Sam Newsome

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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kayla Milmine-Abbott and Sam Newsome: Prepared Saxophone and Extended Technique

The following video features me playing duo with Toronto-based soprano saxophonist Kayla Milmine-Abbott.

This piece demonstrates how sound that is produced using unconventional methods, often works best paired with another instrument on which sounds are being produced unconventionally.  The two approaches used are prepared saxophone and extended saxophone techniques.

Here are my working definitions of the two:

Prepared Saxophone: The process through which alterations are made to the soprano that distorts how air enters the instrument, how it exits, and by attaching external vibrating sources to the soprano that are set in motion by the movement or sound of the instrument.

Extended Saxophone Techniques: Notes and sounds that go beyond the original scope of the instrument.  These notes and sounds are either produced by blowing air through the instrument using unconventional methods and/or using conventional fingerings, slightly modifying the air stream.

1. Demonstrating prepared saxophone, I've attached plastic tubes to my instruments, elongating the air column, consequently, producing a longer column of air that results in a lower sonic range. In addition, I've attached a trumpet Harmon mute to the end of my bell. Essentially, I've altered the way air enters and exits the instrument.

2. Demonstrating extended saxophone techniques, Kayla is blowing through the mouthpiece without a reed, which creates a buzzing effect as air travels across the facing of the mouthpiece.


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