Breathing is essential to sustaining life. The simple explanation is we inhale in order to intake oxygen, and exhale to expel carbon dioxide. People breathe many times a day, most of the time without even thinking about it. It’s an unconscious action, inhale…, exhale…, repeat. Two separate activities, together but always separate.
But jazz brass/woodwind extraordinaire (and possible superhuman) Kenny G can do both at the same time. In fact, in 1997 he used his superhuman abilities to set the Guinness World Record of longest note held on a saxophone. Kenny G held a single note (E flat) for 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES! Personally, I can barely hold my breath for 45 seconds, and he played a single sustained note for 45 minutes.
You may be asking yourself, “How? How can a mere mortal saxophonist play such a seemingly impossibly long note?” The answer my friends is called circular breathing. It is a technique in which one breaths out of their mouth while at the same time breathing in through their nose. Sea mammals use a similar tactic to breath.
The answer, although simple enough, begs more questions. Is Kenny G part sea mammal? Is he a saxophone playing superhero, defending the streets at night, foiling bad-guys plans with one single sustained note? We may never know the answers to these questions, but you can for sure see Kenny G on August 25th making his Music Circus debut.