12/03/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 337)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 337

Date: 12/03/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone (and with harmon mute, concert chimes)

Location: The orchestra room at Chief Sealth High School.  Seattle, WA


With the project now in its final weeks, I’ve thought quite a bit about the tools at my disposal I have yet to take advantage of.  In the orchestra room at Chief Sealth a set of concert chimes was precariously set up in the center of the room, and this provided as good a time as any to get to work.  I decided to explore resonating tones inside of the pipes, and eventually became curious to see how that instrument would respond to the additional use of a harmon mute in my bell.  I’ve used the harmon two other times during the project, but I had yet to incorporate the saxophone/mute combination along with another instrument.  

During this piece I primarily used the standard Low Bb fingering, which responds extraordinarily well with the harmon mute, and also seemed resonate more freely inside the chime pipes.  I explored upper register overtones, thick and thin clusters and extreme dynamics during this Improvisation.  The harmon vibrated in the bell of my horn during many of the tighter clusters, causing an almost snare-drum like texture which I explored in two previous saxophone/harmon pieces.  I placed my microphone mid way up the pipes, setting it up on a piece of wood in the center of the two pipe rows.  I kneeled down on the floor and blew into the base of the pipes while being careful not to dump the harmon mute onto the ground.


The image “Untitled” accompanying today’s post by Gyula Pap (1928).