12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 365
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Home studio in Clinton, WA (Whidbey Island)
Today is the last day of the 12 Moons Project. My morning began, as so many tend to do, working in my practice room at home. The first few days and the last few days of the project began much the same. My students are on Winter Break and so I’m afforded time off as well. In the first few months of this year in particular, my days were so tightly packed that it became a daily fight to maintain my practice schedule, a calm and focused mind, and to include the necessary time to document. It seems ironic to me now that I find myself ending the project with the luxury of time on my hands. This morning I felt calm and relaxed. I slept in for a hour longer than I had intended and practiced for a few hours before recording. I searched for a specific improvisational model or fingering system during my practice session to use in today’s piece, but in the end a freer, more liberated improvisation took shape.
During this improvisation I do stick to a few selected mutiphonic fingerings, but I began with no pre-thought concept aside from the opening fingering. I maintained this mutliphonic or some close version of it throughout the piece. This was as follows:
(Left Hand) 1-2-3, Octave, Low B // (Right Hand) 2-3
I trilled the F key in the right hand continuously during the improvisation. There was an amazing range of sound with the above fingering, but I also worked between the upper register and the lower tones by taking away the octave key to dig further into its inner parts. About half way into the improvisation I began using my voice as a tool to add more color to the sound spectrum. I kept the trill tempo as static as possible, waiting until the last 1/3 or so of the improvisation to abruptly increase the tempo. It was at this point that the volume and intensity is abruptly ratcheted up. I also began intermittently putting down the Low Bb key, which added in a second multiphonic. I created aggressive punctuations in the sound spectrum by flicking closed and open the Low C key in the right hand while exploring these two multiphonics.
This project has been an extraordinary journey for me, personally and artistically. Thank you for listening, reading and supporting my music. I am truly grateful to have shared it with you.
December 31st, 2013
The image accompanying today’s post by Hiroshi Yamazaki.