I have my old silver alto saxophone with me. I begin to play, kneeling in the darkness with my eyes closed. I look for ways to excite the space, to play it as though an organ. If I play a sustained pitch that ends with a harmonic of that same pitch, I notice that when I stop short the acoustic shadow of two pitches ring out into a third, discrete pitch. If I play a short burst of many notes, the resulting sound becomes a moving tone-cluster. When I play many of these bursts in rapid succession, I I hear accumulated harmonics ringing through the space. I move from room to room, noting the different sonic qualities of each.
Every improvisation is site-specific. We react to our acoustic environment, the ambient sound in the room, the general mood of our day, or what our collaborators are doing. Today, my collaborator is the bunker.
I have placed two fairly high-quality, omnidirectional microphones in the larger chambers on either side of the structure. My other weapon is a shitty microcassette recorder I bought at a yard sale. It’s lo-fi in the truest sense. I use this to capture the ambient sounds of the area: birds, the ocean, crunching through the dead flora that surrounds the bunker…. These tapes are easy to manipulate, producing wild bursts of noise and lend themselves well to cut-up techniques.