Don Hosek - Music Diary

Ten years ago today
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Got to the Catholic Worker with Nalleli. We couldn’t find the mandolin, so I played banjo instead. I tuned it open G, but couldn’t get the fifth string in tune, so I had to avoid that (the other four weren’t always that good either). Quite an interesting experience, and really my first banjo playing beyond a bit of playing with my brother’s banjo.

Eleven years ago today
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
I’ve got a date for my second round of ear surgery: It’ll be March 20th.

Fifteen years ago today
Thursday, 20 February 2003
Spent a few more minutes before rehearsal and during the break reading through the assorted sketches therein. Nothing grabs me as much as the 5/4 piano part I found last week. I’m thinking that this might be the accompaniment to a movement of a sonata (for flute?) perhaps.

Seventeen years ago today
Tuesday, 20 February 2001
12.29: Had lunch at a Thai place on Dearborn. Ended up being seated next a couple who truly deserved each other, both being quite boorish self-involved assholes. As I sat down they were holding forth in loud voices about their distrust of most other people, but especially valet parkers and anyone in the general vincinity of the restaurant’s coat rack (which they declined to use).

Listening to Billy Joel’s Millenium Concert double CD. Actually quite nice performances of the songs here, with Joel being free with the melodies in many places, adding a bit of interest to what might have been dull renditions otherwise. Great horn work too.

00.09: Today was Laura. She was picking up the material much more quickly. Her tone isn’t as great as Risa’s, but she’s got the necessary experience. I’d see having to spend a couple months fairly intensive with Risa to bring her to a good level.

Discovered that I’d finished off the roll of film yesterday too late to do anything about it. So much for having the website in great shape in short time.

So at the moment, we’re leaning towards going with Laura, but that also depends on what we hear tomorrow with Annie. I would like to do something with Risa, if only to help her develop as a singer (am I really the person for that, though?)

Herbie Hancock on Politically Incorrect.

Random blast from the past
Friday, 1 March 2002
16.46: In today’s mail: A new DP3 CD with install key. I can finally get DP onto the cube.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012.
A long-delayed return to music diarizing. I’m currently in Tampa for the residency of my Creative Writing MFA. I brought along my banjo and found a piano so I’ve been able to get in some practice on banjo, piano and voice while I’m here. The big things I’ve been working on have been a piano and voice arrangement of “Nuages”and working out a bit more of “I Found Jesus” which now has its melody and chords a bit more defined (It’s a I-vi-IV-V in Bb).

Sunday, 14 August 2011.
Second rehearsal of the gypsy jazz group. My endurance was a great deal better, although I was a bit behind in printing up charts. I’ll have to spend some time on this before the next rehearsal. I’m feeling pretty good about my playing, although I want to be spending more time practicing.

Monday, 8 August 2011.
A new musical project. I auditioned for and was accepted by a nascent gypsy jazz group as their bass player. My finger is a bit sore from that much pizz playing after so long away from the instrument. I also found myself fatiguing well before the audition was over with my fast walking parts hard to keep up to tempo. Fortunately, a lot of manouche bass is a somewhat less demanding root-five kind of line.

Sunday, 16 January 2011.
Got a bunch of lyrics done on “You Took My Photograph” but I’m not done. Pulling out the rhyming dictionary has helped a bit. I’m actually finding it to be more of a book to creativity than I would have guessed. I do find myself wanting to rhyme “days” with “protease.”

Saturday, 15 January 2011.
Nailed down the music for “You Took My Photograph.” I had some really nice ideas that came to me while falling asleep last night, but I lost them. I did remember some Gospel-esque chord progressions which I did manage to approximate while working on the song. There’s a nice shift between G and Bb in the tonality of the song.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011.
Nobody played their songs at this week’s songwriting class. I guess it was a case of terminal shyness. Next week, I don’t care: I’m playing my damn song. This week’s song wasn’t so good, but I have some ideas for where to go with next week’s song and I think it’s going to be pretty good, close to a keeper (especially if, as I hope, I can get some feedback on the song).

Monday, 10 January 2011.
Finished the song for tomorrow’s class. I’m not really happy with the lyrics, but the melody’s not bad (even if I couldn’t remember how the short lines of the chorus were supposed to fit in). I did do a nice thing where there’s a shift from Bb to D on the choruses. One of those great harmonic things I picked up from Gospel music.

Friday, 7 January 2011.
Ended up doing no evening practice, but I did write the first verse and chorus of my song for my songwriting class during a slow moment at work. I rather like what I’m doing with rhymes in that song, and I’ve got a clear view of where the song is going.

Thursday, 6 January 2011.
I had hoped to be able to squeeze in a bit of flute practice on Thursdays between work and my short story class at UCLA, but it appears that this is a hope in vain. I left the office at 5.30p and at 6.18 the bus hasn’t gotten past the 405. I’m not sure I’ll even be able to get dinner. I did get a bunch more song titles recorded, including digging into some of my old files for songs planned but never written for Techne and Worst Case Scenario. I need to create a file which will be my songwriting queue, perhaps in Evernote. I can also keep some notes on the songs and their potential ultimate destinations.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011.
A bit of freewriting at lunch, plus a handful of titles written down: “My Dark Brother,” “Seven Years in the Desert,” “I Call My Mom Jocasta,” “Living in Hi-Fi,” “Lime Green Spring,” “Enthroned in Blue.”

Did some scale work on the mandolin and tried to train my fingers to be able to play I-IV-V in A, although it’s far from perfect.