Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy



Andrew Cyrille/Sam Newsome Duo

Children's Magical Garden (September 15, 2018)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Prepared Soprano Saxophone w/ Plastic Tube Extensions

Below are six examples of the soprano saxophone prepared by attaching plastic tubes of varying lengths to the neck of the instrument. In doing so, I'm able to extend the lower range of the soprano. Of course, the longer the tube, the lower the pitch.

There are a few challenges:

(1) I'm often limited to 2 - 3 notes. Which means that I'm limited to playing drones, rhythmical figures, ostinatos, and noise-like effects.

(2) To get the full effect of the tubes, I do find it necessary to circular breath.

(3) Don't try this thinking you're going to have a new lower octave to the soprano. This serves primarily as a textual effect, not a melodic function.

(4) Keep in mind that these excerpts were recorded on my iPhone, so the sound quality is pretty low. I even suggest that you listen with headphones in order to hear the full effect. However, even without them, the original intent is still audible.

Let me know what you think!

Prepared Soprano Saxophone #1: Tube Extensions w/Harmon Mute (This example almost has an electronica sound, even though it's all acoustic. This is achieved by playing a Harmon mute into the bell of the horn.)





Prepared Soprano Saxophone #2: Tube Extensions W/ Overtone Whistle Tones (On this example, I begin with some percussive slap tonguing, that almost sounds like a bass guitar string, segueing into a 3/4 ostinato. And by slightly over-blowing I'm able to achieve the whistle tones.)





Prepared Soprano Saxophone #3: Short Tube Extension in 4/4 (On this example, you can hear that it's a much shorter tube, producing a much higher pitch. This is also the only example where there is a more discernable melodic content.)





Prepared Soprano Saxophone #4: Medium Tube Extension (One this example, you can that the tube is slightly longer than example 3. And through oral cavity manipulation, I'm able to produce some interesting tone distortions.)




Prepared Soprano Saxophone #5: Tube Extension, Playing Textural Flurries (On this example, you can hear that the tube is slightly larger.)




Prepared Soprano Saxophone #6: Tube Extensions w/ Aluminum Foil (On this example, I created a 3/4 ostinato with a drone effect. And by attaching aluminum foil to the end of the bell, I'm able to create a cool buzzing effect.)

1 comment:

  1. You're getting some very interesting sounds from your soprano-doo! Sounds great!

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