10/27/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 300)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 300

Date: 10/27/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


It rained this morning for the first time in weeks.  The drier weather was very unusual for our region this time of year, and it was a welcome sound hear the rain poring down the gutters.  I felt inspired to go immediately into my practice space to begin practicing and recording this morning.  In today’s improvisation I wanted to capture the welcome change in the weather and its union with my calm, unhurried morning.  This improvisation was recorded at a very low level of volume, and pivoted around a central Low B sound cycle and simple melodic gestures.

During this piece I used the Low B fingering with the octave key depressed.  I maintained a de-tuned B Major sound cycle by blowing into the horn with an overtone shape and trilling the Octave key continuously.  Melodically, the improvisation primarily used 4 pitches: Middle octave B, C#, D, and the upper octave A#.  In the sound cycle the low octave B is maintained along with elements of the major chord, creating an ever present pad beneath the 4 pitches, which I explored freely.  At two points in the improvisation, after playing the A# in the upper register I would take away the B major pad beneath, and bend between the A# and B#.  In the final few moments of the improvisation I released the octave key and began trilling the F key in my right hand, allowing the Low B fingering to resonate more freely for just a moment.

During this improvisation the fingerings used were as follows.  The Octave key should be trilled continuously at all times:

Middle octave B:

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C.  

Middle octave C#:

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Side Bb, Low C.  

Middle octave D:

(Left Hand) 1-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C. 

Upper octave A#, as well as the A#/B# split tone.

(Left Hand) 1-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Side Bb, Low C. 


The image “Untitled” accompanying today’s post by Hann Trier (1967).