12 Moons Solo Saxophone Project Day 120
Instrument: Tenor saxophone
Location: Performance Hall at Chief Sealth High School
Today I worked with an ascending gesture that mixed close intervals and exploring consonance and dissonance. The tuning system used in this piece allows for beautiful vibrations in the chord structure. I used an interval pattern that moved from open to closed in range, with a total distance of slightly wider than a whole step. The was done with three sounds. In the tenor key, they were:
1. Eb–F (whole step). (open–the widest interval)
2. E (quarter step sharp)–F (medium)
3. F (quarter step sharp) (closed–fixed pitch)
After the first 30 seconds or so of the above action, I took sound 3 from the above (the fixed pitch) and opened this chord even further by bending it with my embouchure. I would then blend this intermittently after playing sounds 1-3. This created a total pitch distance of a Major Third with the pitches F–Eb–Db. To play this sound the air flow must be focused downward and given a great amount of air. Depending on my reed, this often creates a very breathy sound, and today this was particularly present. I decided to use this as a compositional tool and created a “breath” vibrato by pulsing the air while playing the 3-tone pitch cluster.
The fingerings (corresponding to the numbers 1-3 above):
1. (Left Hand) Fork F, A-G keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C
2. (Left Hand) Fork F, A-G keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F-E keys, Low C, High F# Key
3. (Left Hand) Fork F, A-G keys, Octave, Low Bb // (Right Hand) F key, Low C
For the 3-tone cluster (F–Eb–Db) use the same fingering as #3, but bend down with the embouchure and air flow.
The image “To B.W.T.” accompanying today’s post by Philip Guston (1952)