11/13/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 317)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 317

Date: 11/13/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This improvisation explores a specific tonging technique while singing or growling into the horn.  During this piece my tongue stays away from the reed, never making contact with it.  Instead, the quick, percussive sound mounds are done by singing into the horn while moving my tongue with “o” and “e” vowel sounds in rapid succession.  This same vowel shape was explored in another 12 Moons improvisation early on in the project.

When done out loud without the saxophone and using the voice only, these vowel sounds create a very similar physical movement in my mouth as that I experience while playing with the actual horn.  About 1/3 down from the tip, the tongue rises to meet the roof my mouth.  This rise and fall, combined with the two distinct vowel sounds and my singing, create a variety of colors.  To explore this concept in a more controlled fashion, I chose a specific base fingering that allowed for more pliability of these sounds.  This base fingering also allowed these pitches to bend without easily chirping.  This fingering was as follows:

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Low Bb, Palm D // (Right Hand) 1-2, Low C.  I also closed the D key in the right hand (3), opened the Side Bb, Side F# key, and switched the Palm D to the Palm Eb (this single palm key only).  However this was only momentary.  


The image “Luminous City” accompanying today’s post by Mark Innerst.