11/01/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 305)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 305

Date: 11/01/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This morning a fellow islander and VW lover drove over to help me with some mechanical issues plaguing my 78 Bus.  Owning an old Volkswagen I’ve come to get used to long periods of mechanical problems with this car.  In every conversation about vintage bugs and busses, it invariably is discussed that VW’s are intuitive and easy to work on, and that VW’s are infinitely fixable.  VW owners talk about how simple these engines are, yet the smallest mechanical issue can stop it dead in its tracks, and conversely, many issues are so simple they can be fixed in minutes.  It’s an elegently understated machine, with an amazing network of variables that makes it operate properly.  In today’s improvisation I wanted to explore this same theme.  I chose a sound profile that on the face of it appears to be very simple, but the actual combination of fingerings and mouth shapes used to create them were very complex in their execution.

The improvisation uses 4 actions, each added to the figure that came before it.  This improvisation is one of my shortest yet during the 12 Moons project, as I wanted to present the piece in a very compact fashion.  The improvisation centers around 2 fingerings which were each played at the beginning and end of the improvisation.  They were as follows:

Fingering 1.  Pitches: F (quarter step flat) C, E (quarter step sharp)

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, High F

Fingering 2.  Pitches: F#, F#

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2, Side F#


The image “Decors De Theatre” accompanying today’s post by Alexandra Exter (1927).