10/24/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 297)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 297

Date: 10/24/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


After spending a few hours practicing this morning, the inspiration for a 12 Moons improvisation was not flowing through me.  I decided to give myself 5 minutes to compose a theme that I would draw my improvised material from.  I quickly began writing a series of pitches with no overarching harmonic or melodic relationship, but which were very dependent on one another purely on a note to note basis.  I took the route of constantly looking forward and choosing which note to move to next based solely off of a gut reaction of what I found to be pleasing.  I naturally gravitated towards chromaticism with the displacement of octaves.  

While notating this series of pitches, I suddenly stopped at the arbitrary number of 38.  I then decided to approach the improvisation by playing each note with the following progressively larger shape: 1 // 12 // 123 // 1234 // 12345, etc.  All 38 pitches were played a total of two times to finish the improvisation.  The challenge during this piece was to sculpt the pitches into melodic material through dynamics, articulation shaping, and variations in rhythmic motion.  There was no set tempo, but in the faster passages in particular I felt the gravity of a flowing pulse.


The image accompanying today’s post by Jockum Nordstrom.