10/15/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 288)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 288

Date: 10/15/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The orchestra room at Chief Sealth International High School.  Seattle, WA


In today’s improvisation I reached for a sound area to suit my mental and physical state throughout the day.  What started as a slight cold a few days ago has now evolved to include more physical discomfort, with a very sore throat, plugged up ears and nose, and the standard aches and pains that come with a bad cold.  Despite this I feel grateful this is only the first time during the 12 Moons project that I’ve been sick in any way.  

Because it’s often available in the afternoon, I greeidly waited to record in the main performance hall.  Unfortunately classes were taking place in the rooms adjacent to the hall that made focusing and capturing a good piece difficult for me.  I decided to record in the more controlled, sterile environment of the orchestra room.  During this improvisation I used continuous vibrato with a series of mulitphonics.  I chose multiphonics with complimentary chordal motions to create a darker mood.  These chords also allowed pitches to speak with isolation, and throughout the improvisation I pulled a variety of these tones out.  I heard the Concert E as the primary drone pitch in the piece however, and it became a touchstone to develop, devolve from and return too.  I used 4 fingerings during this piece, each played with continuous vibrato at a fairly steady pace of oscillation.

Multiphonic 1 (open the improvisation)

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave // (Right Hand) 2-3

Multiphonic 2 (first appears at :29)

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave // (Right Hand) 2-3, Side F#

Multiphonic 3 (first appears at 1:10)

Multiphonic 4 (first appears at 2:22)

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, // (Right Hand) 2-3.  This fingering was the same as Multiphonic 1, but without the octave key.

*At the end of the improvisation, kids at the high school can be heard in the hallway outside the room as they walked by.*


The image “The Storm” accompanying today’s post by Richard Janthur (1913).