12/11/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 345)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 345

Date: 12/11/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


In today’s improvisation I wanted to evoke the deep, searching mood I felt this morning.  This was not a sorrowful or melancholic mood, but more a sombre one.  I worked with gentle textures that never got above a medium dynamic level.  I used sound cluster fingerings that were very complimentary to one another, and around them I improvised a simple melodies that pushed and pulled against this landscape.  I approached this improvisation as patiently as possible and tried to place each chord, each melodic shape, in precisely the location I wanted it to be.  During this improvisation I used two primary fingerings to create a recurring pattern that the melodies were framed around.  These two fingerings were as follows:

Fingering 1.  Pitch: B

(Left Hand) 1-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C

Fingering 2 (sound cluster).  Pitches: B and Bb (quarter step sharp).

(Left Hand) 1-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 1-2-3, Low C, Side Bb

The first fingering seems to in a way melt into the second, as the two share a common upper pitch, the sustained B.  The second fingering also has a number of other pitches possible that can be incorporated into the chord.  As the piece evolved I began adding a Bb in the upper register at times, creating a darker chord with the following pitches (in ascending order) Bb, B, Bb.  I derived the more melodic, single pitched material in part from this 3 note chord voicing.  These improvised melodies included the pitches (in ascending order) B, G#, Bb, and B.  


The image “Untitled” accompanying today’s post by John Divola (1974).