10/21/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 294)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 294

Date: 10/21/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


After Simon Henneman’s excellent performance last night, I was inspired to improvise a piece today that weaved pitches together through bending.  This is done with embouchure and air motion in union with false fingerings.  This allows one tone to speak, while the note essentially ready’s itself to move on to another.  In these false fingerings there is a high amount of back pressure involved, which also helps the notes to move with more of a sliding fashion between one another.  I thought about these musical statements as “interrogative” sentences.  To contrast this interrogative sound approach I also used tighter, walking–trills with double tonging between a few selected pitches.  These pitches were directly note-to-note with no bend between them whatsoever.  I interpreted these as sound statements with more of a “declarative” structure.  

The pitch content in this improvisation was improvised but the range was pre-determined.  I used mostly palm key fingerings without the octave key, since these fingerings are much more pliable than their traditional fingering counterparts.  For the walking-trill–the “declarative” statements–I moved between the B–Bb, and G#–F# (in the tenor key of Bb).  The trill took place on the F clutch key with my index and middle fingers in the right hand.  The declarative, trilled sections interrupted the established sound spectrum in the midst of the pitch bends.  After working with the interruptive concept a few times, I began blending the “interrogative” and “declarative” models by using the aggressive walking-trill with the more pliable palm key fingerings.


The image accompanying today’s post is a super storm in the North Pole of Saturn (NASA).