11/12/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 316)


12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 316

Date: 11/12/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The main performance hall at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA 


This improvisation uses an Ab concert pitch center with microtones gravitating around it at various tempos.  I explored six specific fingerings and cyclic rhythmic patterns, allowing the slight differences in pitch to interact with one another.  In this piece I wanted to develop an expectation of the static Ab sound, and to let dynamic and rhythmic shaping give the improvisation more dimension.  Most of the rhythmic cycles were of a medium tempo, with the exception being moments of rapid execution.  

From the outset the room took these false fingerings and pulled out beautiful upper register overtones, adding an amazing amount of color to the overall sound.  In the mid point of the improvisation I began playing extremely quiet and dipped momentarily into the upper register Concert Ab and surrounding microtones.  After briefly returning back to the previously established mid octave Ab, I began abruptly using indeterminate double tongue pitch articulations.  I did this to break up the flow of constancy, but also to the let the room interact with the more puckish articulations.  I eventually settled on recurring double tonging shapes with the six fingerings to unify the broader sound-scape of constancy having been established at the beginning of the improvisation.

The six Ab fingerings, each with slightly different tuning are written below.  These were combined at-will.

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

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

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

(Left Hand) 1-3, Low Bb // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C

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

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


The image “30th Street West, West Lethbridge (Evening)” accompanying today’s post by Geoffrey James (1997).