SAXIM (1972) [8:00]
Saxophone, tape, slides
Recording: BIOME at ICES
Solo amplified saxophone multiplied on tape and slides.
This piece is only electronic because it employs tape and amplification; all its sounds are acoustical. This performance is made up of a sextet of the same instrument with four on tape and two played live at ICES by McCarty and guest artist Bill Trimble. But the actual musical instrument employed is the human voice. It creates a wide variety of vocal sounds sung through (and thus processed by) an alto saxophone without a mouthpiece. All this is amplified. The five sections of the work proceed following the title itself. It begins with "ss" air sounds gradually changing to "aa" vowels. This is followed by a center section made up of throat-percussive "kx" explosions. Closed "ii" vowels then progress into the final section that contains only "mm" nasals. For that purpose, the lead-pipe of the instrument is removed from the mouth and inserted into the nose. The performance was further enhanced by a multi-projector slide show.