10/14/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 287)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 287

Date: 10/14/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The rec room of my childhood home.  Edmonds, WA


I recorded this week in the same spot and at virtually the same time as my 12 Moons piece from 2 weeks ago.  On both days I practiced and worked in the rec room of my childhood home, and conditionally recorded while the kids at school across the street played during recess.  Two weeks ago my temperament was calm and nostalgic.  I was well rested, felt strong and tackled the day with eagerness.  Today I quiet different.  I woke up with a very soar throat, and slept at most only two hours before having to wake up for the day.  I decided to push through this and practice for a few hours to use sound as my magic medicine.  I arrived at today’s improvisation towards the end of my practice session.

During this piece I used a false fingering and took advantage of a slight gap in the felt between my Low Bb key in the left hand, and the mechanism that interacts with it.  I manually pressed the Low Bb key with my right (with my middle finger) along with the remaining keys traditionally used to play the Low Bb fingering.  Because of the slight gap in the bit of felt, the Low B key rises above the key cup by just a hairs width is the Low Bb is manually pushed down.  This creates and interruption in the air flow, pulling out beautiful chords and overtones.  During this piece I would also gently press and release the B key, momentarily stopping this leak.  This helped to pull out even more colors and also added punctuations with a concert pitch A.

This chord spoke very differently at full volume versus low volume.  What were brittle sound structures became incredibly stable multiphonic chords and full-toned pitches when played louder and with a looser embouchure.  I explored this difference at about the mid point of the improvisation in the aggressive swells in volume.


The image accompanying today’s post is a Zeppelin hovering about the Pacific Ocean.