09/22/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 265)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 265

Date: 09/22/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This improvisation used a multilayered “diving” technique I’ve been working on a bit lately.  During this piece I continuously articulate pitches indeterminately in the lower to mid registers, while “diving” pitches down with my voice simultaneously.  During this piece I tried to phase between periodic sections of more and less control over which pitches would be played and sung.  The improvisation opens with a more balanced level of volume end density between what is played and what is sung, but as I explored further this balance ebbed and flowed.  As the piece progressed I began balancing indeterminate singing with occasional unison singing alongside the fingered pitches.  At about the 2/3 mark there is a slower section in the improvisation where the initial attack on the pitch I sang was in unison with the pitches being played on the horn.  But from this point forward I began getting more aggressive with the gruffness of sound being explored and referenced the unison sound pretty infrequently.

During the bulk of the piece every pitch that was sang was also followed by an articulation.  Depending on how quickly I moved in my fingered pitches, sometimes the pitches would move at a ratio of 1 to1, but at other points I would play several fingerings while doing one attack of the voice dive.  This ratio could then increase to 1-2, 1-3, etc.  Throughout there was no set articulation pattern whatsoever, but there are periods of increased repetition, and even some small tonal development in the form of arpeggiation.  As the piece evolved I also began using some double tonging to increase the ratio of “played” versus “sung” pitches.


The image “Untitled” accompanying today’s post by Lennart Olson (1940-53).