12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 264
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA Whidbey Island)
I spent the day composing and fleshing out parts for an upcoming performance. On days like this I spend far less time on my horn, but I find that I walk away feeling not only artistically fulfilled, but also fulfilled in my practicing. I decided to wait until the compositional phase of my work today was finished, and recorded right as I ended. The improvisatoin has little to do with the composition work that came before it, but I found that the spirit of this work highly influenced this piece. I felt calm, relaxed, and the figures I worked with felt very comfortable and familiar.
The theme of this piece in my mind was the creation of a sound landscape. This improvisation used a simple, patient melodic shape above a higher density torrent of chords and clusters beneath it. I used two fingerings, both of which shared two common tones, the Ab and F. The two fingerings used the Low Bb and Low B traditional saxophone fingerings, but were played with sound cycles by opening and closing the B key (left hand) and the side F key (right hand). The fingerings used were as follows:
Low Bb fingering with the octave key depressed. Cycle open and closed the B key and side F key.
(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C.
Melodic shape: Ab-F // Ab-D
Low B fingering with the octave key depressed. Cycle open and closed the B key and side F key.
(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C
Melodic shape: Ab-F // Ab Eb
The Ab and F were common tones between both chords. I approached this piece at a mid-quiet level of volume. The above pitches are part of the overtone series, and the flexibility while moving between them is similar in mouth shape and air speed to simply playing the traditional fingerings without the sound cycles incorporated. As the improvisation evolved, I occasionally opened the octave key in both fingerings to allow the lower tones in the overtone series to speak.
The image “Untitled” accompanying today’s post by William Gedney (1966).