Sam Newsome

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

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Prepared Saxophone with Balloons: Kayla Milmine-Abbott

This prepared saxophone submission is by Toronto-based soprano saxophonist Kayla Milmine-Abbott. In addition to being a solo saxophone performer, Kayla co-leads the Toronto Improvisers Orchestra (TIO) as well as FASTER, a sax/guitar duo with her husband Brian Abbott, also heard on the featured track “Nuclear Fishin.”

Like myself, Kayla is very much interested in making horn preparations as a means of arriving at unexpected sonic outcomes by altering the way in which air enters and passes through the instrument. Kayla’s saxophone preparation involves an un-inflated round balloon placed over the neck opening of the soprano.

In describing how this works, Kayla said, “... basically half of the hole in the neck of the horn has to be uncovered in order to get sound to play. Also, I cut the part of the balloon off that you blow the air through because it was too tight around the cork - I place the mouthpiece on the very end of the neck, so that the rubber and cork don't have too much contact, as it squeezes the cork, and causes it to chip.”

In describing the different sounds produced, Kayla said: “I especially like the multi-phonics in the low register." This sonic reference can be heard at 3:12 of the recording. (The featured track below)

When I first heard Kayla use this technique, the rubbery/latex aspects were pretty apparent. There seemed to be a built-in glissando effect in the sound.

But do check out it. And check out the entire recording. Pretty innovative stuff!

Stay tuned!




Nuclear Fishin'

Nuclear Fishin' by FASTER
Kayla Milmine-Abbott - Soprano Sax
Brian Abbott - Guitar

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