Dai Fujikura (1977)

Reach out (2002)

for saxophone quartet

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2002
    • Duration: 10 mn
    • Publisher: Ricordi, Londres
    • Commission: Quatuor Apollo et Festival Huddersfield
Detailed formation
  • sopranino saxophone (also soprano saxophone), soprano saxophone (also alto saxophone), soprano saxophone (also tenor saxophone), baritone saxophone

Premiere information

  • Date: November 2002

    Royaume-Uni, Huddersfield, Festival


    le Quatuor Apollo.

Program note

I was leafing through my diary in July and I noticed the entry "begin composing for Apollo for Huddersfield". Understandably, I was very excited about this but when I noticed the entry "Go to Yamaguchi's barbeque" I forgot all about it, as I was late. When I arrived, out of breath, at my painter friend Tomoya Yamaguchi's house I noticed a beautiful orange canvas.
I fell in love with it. To my astonishment Tomoya presented it to me. When I returned home I hung the painting above my desk and started writing Reach Out.

I've been spending lots of time at home recently, and have just bought a new cookery book called 365 Japanese time Japanese recipes and I'm working through it page by page.

Therefore my days have recently been a mixture of very serene activities: cooking, cleaning, and looking at my new painting. I think that this serenity has rubbed off on the first half of the piece. It seems quite atmospheric and clean to me.

However, when one has too much time on one's hands tangential memories pop up uninvited. When I was half way through Reach Out the guitar riff from Sweet Child of Mine by Guns 'n' Roses invaded my inner ear and refused to go away.
I suddenly remembered that when I was studying for my GCSEs my room mate was always practicing this phrase over and over again. He was not the only one, sometimes it seemed as if the entire boarding house was playing lead guitar slightly out of tune.
For months at a time all you could hear was the easy version of Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven or the opening riff of Sweet Child of Mine.
It was enough to encourage anyone to become a contemporary composer! Ever the aspiring 'babe magnet' my room mate would play this passage at an incredible speed with enormous mistakes..... which sounds like a fitting motto for any romantically involved adolescent.

In August then, I kept hearing my room mate's rather poor Guns and Rose impression. From that morning, I had a craving for heavily distorted Rock music. So I had to change my daily CD from "The Best of the Beach Boys" to "The best of Bachman Turner Overdrive". I began to miss my long hair. I think that this has affected Reach Out too.

So in the seven weeks that I spent writing this piece I've had some rather strange experiences in the safety and comfort of my own home.

For me, the act of composing is really connected to all the events in my life, even small ones. If I had been kidnapped by Guns and Roses when I started writing this piece the whole thing could have been a scherzo (of sorts). If Tomoya had have given me his painting 3 weeks later the piece might have had a very slow atmospheric 2nd half.... or do I need to get out more?

I am wondering what my next piece will be like... hmmmm very exciting!

Dai Fujikura.