Don Hosek - Music Diary

Fourteen years ago today
Wednesday, 22 October 2003
I’ve not had much time for making music courtesy of grad school and the rest of my life. I did for a few minutes last night sit down at the piano and play around with some ideas for the first movement of Epithalamion. There will be four movements:

  • I. Lento (strings only)
  • II. Allegro (strings and trumpets)
  • III. Fanfare (trumpets alone)
  • IV. March (strings and trumpets)
The first two movements will be the prelude for the wedding ceremony, the third the entrance piece and the fourth the exit.

I’ve been doing a lot of listening lately. On the radio even more lately has been WFMT. It’s pledge drive time on NPR and I’m not too thrilled with the current selection on WXRT so it’s classical by default. They played a great Ives piece the other day.

I’ve started listening a bit more closely to the Persichetti Divertimento for Band. I’ve got a pretty good idea of how to arrange this for string quartet plus two trumpets. I’m using the Dance and March for the wedding postlude. I should order the score.

Earlier today I had the John Lennon Collection in the CD player. If you’re looking for a good overview of Lennon’s solo career, this is the disc to get. It’s interesting how attuned I’ve become to the styles of the bass players that Lennon worked with as a solo artist. I could pick each one out with no difficulty, especially T-Lev on the Double Fantasy material.

I’ve got the Giraffe Giraffe compilation playing now. Parts of it still grate on me: The cheezy LA synth sounds, the soundbites layered on without mercy, the electronic drum sounds, but I’m realizing there’s also some great songwriting here. I think that re-recorded with different production this would be fantastic material.

Fifteen years ago today
Tuesday, 22 October 2002
Apparently a bunch of work was done at the rehearsal last week. I’ve got MP3s to download from George to listen to and make my comments. I’m not sure about Beauty Sleep being finished yet... it will depend on what I hear in the recordings... not sure that it was necessarily going in the direction that I think it needed to go to not be a crappy song. We’ll see.

Sixteen years ago today
Monday, 22 October 2001
13.43: Put together a song list of stuff to work on while Paul’s unable to play his horn. There’s surprisingly little of our material which is entirely hornless: “Possession”, “Salvation at a Discount”, “Step Right Up”, “Song About It” and “Beauty Sleep”.

Listening to Robert Fripp Soundscapes, I’m thinking that I’d like to push George’s e-bow work on “Possession” more in that direction. Perhaps do some stuff with long delay times.

Random blast from the past
Wednesday, 14 July 2004
Got the A90EX at least provisionally set up so that I could play a little piano for Nalleli to celebrate our 2 year and 1 day anniversary of our first date. Still haven’t installed the HDD into the Kurzweil. In the shower this morning I think I managed to get something resembling lyrics for the B section of IWYINYIGYYM.

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.