Title: Blow (2-Channel) | Duration 10:41
Fixed work for alto saxophone and electronics
Blow is an exploration of the alto saxophone within a purely acousmatic, fixed context. Using recordings which are rooted in free jazz improvisation, it attempts to create musical meaning from this material within a framework that is diametrically opposed to that of improvised music i.e. that of fixed media.
Improvisation and extended techniques (directed by the composer, performed by David Jackson of Solar Fire Trio), provided a wide range of material, and led to the identification of musical sections; exploration of key clicks, breath sounds passing through the instrument, and drone notes arranged to establish strong tonality, are all explored. Through transformation the instrument extends its natural boundaries, and through electroacoustic studio techniques I create contrasting spatial environments within the piece.
Blow is in two halves, the first of which contains several sub-sections, exploring different sounds types, spaces and stylistic shifts, including passages of pure, organised sound, and sections which adopt aspects of free jazz and drone music. The second half is a gradual crescendo, where tones are clustered to create oppressive micro-tonal density and sounds amass to fill spectral space.
Blow was realised at the NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Music, University of Manchester, between May and September 2012.