12/30/2013 (12 Moons Solo Project Day 364)

12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 364

Date: 12/30/2013

Instrument: Tenor saxophone

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


I rose early today and spent the morning with my family.  With the holidays drawing to a close, my brother was heading back out of town and those of us with the morning free got together to say goodbye.  Well before sunrise, and an hour before leaving the house, I went into my practice space to see if the morning could grant anything to me in artistic inspiration.  Traveling to my families house requires a total time commitment of about an hour and a half, this despite the fact that they live only about 15 miles away as the crow flies.  This is in no way a burden, as the long time required for travel is just a reality and now affords me time for different kinds of productivity.  I always have a book with me, a small horn or a few albums that need listening to.  This can make an hour trip seem like 10 minutes.  Reflecting on this during my brief practice session this morning, the theme of “malleable time” became my inspiration for today’s improvisation.  

During this piece I played continuous strains of melodic activity, all done with a quiet, but firmly pressed articulation against the reed.  I allowed the tones of the horn to speak, but never at full volume–just enough for them to “ping” with legato phrasing in the moment of articulation.  I approached the improvisation by making pairs of multiphonic fingerings, each pair selected at will, with their individual multiphonics repeated several times before moving onto the next.  I then articulated free-flowing melodic lines from the mid to upper register before settling on another repeated multiphonic pair.  Working with the theme of malleable time, I performed a longer, 10 minute improvisation that began with rapid single tonguing, and I attempted to gradually slow the piece down throughout the duration of the improvisation.  During this process I tried to explore in my own mind the duration of time that had passed, and to fold myself into this gradually diminishing world.  I was specifically interested to see if time passed more quickly for me during the faster portions or the slower portions.  Not to my surprise at all, I found that the slower portions seemed to move at an infinitely slower rate.


The image accompanying today’s post by Jose Damasceno.