Don Hosek - Music Diary

Eight years ago today
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Some flute practice. My second octave tone is pretty awful still and it’s hard for me to play above G and keep things soft. I’m not advancing past the current lesson until I can do that. In the Trevor Wye practice book, I’m getting a good tone on first octave B so I’m doing the second first octave tone exercise, playing notes down to C.

Thirteen years ago today
Friday, 25 June 2004
Got the corner of the living room cleared out enough to make a beginning of a start on the music space. Discovered that there’s some cat pee in the synth rack, so I’ll have to break that down and clean it out tomorrow.

Sixteen years ago today
Monday, 25 June 2001
10.36: Started putting together materials for the Uncommon Ground show. I will desparately need next week to get everything together. I’ve played with some bridge ideas for SYoF, but nothing’s really grabbed me yet.

16.18: OK, I’ve got the chords for the bridge on SYoF down. Something I’d played with earlier, a progression of G-Bb-Ab works really well at this point. I’ve improvised some melodies over the progression, but not written any lyrics yet.

21.33: Good rehearsal for Gallery Singers going over material for the Christmas CD. Before rehearsal I had my vocal check and did quite well. This year of singing with GS has greatly improved my abilities as a singer. My key weakness at the moment is building up my breathing technique so that I can give better support to my singing and go longer without having to take a breath. I think next summer during the break I’ll do a series of voice lessons.

Random blast from the past
Monday, 14 June 2004
Stickney, IL. Finally Finished loading the truck, just before midnight. Now to sleep and face the new day as it comes. I’ve downloaded a mySQL client to allow me to (I’m hoping) avoid the problems I had with phpMyAdmin and Flying-J WiFi access, so entries from the road should be same-day.

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.