11/26/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 330)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 330

Date: 11/27/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The back, center of the main performance hall at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA


Between my teaching commitments today I recorded in the main performance hall at Chief Sealth high school.  With the holiday’s coming up, my access to this room during the 12 Moons project will become limited, and I felt very thankful and energized to be playing in this excellent space once again.  I walked into the room with an improvisational model in mind, but immediately after beginning the recording process a piece emerged that was rooted in my teaching work from a few hours earlier.

To begin my weekly sectional time with a group of Denny Middle School jazz students, I played the recording “Blues For You” from John Coltrane’s album “Coltrane Plays the Blues."  There is a deep but easy-blowing mood on this album, and I used the recoding as a springboard for today’s sectional theme.  After finishing this class and walking into the performance hall, a very simple, blues inspired piece emerged.  In this improvisation, I used 3 pitches that formed an A minor triad.  At will I would insert a recurring multiphonic chord with the following fingering:

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

The scope and direction of this improvisation was unplanned, and it was not until nearly the end of the piece that I realized I was developing a long, slow burn from humble beginnings into a larger, darker sound space.  I generally maintain a good sense of elapsed time while improvising, but during this improvisation I felt liberated from time, my ego and my natural inhibitions.  I felt deeply a part of the space and the present.


The image "Cataract-Opaque Area Clouding Eye” accompanying today’s post by Magdalena Abakanowicz (2002).