12/26/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 360)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 360

Date: 12/26/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


This improvisation makes use of de-tuned multiphoinc chords, played in dominant to tonic fashion as harmonic gestures.   These multiphonics, written below as Chords 1-3, were very unstable and required a tight embouchure with very focused control to maintain them.  When I would pull the air flow away to dip down the volume, Chord 2 had a tendency to naturally evaporate into a Concert C, and Chord 3 into a Concert D.    I decided to approach these pitches as “melodic byproducts” from the multiphonics, and allowed them to speak once the horn and my embouchure let go of the multiphonic chords.  This simple two-note figure used tempered tuning, despite the fact that they originated within to very de-tuned multiphonic chords.  This provided me a link between the chordal movement and the simple melodic pitches.

As can be heard during the improvisation, the Concert C and D rang with precise control, and I took advantage of this by using diminuendo shapes from medium-loud to whisper soft.  The three chords used during this improvisation, as well as the two resultant “Melodic byproduct” pitches are notated below.

Chord 1: De-tuned D dominant chord

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

Chord 2: De-tuned G Major Chord.  Chord included the Melodic Concert C pitch.

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low C# // (Right Hand) 2, Side F#, Low C

Chord 3: De-tuned D dominant chord (new voicing).   Chord included the Melodic Concert D pitch.

(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low C# // (Right Hand) 2, Side F#, High F#, Low C


The image “Implements and Entrenchments” accompanying today’s post by Neil Jenney (1969).