It’s been almost an entire two days in the making, but, at last, I am proud to present to you all the culmination of nearly 48 hours’ worth of work, sweat, and instant noodles. Written/arranged by me and performed by my four other identical quintuplet brothers (pictured), this arrangement of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya‘s “Bouken Desho Desho?” is written for saxophone quartet.
In all seriousness, though, what I thought would be an arduous, overly-ambitious summer project actually turned out to be a leisurely nighttime click-a-thon through Sibelius and a single lively morning recording session. You may note my somewhat unusual setup; I myself own a bari sax, an alto, and a soprano but not a tenor. I thought it might be strange to arrange for a soprano without a tenor (a soprano with two altos would have been altogether too shrill), and I hate transposing (whether the computer does it for you or not), so I decided to go AAAB. Fun fact: My vintage bari only goes down to low Bb. Having written lots of low A’s for the bari part, I actually resorted to rolling up a piece of cardboard I had lying around to lengthen the bell of the horn to get that extra half-step. This required lots of editing and rapid launching/docking of said cardboard apparatus between when I needed low A vs Bb (not to mention dubious intonation), but I think it turned out OK.
One of the biggest challenges for me was deciding how much to “jazz up” the score; I found myself constantly wanting to incorporate wacky, extended-interval chords and other hipster jazz nonsense. In the end, I think I struck a good balance between playing it recognizably straight and giving it my own spin. Give it a listen if you so wish and be sure to let me know what you think!
Bouken Desho Desho? for Saxophone Quartet
P.S. My quintuplet brothers’ names are Miguel, Mikhail, Mickey, and Mikiel. People have trouble telling us apart sometimes. They also don’t seem to know how to take pictures with their mouths closed.