10/28/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 301)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 301

Date: 10/28/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I approached the horn first thing this morning with eagerness, but despite this my focus was very scattered.  Often while practicing, I work with an abstract texture for some time, and then move on to something extremely different, and at various points in my practice session return back to the original material in an effort to essentially quiz myself.  I do this in order to embed these sounds firmer into my playing.  Even after having worked with a single sound area for 15 to 20 minutes today, I found it more difficult to go back and recollect how I had achieved it.  Somedays a lack of focus is just a simple reality I have to fight against, but today I decided to work with the theme of “scattered source material” in my 12 Moons improvisation to better characterize this reality of my morning. 

During the improvisation I worked with three isolated sounds areas.  I wanted these areas to be distinctive, but none the less complimentary when indeterminately set against one another.  For this reason, I chose more muted timbres.  These areas are described below:

Sound Area 1:

Quiet, quick pitch cluster flutters, followed by a static middle octave Bb chord with a steady pulse of punctuated pitches inside of it.  The pitch flutters were played indeterminately, followed by the Low Bb fingering, with the G key in the left hand trilled continuously.  This is the figure that opens the improvisation.

Sound Area 2:

Muted, and quickly articulated pitches centered around a middle octave F.  I wanted to achieve an echo effect with this sound area, with ascending volume, followed by a mirrored decline in volume.  This area used the middle octave F fingering with the Fork F key also depressed.   In the right hand, the F, E, and D keys were then opened and closed at will.  This figure is first played at :25

Sound Area 3:

Oscillation back and forth between two densely voiced chords.  The top voice begins on an A, then descends to a E.  In the mid register, the top voice begins in an E, then descends to an Eb.  This figure is first played at 1:52


The image “Yellow” accompanying today’s post by John Paul Jones (1950).