11/25/2013 (Solo Project Day 329)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 329

Date: 11/25/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This morning was my first multi-hour stretch of uninterrupted practice time in at least a few weeks.  Luckily my mind and body were prepared to work, and I had a very focused and productive session.  Towards the end of this practice time, I began improvising a series of small motives, repeating each in isolation, or threading them together into longer strains of activity.  I naturally gravitated towards 3 melodic figures, and then found multiphonic fingerings that complimented both the individual melodic shapes, and the melodic shapes surrounding them.  These three melodies and three multiphonics became the source material for today’s improvisation.

I wanted these multiphonics to relate harmonically as well as timbrally to the melodies.  Overall, I aimed for a continuous flow of sound with gentler textures in all the played material.  Each melody had its accompanying multiphonic.  These are notated below as Melody 1, and Multiphonic 1, respectively.  Each are notated in the tenor key of Bb.

Melody 1.  Pitches A, E, G, E

Multiphonic 1.  Pitches (in ascending order) F#, F#

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 2, High F#

Melody 2.  Pitches Eb, E, B, D

Multiphonic 2.  Pitches (in ascending order) A, Bb, F

(Left Hand) 1-2, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2

Melody 3.  Pitches C, D, E, A, D, G, A

Multiphonic 3.  Pitches: C#, E, D

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Palm Eb only // (Right Hand) 1-2, Low C

The piece opens with a repeating cycle of Melodies 1, 2 and 3 one after the other.  To compositionally balance this, the piece closes with the repeated playing of Multiphonics 1, 2 and 3, again one after the other.  During the bulk of the piece I would continuously move from Melody 1, to 2, and 3, while occasionally interrupting the melodic threads by playing a multiphonic immediately after its Melodic pair.  For example, I would play Melody 1, 2, 3, 1 followed by Multiphonic 1, and then continue on to Melody 2, 3, 1 etc.


The image “Constructivismes 2009” accompanying today’s post by R.H. Quaytman (2009).