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Multiphonics Dissected

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
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1,872
I made some arguably useful observations about multiphonics in the recent past, and I just shared them in this post: http://everythingsaxophone.blogspot.com/2013/04/multiphonics-dissected.html


Anyone who is into multiphonics should definitely check it out.


Hi Ben
Taken from your link.

I've been using multiphonic as part of my tone practice over a long period of time, and while I have always thought of them as an interesting extended technique, I'd primarily viewed their purpose as a tone building exercise. More recently I began to better understand their mechanics and, in result, gained the ability to use them in musical contexts.

Can you explain the purpose of using multiphonics as a tone practice, other than to create multiphonics in a given possibly modern piece of contemporary music, or an experimental/modern Jazz piece.
thanks in Advance
jamesmac
 
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Locality
Philadelphia, PA
Can you explain the purpose of using multiphonics as a tone practice, other than to create multiphonics in a given possibly modern piece of contemporary music, or an experimental/modern Jazz piece.
thanks in Advance
jamesmac

It's a little counter-intuitive because multiphonics sound more like a helicopter than a saxophone, but multiphonics make for great tone building exercises like long long tones or especially similar to overtones. Multiphonics work the muscles that focus your air stream and, they require a good approach to embouchure. Practicing them at length, meaning holding them out, and working on different fingerings gradually builds up your ability to fine tune the focus of your vocal tract and your resulting tone quality. I find an improvement in my normal tone after just a short time of multiphonic practice.

Overtones require the same focus and build up your tone quality the same way as long as you do them with tone quality in mind. I like overtones a little better for my tone exercises because they sound really great and are less demanding than multiphonics, however multiphonics are definitely great for your tone, and are the logical next step after you've mastered overtones.

So, I'm not talking about using them in a musical context when i call them a good tone building technique. I simply mean that as a practice tool they can help you improve your tone.
 
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Jane M L

Member
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265
Locality
Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion
A few months later-
What reed strength for multiphonics?
Mouthpiece?
Sax?
 

helen

Member
Messages
211
Speaking for myself, I use a Dukoff S7, Legere Signature Series 2 1/4 reeds, and most often, my King Zephyr (307XXX) from 1950. Although my horn choice varies depending on my mood. ;}
 
Messages
153
Locality
Philadelphia, PA
I believe you can do multiphonics on any working setup. That being said, added resistance can make multiphonics a bit easier. So harder reed strengths OR more open mouthpieces can make multiphonics easier to achieve, however I wouldn't sacrifice a comfortable setup to make multiphonics easier...
 

Jamesmac

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,872
Hi Ben
We spoke previously re.the JJDV.NY and i was waiting for a #7 rather than the #8star that i had,you mentioned youd be interested to hear it. Anyway i just posted in sound clips under YTS32 with the 7. I would be interested in your thoughts. Sorry for going off topic.:)
 

Jane M L

Member
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265
Locality
Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion
Thanks Dave! The Michael Brecker Delta City Blues has that mix of free jazz and blues references dancing around one another that I really like. great multiphonics. "Sweden" by Hakon Kornstad is my most favourite sax piece at the moment and he has the multiphonics dancing in and out of the strong rhythm and somewhere in there is a swedish folk song too.
I checked out your website the other day but haven't had time to really get into the music - but I hope to soon. I like the site design and graphics very much indeed.:shocked:
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
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3,349
Locality
leicester
thanks, Hakon Kornstad is rather wonderful........
I've still got a lot to learn about multiphonics, they've been around for a while, both in rhythm and blues and more avant garde settings - I suspect a lot of the free jazz players learnt about multiphonics from their early years playing blues gigs - John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Roscoe Mitchell learnt their craft playing the blues and there's been a a lot of work done on multiphonics for woodwinds in the avant garde classical world, Bruno Bartolozzi's 'New Sounds For Woodwind' doesn't have anything about saxophones, but does cover flute and clarinet alternate fingerings etc Brass players use multiphonics too...

Free improv musicians like Evan Parker and John Butcher are masters of etended techniques and even Jan Garbarek has been known to split a note or two when he feels like it...
I've found higher baffle mouthpieces with longer facings and softer, more flexible reeds seem to work best for me - in my case a Lawton BB 8* and soft Fibracell reeds, although I recently got a cheap Kanee Custom Z from South Wales Woodwind that plays very nicely..

some of this may be useful -
http://bbamusic.wikispaces.com/file/view/Contemporary+Techniques+for+Saxophone.pdf

http://bassic-sax.info/blog/?p=12638
 

John Martin

New Member
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21
Locality
London
Thanks for the introduction to Bert Wilson and Hakon Kornstad. I must check out these guys fully!
I’ve dedicated 4 years to developing a tonal approach to saxophone multi-phonics and last year released a double album based around these sounds. It requires a huge amount of work but it's definitely possible to use saxophone multi-phonics musically and tonally. More info about my approach here: Home - The Hidden Notes
 

Valery Kondakoff

New Member
Messages
5
Locality
Moscow
I’ve dedicated 4 years to developing a tonal approach to saxophone multi-phonics and last year released a double album based around these sounds. It requires a huge amount of work but it's definitely possible to use saxophone multi-phonics musically and tonally.

Just watched live videos on your Youtube channel: pretty impressive playing. Congratulations! Waiting for more info on your mutiphonics book. BTW, have you considering posting some muptiphonic-related tutorials on your Youtube channel?
 

John Martin

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
London
Thanks Valery! The book’s well under way but probably won’t be published for another year or so. I’m currently putting a lot of thought into mouthpiece design. In general very large chamber pieces work best but Francois Louis Sphere chamber seems to be the exception to the rule. I’ve been playing a NY link for the past few years with a very long facing and an 11 tip opening. Big tip openings are not important but a long facing seems to give more flexibility with pitch which helps to voice multi-phonics in tune. I plan to do workshops and tutorials a bit further down the line but for now want to concentrate on developing the concept further and finishing the book. I would be very interested to hear what others have discovered regarding mouthpiece design and multi-phonics so please let me know your thoughts if you’re reading this.
 

John Martin

New Member
Messages
21
Locality
London
Hi Dave, some of the sounds are actually pretty easy providing you already have good control of the overtone series. Daniel kientzy les sons multiples aux saxophones is probably the best book currently available. It has separate sections for each member of the saxophone family which is important as fingerings are generally not interchangeable
 

Alice

Psychedelic
Messages
5,358
Locality
Kent
Thanks for the introduction to Bert Wilson and Hakon Kornstad. I must check out these guys fully!
I’ve dedicated 4 years to developing a tonal approach to saxophone multi-phonics and last year released a double album based around these sounds. It requires a huge amount of work but it's definitely possible to use saxophone multi-phonics musically and tonally. More info about my approach here: Home - The Hidden Notes
Just listening to your band now - :clapping: Fabulous!
 

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