chord.  In the aggressive textures I sang between a Concert Ab to B, which mirrored the split tone chords being played that had the same pitches inside them. The split tone can be played simultaneously or one pitch at a time.  During this piece I used both approaches. 

Aggressive split tone chords:

(Left Hand) Bis Bb, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E-D keys, Low C, Side Bb

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

Major Chord:

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


The image “IX from the series Folded Light (Luz Plageda)” accompanying today’s post by Jose Maria Sicilia (1994).