Art of the Saxophone Vol. 2 The Studio Recordings

by Krauss Briggan

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Thank you for checking out my music.

This album is being made available as a high quality download free of charge or you may pay as you wish.

Should you choose to make a financial contribution I sincerely thank you in advance for your support.


This is Volume Two of a solo saxophone project recorded in Seattle Washington.

Volume One has been released on Bandcamp and is still available.

In extremely stark contrast to recording on Volume One, which was done in the I-90 pedestrian and bike tunnel with its gigantic scale and extremely long reverb; Volume two was recorded in an acoustically dry studio with a single Coles 4038 ribbon microphone placed very close to the instrument.

The Concept:

The idea of making a solo saxophone project began as challenge put to me by Seattle based tenor saxophonist Skerik in April of 2012 after a playing a series of shows with Wayne Horvitz's Zony Mash Plus Horns at The Royal Room in Seattle, WA. These fantastic shows were recorded and later released as a live double CD in December of that year. Skerik thought there should be a document of some of the unique things I do on the saxophone and he offered to produce a solo saxophone record for me. I was flattered and honored by his idea and decided to accept the challenge.

Skerik and I arranged a day to do the recording with engineer Randall Dunn in Seattle on January 2nd 2013. Skerik's idea was to record some music in the gigantic I-90 bike and pedestrian tunnel and also to record some music in his studio in South Seattle. Vol. 1 of this record has already been released on Bandcamp and contains music exclusively from the tunnel recordings. This recording, Vol. 2, contains music recorded in the studio. Many thanks go out to Randall for making a great sounding recording and to Skerik for his generous support, encouragement and inspiration.

The Music:

These tracks are offered here in order as they were performed. My intention was to improvise a series of miniature pieces. Small musical events short enough so that you could keep then in your mind as complete objects. Sometimes they are single events and others are grouped together like things placed in a box.

I feel that this was a successful project in terms of making interesting music and documenting some of my approaches to the saxophone. I also feel though that this is just the start of a longer process and I am inspired to continue to develop my solo saxophone playing further in the future.

All of the music from the recording studio was played with a towel mute.

So What’s a Towel Mute?

The towel mute is exactly what it sounds like it is - a rolled up bit of fabric which was initially a cotton cloth which has gotten so threadbare over the years that I've taken to adding other bits of fabric to it. This is folded and rolled up to make something that looks like a large hockey puck. It is dense enough that when placed in the bell and a low B-flat is fingered (i.e. all the holes in the horn closed thus making a complete tube) hardly any air can escape.

The towel mute is an invention of mine which was born one day not long after moving to Brooklyn in 1994. I was living in a brownstone apartment with guitarist Brad Shepik and drummer Mike Sarin. Sometimes the only place I could practice was a tiny closet in the basement of the building that Mike had made into a little drum room. This room was really small. The walls were so close that playing the saxophone in there was simply too loud. I tried playing while wearing earplugs and even headphones but these didn't work. Finally one day in desperation I reached down and grabbed this thick cotton cloth that I kept in my saxophone case for padding and stuffed it in the bell of my horn. To my pleasant surprise it did cut down on the volume a bit depending on what notes I played but more importantly, it allowed me to make some very amazing and un-saxophone like sounds which were immediately interesting to me. It was like instantly having a completely different instrument in my hands. Over the more than twenty years since then I have developed a wide range of techniques involving the use the towel which have become a regular and important feature of my playing.

Many Thanks

Many thanks go to Randall Dunn for making a great sounding recording and also to Skerik for his generous support, encouragement and inspiration.

I greatly and sincerely appreciate your financial support for this work should you choose to give it but mostly I hope that you enjoy these saxophone sounds.


released September 30, 2016

Released September 27, 2017

Briggan Krauss - alto saxophone

Recording session produced by Skerik and engineered by Randall Dunn January 2nd 2013 in Seattle, WA.

Mixed etc. by Briggan Krauss at Object Studios Brooklyn, NY.

Hair by Doodle

All music Ⓒ Needle Blunts The Sun Music BMI.



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Krauss Briggan Brooklyn, New York

Saxophonist, guitarist, composer and sound artist Briggan Krauss has been a strong presence on the New York creative music scene since 1994. He is a founding member of the band Sexmob, has played on Grammy Award winning and nominated recordings, and leads several of his own projects as well as collaborating with many other improvisers, composers and artists in New York City and around the world. ... more

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