Originally a lounge Pianist, yet forever intimidated by its inconvenience of size, expense and formality, I found myself in a passionate love affair with a new instrument.
Invented in 1972 by Brian Wittman, a Hawaiian musician, guru and gentleman, the Xaphoon®, more popularly known as The Pocket Sax, is a Trumpet sized Saxophone, that not only fits in your pocket, but whence the dedication and mutual embrace is spoken, will turn your mind inside out as it screams the blue soul of a real Saxophonist.
I had spent many years researching new and innovating Blues Harp designs, specifically focussing on alternate tunings or reed configurations, which allow an otherwise regular harp to be played chromatically off the bat.
There are many.
Most notably the Suzuki Sub30 which actually incorporates an extra ten reeds into the same 20 reed infrastructure, acting as silent “sympathetics”, only sounding when the player instructs them through embouchure.
Yet whilst it was my frustration with an instrument’s limitations that led me to this decade long investigation, it would soon come to pass that this very disposition of the Blues Harp’s design would be the very thing that solves my paradox.
All my life I have taught people a blessed miracle of music, that whence the passion of creativity resides within one, an orchestra can be painted from a pallette of only three colours.
That is to say, music is not the art of playing as many notes as possible as quickly and as loudly as possible… it is the art of creating masterpieces out of only the air, or thus from a flute without even any holes.
Some could argue the Xaphoon to be much like a Ukulele, in that its size deems it flawed by design. Yet there are many Ukulele players who are obviously not dissuaded by this, indeed myself occasionally included.
No, the Xaphoon is not flawed. It is however, very difficult to master. Oh, this is not to say the average novice will be unable to enjoy it, no, this is to say that the average professional Xaphoonist would have spent ten years perfecting it.
The difference between a Xaphoon and a Pocket Sax…? Bamboo die hards aside… depends how good you are.
First things first. I know what you are seeking. The sound of a Sax in your pocket. Yet you fear it to only raspberry, much like a Kazoo. This is a common misconception, seeded by poor examples of play, by amateurs trying too hard, as if to make a baby iron a suit.