12/22/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 356)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 356

Date: 12/22/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


Yesterday’s improvisation focused on buzzing and pitch clusters created by making use of a slight disfunction in my tool–lost motion from a key on the horn itself.  Today I decided to directly augment my tool by using a harmon mute in my bell, and approached another “buzzing and pitch cluster” improvisation with a much different sound profile.  Both improvisations used static, held pitch material with momentary interruptions in the established sound flow.  But today I explored  two fingerings with much more resonant sound possibilities, and a particular focus on pitch clusters rather than buzzing.

This is I believe my 6th time using the harmon mute during the 12 Moons project, and each time I learn a bit more about about the amazing array of sound possibilities with it.  I approached this improvisation freely after having decided on two fingerings.  I worked to phase in and out of pitch material and tried to explore a wide variety of thin and thicker clusters.  There were extraordinary moments for me during this piece, one of which took place in the first 10 seconds.  The air flow grabbed onto an upper register Concert B, which then pulled the note around chromatically for just a few moments, creating the melodic shape B—-C-B-Bb.   The two fingerings used during this improvisation were as follows:

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

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


The unedited photograph of land and sea, entitled “I Live in a Rothko Painting” that accompanies  today’s post by Marion Boddy-Evans, Mad Cat Art Studio.