11/08/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 312)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 312

Date: 11/08/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I arrived at today’s improvisation after variety of different approaches.  My initial aim was to perform a piece with a slow quarter note pulse with indeterminate intervalic pitches, punctuated by short double-tonging chromatic lines.  I then planed to abruptly shift into eight notes, and finally sixteenth notes, with the double-tonging phrases increasing until they shared equal balance with the sixteenths.  While practicing, the concept was more successful when each of three sections (quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes) were isolated.    To work at weaving the three tempos together, I tried abrupt shits in tempo, gradual increases in tempo as well as dynamic phrasing, however I felt none of these transitions did the piece justice.  

I eventually began improvising with more free phrasing, and started the improvisation from the outset at a quicker tempo with more overall energy.  I decided to continue to incorporate the double-tonguing chromatic lines intermittently, and settled on the approach of only a limited escalation in tempo from start to finish.  I also continued on with the use of wide intervalic pitch material, and also worked to develop shorter, more melodic phrases with natural pause points..  But most importantly, I decided to balance wide shifts in dynamic level from pitch to pitch.  With this approach a note may be played very muted, but the pitch that follows may be accented more heavily, slightly more, much more, etc. Finally, as the piece evolved I began gradually adding more and more of the double tonging figures between the single pitches.


The image “Radiogram of Circle” accompanying today’s post by Bela Kalarova (1962-63).