Don Hosek - Music Diary

Ten years ago today
Monday, 25 January 2010
Started working on the Clawhammer Banjo from scratch DVD. Only got about 15 minutes in on the first bout, much of which was especially basic, although I did get a touch of RH technique for frailing.

Fifteen years ago today
Tuesday, 25 January 2005
I seem to be breaking stuff a lot lately. The latest of my belongings to stop working was the backlight on my laptop’s display. I dutifully backed up everything (the backed-up hard drive is now attached to the tower allowing me to continue to work) amd took the laptop into the Apple store .The Apple Genius looked up my service records and said, “you’ve brought it in for a lot of repairs, haven’t you?” then went off and talked with another genius in the other part of the store. I start wondering whether they’re going to tell me that I’ve used up my AppleCare. Instead, it turns out that I’ll be getting a new PowerBook. It’s unclear exactly which one I’ll be getting but at the minimum I can expect a faster processor, bluetooth, Airport Extreme and a bigger hard disk. I’m soo glad that I hadn’t done any upgrades on the machine I had in hand.

If the rumor mill is to be believed, all of my specs may actually be stil higher as there is apparently a new PowerBook upgrade in the pipeline. No G5 yet, but I’ll live with 1.5GHz.

NP: “Suitcase Living,” Kevin Gilbert, Decent Exposure

Eighteen years ago today
Friday, 25 January 2002
12.52: Well, I’ve now been sick for two full weeks. I’m starting to feel a bit better, although not a lot. Still not much strength to be found.

Woke up this morning with a nice melody in my head which I managed to get transcribed and harmonized first thing in the morning. The harmony is very nice with an ascending bassline which gives it an increasing tension as the melody resolves against a CminMaj7 (I remember discovering that chord in high school and thinking it was just the coolest chord ever).

Four calls in response to the reader ad looking for a singer. Of the three I’ve talked to, there’s only one that I’m feeling enthusiastic about, but that may be because she said, “poor baby” as she heard me hacking up a lung.

Nineteen years ago today
Thursday, 25 January 2001
14.24: Heard back from Dina, a prospective singer we passed over in the last round of auditions. Not too enthused about her, though, and I was kind of hoping that she wasn’t going to follow through with the audition re-scheduling.

An amusing thing I found in Bush’s education plan: Speaking of poor school systems, they write on p. 3, “Failure will be sanctioned.” Apparently the writer was under the impression that “to sanction” is to impose sanctions. In fact, it means to give approval. And these are the people who want to reform our education system?

More rubble in the neighborhood: An old theatre building on Wells is now gone. Not sure when it went, but it was apparently a while ago given how much snow is on the site.

22.27: A good rehearsal with the gallery singers. On one piece, there was a very nice (and difficult) half step move in the bass part. As the picture shows, it apparently frightened a previous reader of the music).

At one point, the associate director had run out of music to work on with us, so we read through “Baal, Baal, we call to you” from “Elijah.” We’ll be singing the whole oratorio in June and whatever parts that can be adapted to liturgical use in the interim, the obvious unsuitability of this piece for liturgical use has been a bit of a running joke since we got the music in September.

Got home and did a bit of bass practice, using the stool from my drafting table to sit on. It helped at least some, although I had a lot of slipping from the end pin while seated.

The DiC drum ad appeared again in this week’s reader which translates to more drummer calls. I’m taking down names and numbers for future reference, but letting them know that we have a drummer already.

Random blast from the past
Monday, 16 June 2003
Rehearsal for tonight got a late cancellation. I’d driven as far north as Barrington anyway so I saw Matrix Reloaded instead. We’re on for Wednesday though,

Friday, 20 September 2019.
And yet another long-delayed update. Went to a singing and playing get together that happens monthly here in Oak Park. I decided to take a bass since from the pictures on the Facebook group it looked like they had plenty of guitars and I took my double bass since I didn’t want to deal with an amp.

I was a bit rusty at first and discovered that I don’t seem to have any rosin anywhere I could find it so my bow was relatively useless, but as the evening proceeded, my playing improved. I feel like once a month is probably a good level of commitment for me to do something musical at this point in my life.

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.