Don Hosek - Music Diary

Fifteen years ago today
Thursday, 19 February 2004
Awfully tired tonight. I think that I may end up taking the next few weeks off from the choir while I’m at the peak of my student teaching.

Seventeen years ago today
Tuesday, 19 February 2002
8.19: A bit more writing last night after I did the diary entry. I wrote a verse for “Cold Hard Thing” and also wrote a nice 10-bar groove. I’m realizing that CHT can’t end on the chorus very well so I’ll have to write a coda. I might do a key change there, although as I look at the chords and the melody that I have, lord knows what key it’s in now.

Chord charts from Sandy came in the e-mail last night. I need to get these printed up & put into a binder for practice.

11.22: Last night, my grandmother passed from this world. Her health had been declining for the last few years, so it wasn’t a surprise, but it’s still a source of great sadness for me. She had always been supportive of me musically (with one exception), and in her day had been an active choral singer. One of her favorite stories to tell was of sitting in the audience at one of my grade school orchestra concerts and watching the endpin of the bass slide closer and closer to the edge of the stage until I would re-adjust the bass and pull it away from the edge of the stage. She was always ready, she would say, to run up and grab the bass if necessary. I’ll miss her dearly.

17.40: Spent much of the afternoon organizing materials for tonight’s rehearsal with Sandy Andina. Some of the charts I’ll be getting this evening will help, as will getting the recordings on CD so that I’m not tied to the computer to try to learn the music. I also spent a little time listening to and analyzing “Rock and Roll Lifestyle” for DiC. I think that the best plan would be to segue from Rock and Roll to this piece and the guitar riff in R&RLS would work as a good transition between the two pieces. I’ll see what George’s reaction to this is.

23.00: Good rehearsal this evening with Sandy. I need to spend time absorbing the CD and getting everything memorized, but she was pretty happy with the basslines that I was putting down.

Eighteen years ago today
Monday, 19 February 2001
11.14: Had a gig nightmare last night... It turned out that we were on second, not first, so we waited while Blue Lit Souls played a half hour set before us. Then we were ready to begin playing but hadn’t had a proper sound check. And George had to run get something and wasn’t there when we were supposed to start so I was going to teach the singer the bass line to “Step Right Up”. Open mics all over the stage. And then I woke up.

Some ideas as I was drifting off last night for Paul’s “Beauty Sleep”. Instrumentation would be percussion, electric guitar and flute. Song starts with a long percussion break, flute comes in to help get the singer on key and the first verse is just vocal, percussion and flute.

16.58: Cool, I noticed that we have our first voluntary sign-up on our e-mail list. Granted, it’s the drummer’s brother, but it’s a start.

23.56: First call-back: Risa. I’ve decided to go ahead and write here since readership is low enough at this point that I don’t need to worry about the singers themselves reading this. I still love Risa’s vocal quality. It’s really quite fantastic. There were some problems finding pitch, though, which are very worrisome, especially if we’re going to try to do the gig on the 13th. But when she hits the pitches, we are so there.

Got pictures of the band members plus Risa for the web site. Hopefully I’ll just finish the roll when I’m done.

Talked with Paul about my ideas for “Beauty Sleep” which he received well.

Random blast from the past
Saturday, 22 March 2003
09.38: I’ve gone ahead and ordered DP4. It’s perhaps more money than I can afford at the moment, but it’s a start.

23.28: Bulgarian ensemble mostly wasn’t. I was the only student to arrive, so after a bit of work on the newest piece, George and I adjourned to Cafe Florida for Bulgarian beer and talks about life as a musician outside a major metropolis.

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.