11/24/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 328)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 328


Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


My wife and I headed up to Mount Index today to close our cabin for the Winter.  We spent the day installing simple, swinging window covers to help keep out the snow, a hard lesson we learned after last Winter’s heavy snowfall.  After finishing for the day, I headed to the top of the property to record today’s 12 Moons improvisation.  It was late afternoon with full sun shining down. The snow line was very low, exposing all the bare patches of earth on the majestic Cascade Range off in the foreground.  With the foliage now gone from the trees that surrounded the cabin and our property beyond, the Skykomish River was once again in view at the bottom of the ravine below us.  

During this piece I opened myself up to the beautiful day around me.  We’ve been lucky to have a long stretch of cold, sunny days this past week, and I was happy to up at the cabin working today.  During this piece I wanted to capture the calmness of this wonderful place, but also my purpose for being there today.  In a few weeks the ground will be covered in snow and within a 4-6 weeks it will be early impassible by car.  It’s always a bit sad for me knowing it will be half a year until I’m back at the cabin again, but the wait also makes the first trip back that much for enjoyable for me once the snowmelt finally comes.  To capture this transitional mood and the spirit of this day, I centered this improvisation around a figure which used a consonant major third interval with the pitches G# and E, played with rapid articulation.  But surrounding this interval was darker half step interval with the pitches G# and A.  I then incorporated a winder, more ominous Major 7th chord with the pitches A (mid register) and G# (upper register).  I used quick accelerando’s to articulate many of these pitches, chords and clusters, and used the fast tempo increases to suddenly break into and out of the textures I was exploring. 


The image accompanying today’s post is of Mount Index.