10/22/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 295)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 295

Date: 10/22/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The main performance hall at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA 


I had very little sleep last night, with an early morning wake-up call and a full day scheduled.  Between students and classes I slowly developed today’s improvisation during several attempted takes.  I began recording 4 times throughout the day, but various interruptions stopped the recording process–students erupting into the room, custodians needing to clean, the class bell going off.  These were basic, human occurrences and a good reminder that the world does not revolve around my artistic process.  These frustrating moments provided an hour or so between recordings, and gave me a period of reflection to really define and sculpt the recording documented here.

In today’s improvisation I wanted a busy texture with thinner strings of sound.  While playing this piece I aimed to be able to see through my lines of thought at all times.   I worked on the initial sound-scape that opens the piece throughout the day, becoming very aware of its sound profile and  gained confidence in the chirps and various combinations of colors that could be created in and around it.  I heard this initial sound as the core of the improvisation, and tried not to loose sight of this for a moment during the recording process.  In addition to thicker textures I wanted to explore a wide range, and to pull tones from the mid to altissimo range at will.

The core sound action centered around the following fingering:

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Palm Eb only // (Right Hand) 2-3.  The primary alterations made to the sound-scape were done so by opening and closing the Palm Eb, High F#, and F keys as will.  Other keys were added into this spectrum as I moved towards uncovering other colors.   


The image “Montserrat Crying, No. 2” accompanying today’s post by Julio Gonzalez (1938).