10/13/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 286)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 286

Date: 10/13/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I was up this morning before sunrise to give myself a bit of time to practice and record in what is otherwise a very busy day.  This time of day can be restrictive.  I don’t have the flexibility of being able to play above a very soft dynamic level, and these morning are often on a strict time scale.  But with these restrictions also comes the opportunity to narrow down what my possible range of sound will be.  I decided today to work with a texture I’ve heard my friend Jacobo Zimmerman explore quite a bit.  In this improvisation I trapped a bit of saliva in the mouthpiece and explored using my air flow in union with the saliva to pull various sounds out of the horn.  

This is the first time I’ve sat down with the specific aim of improvising with this technique for more than just a few minutes.  With more specialized techniques such as this, I often wait until I feel the time is right to approach it honesty and full energy.   As this was my initial run with this concept, I decide to limit my range of action within the more overtone rich bell-tones.  I used primarily the lower octave fingerings, namely the range between the Low Bb and D.  I was amazed at the spectrum of both percussive and pitched sounds that resonated in the horn.  I used single and double tonging to create interruptions in the strains of sound, and worked to create a balance of more noise-oriented undulations with recurring wing-beat continuations.


The image “show through II” accompanying today’s post by Tabaimo (2009).