11/14/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 318)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 318

Date: 11/14/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This morning I felt extremely pressured for time.  During the 12 Moons project my days have spanned the gamut from several hours of flexible practice time, to quite literally only a half hour of uninterrupted space in the course of an entire day.  Less frequent were days like today, where I set out believing that I had only a half hour open to me, but my artistic process took on a much slower pace than my allotted time.  I ended up working and practicing instead for about 2 ½ hours, and then had to rearrange the commitments of my day in order to make up for this time now redistributed.  Today was an excellent reminder that no matter how busy my day may seem, I always have time to practice.

During this improvisation I explored the phasing of pitch material between different ranges of the horn through two different fingerings, combined into a single action.  These fingerings were as follows:

Fingering 1

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

Fingering 2

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Palm Eb key only, Low Bb // (Right Hand) 1-2, Low C.  I also eventually began incorporating the Palm Key F into Fingering 2 to add further colors.

After more than 2 hours of practicing my work still felt stunted.  I decided to move between these two fingerings without any improvisational model other than simply to explore sound.  What resulted in the piece were many examples of “interruptions” in the flow of sound by more indeterminate elements, such as one note abruptly speaking more than others within a cluster.  I decided to embrace each of these moments, and used each “interruption” as a pivot point to incorporate a new motive into the sound cycles.   


The image “Death Valley” accompanying today’s post by John Donohue.