Saturday 28 November 2009

London Saxophone Masterclass Report 23/11/09

Many thanks to the great crowd at my recent London masterclass at Foyles in Charing Cross Road. There was a friendly atmosphere and one or two pros dropped in, including the great Denis Baptiste. There were so many great questions from the 90 or so sax players present, and 19 year old altoist Leo McCulloch sat in and acquitted himself admirably in front of a tough crowd! Many thanks to for putting on this free event.

One of those sax players, Dylan Evans, sent me this terrific e-mail, and generously gave permission for me to reproduce it here. Many thanks Dylan!
"Hi Mornington

I don't normally "cold" mail people I have not met properly before - but I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful session at Foyles the other night (I was the guy who asked you the rather open ended question about how you got into the sax in the first place).

It was a fantastic evening. As well as all the information you managed to impart I went home feeling like I'd been to a gig as well - I particularly enjoyed your version of Skylark.

Also, I have put into practice your warm up tips. The singing and then playing is producing quite phenomenal results already.

On top of everything, to be able to listen to John Critchinson as well...I'd never seen him live before but he is such a familar figure from my misspent youth watching Ronnie Scott (one of my favourite sax players) on tv/video.

Thanks for the Picasso tip as well - I've listened to Coleman Hawkins for years but this gem as passed my by. YouTube is a wonderful tool for catching up on this sort of thing!

Anyway, thanks again and all the very best for the future. Keep up the fantastic music.

All the best

Luke Georgiou, a very switched-on music student, sent this e-mail, and I thought the question merited a detailed reply, since we ran out of time at the masterclass:
"Hi Mornington,

I was speaking to you briefly as you were packing up after the talk about getting some more information on your "10 scale system" approach to seventh chords.....
If you have anything you can send me about this system or indeed any other modal harmony theories/experimentations you are working on I would be very interested.

Thanks again for the talk, it was really helpful (in particular the brief section on modal harmony).


Luke Georgiou (Alto saxophonist reading Popular Music Studies (BMus) at Goldsmiths, University of London"
My reply:

The "10 scale system" evolved over a period of time. The original idea came from a scale I hit upon for a 13th chord with a flattened 9th. I took the Lydian Dominant scale and raised the tonic note by a semitone, thus omitting the tonic from the scale.

This gave the interesting prospect of G7 without a G, leaving more possibilities for variation, and breaking the 'closed system' of fixed scale types to fit chord types.
By changing the notes one by one, I managed to 'migrate' from the Lydian Dominant to the opposite tritone pole, the Altered Seventh. By working with Hexatonic triad pairings, I found I got great results, hopping from one scale to the other.

Scale 1 of the system is the regular Lydian Dominant.
For G7(starting on the 13th): {E,F,G,A,B,C#,D}
Scale 2 is {E,F,G#,A,B,C#,D}

The next step was to add a sharp 5:
Scale 3 is {E,F,G#,A,B,C#,D#}

The next step was to raise the 4th of this scale i.e. add a flat 9 to the G7
Scale 4 is {E,F,G#,A#,B,C#,D#}

Raising the F to F double sharp (G!) gives G# harmonic minor over G7
Scale 5 is {E,F double sharp,G#,A#,B,C#,D#}

Raising the E to E# completes the 'migration' to a tritone away: G# melodic minor, the 'Altered 7th'
Scale 6 is {E#,F double sharp,G#,A#,B,C#,D#}

To get the other 4 scales, you move gradually back to the original scale in the same way:

Scale 7 is {Bb,Cb,D,Eb,F,G,Ab}
Scale 8 is {Bb,Cb,D,Eb,F,G,A}
Scale 9 is {Bb,Cb,D,E,F,G,A}
Scale 10 is {Bb,C#,D,E,F,G,A}
Scale 1 is {E,F,G,A,B,C#,D}

I am having a lot of fun with this, even experimenting with other contexts where the melodic minor would normally be used. In the key discussed, D melodic minor would fit B minor7b5, D minor(6), F major7(Lydian or #5). For example Scale 2 seems to work very well in this way. I think you have to use your ears and your musical brain to decide how far to take it. Mathematical ideas (i.e. set theory) in music provide a fascinating starting point, but you need a strong, intuitive human element for the end result to be any good for me.

Leo McCulloch and Mornington Lockett

Friday 23 October 2009

New Faithy Pictures!

Faith's first adventures in the garden

October 2009

Tuesday 6 October 2009


50s Kids!

Carisbrooke Castle, Isle Of Wight circa 1966?
60s kids!
70s kids hanging tough!

Wednesday 16 September 2009

Faithy, up close and personal.

Saka in Switzerland, avidly watching a movie of Faithy in London.

Mandolin orchestra, Waltham Forest, about 100 years ago. My grandmother leading the band!