12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 198

Date: 07/17/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

Location: The loading dock behind a Target Store, at the Westwood Village Mall in White Center.  Seattle, WA


I was in the South-West side of Seattle by 8am this morning, and spent a bit of time thinking about a site-specific location for an improvisation.  I originally planned to record in White Center at the Pea-Patch community garden.  White Center is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the Northwest.  When I walked through the community garden there were already folks out enjoying their little plots.  I decided to leave them to their solitude and look for another spot.  I ended up at the Westwood Village shopping Mall in a freight loading dock behind a Target super store.  The space turned out to be one of my favorite performance locations so far in the 12 Moons project.  

As with most modern big box stores, the building was made of cinder block.  The loading area behind the store had a retaining wall at least 200 yards long, and I would estimate to be 15 feet high.  This retaining wall held out the hillside beyond the shopping area.  There were baseball sized holes all along the wall which I believe were actually water drainage pipes inset into the wall.  I recorded at the far edge of the building in a 90 degree corner between the building and the retaining wall.  During the recording a sound similar to the rustling of leaves can occasionally be heard.  These were actually small piles of trash that were being caught in tiny tornadoes spinning around me.  In the distance garbage trucks, semi trucks and busses can be heard, as well as two separate car alarms.  

I approached the improvisation without a pre-scripted idea in mind.  The result was a piece that balanced the reverberation inside the retaining wall with aggressive swatches of sound that filled the vacant space between the Target and the wall.


The image accompanying today’s post by Joseph Crachiola (1973)