12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 270
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
In today’s improvisation I used the internal pitch structure of a multiphonic chord as the bulk of the improvising material. I had a discussion with my old saxophone teacher Michael Brockman yesterday about the application of multiphonic and split tone chords in composition, and this topic became my source material today. I structured the improvisation around a chord with the following pitches: C (middle octave), B quarter step flat (upper octave) and F# (altissimo octave). The chord shape used the following fingering:
(Left Hand) 1-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C
With each execution of the multiphonic chord, I tried to give the listener some variation in volume. At times I would do a diminuendo shape spread over say 3-4 times playing the chord, do a contrasting crescendo shape, or more indeterminately play the chord loud or soft. The 3 pitches C, B, F# that made up the chord were used as the improvising material during the puckish interludes between the swiping chord sounds. I moved the 3 pitches to various octaves at will and used traditional fingerings.
The swiping chords used at the beginning of the improvisation were rooted in a fingering similar to the main chord above. However, the pitch content was more unrelated, focusing on an A to Bb motion. I chose this texture because of it’s muted quality and lower register than the remaining material. This was in contrast to the more solid mutiphonic chord and the plain-spoken single pitches. I felt this contributed to an overall balance of textures during the improvisation.
I alternated between two chord shapes to create this sound.
(Left Hand) 1-3, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C (same as the primary multiphonic fingering, but without the octave key).
(Left Hand) 1-2, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C
The image “Le Beau Monde” accompanying today’s post by Rene Margritte (1962).