Don Hosek - Music Diary

Eleven years ago today
Wednesday, 23 August 2006
I apparently missed the original e-mail. The Marie MacGillis show this week was canceled some time ago. “The charity didn’t want a burlesque troupe representing it because they’re Christian.”

In other news, Marie tells me that the demos are almost done.

Sixteen years ago today
Thursday, 23 August 2001
12.25: I need to start waking up on time in the morning. This is now three straight days I’ve not woken up until 10a. This morning especially, I could have done with waking up a bit sooner and at least avoiding the nasty gig dream: I was playing a solo show at Uncommon Ground, but was completely unprepared (as in I was on without even a set list, although I did at least have a binder with words and chords on a music stand). I was going to start with “Here comes the flood” but the guitar was horribly out of tune, I fixed that, managing to exactly nail all the pitches by ear, but then when I was playing, I was fingering the chords correctly, but the notes were coming out wrong. I ended up uncontrollably strumming the guitar at too fast of a tempo. My vocal performance was great except that I couldn’t keep the words straight and the tempo that I was playing (badly) at left me with no time to think as the song rushed on without me.

An amusing anecdote on the DGM guestbook:

There ws an Arnold Schoenberg concert that Gustav Mahler attended. There was somebody by Mahler who was continually booing Schoenberg’s music. Mahler turned to him and said, “You must not do that!” The man answered, “It’s all right. I boo your music too!”

18.30: Phone call from my mom letting me know that my nephew has truly gotten into the musical toy that I got him for Christmas last year. Ya, he’ll be a musician alright. I’m aiming for a bassoon player.

Random blast from the past
Saturday, 28 December 2002
Rehearsal focused mainly on Caffeine Dreams and getting a handle on the free improv section. We also ran through Go to Bar for George’s benefit and Q-Factor so that Jeremy could get a feel for how the song goes. I may try and get a tempo map for Q-Factor recorded, if not the bass track as well.

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.