Don Hosek - Music Diary

Seven years ago today
Monday, 22 February 2010
Got a small amount of bass practice in, but my fingers were too weak to make it as much as a page into Simandl. It’s a pity since my tone was sounding fantastic. But better to come at these things slowly and re-build my strength. From the fact that my case was still on the bass with the music binder in the back pocket, I can deduce that the last time I played the DB was for the December Pax Christi mass.

Eleven years ago today
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
Audition this evening as a vocalist for a Genesis tribute band. Not surprisingly, I didn’t make the cut. I seem to have lost (I hope not irreparably) a lot of high end, and I had some trouble with being pitchy (not to mention the last minute prep including learning the flute solo for Firth of Fifth between teaching and office hours. I definitely want to be doing more musical things though. I have a few other things queued up, so I guess I’ll spend some time making some more phone calls about auditions.

Thirteen years ago today
Sunday, 22 February 2004
Good singing at the cathedral, but the last time for quite a while for me. Various trips and wedding planning times are keeping me away from the next two calls and student teaching is taking enough time that I don’t think that I’m going to show up at a few rehearsals at well... I’m hoping I can find time to work on wedding music at least.

Fourteen years ago today
Saturday, 22 February 2003
Rehearsal without Jeremy. A mix of older stuff and material for recording. Assuming the TiBook is back in time, next week will be a recording weekend.

A nice instrumental sketched at the end of the rehearsal.

Fifteen years ago today
Friday, 22 February 2002
A handful of inquiries about the singer slot so far...

Sixteen years ago today
Thursday, 22 February 2001
15.02: Managed to talk to Annie and let her know we won’t be using her, but haven’t been able to reach Risa yet.

My cassette player is being very wonky playing everything slow. I’m hoping that it’s the batteries and not the tape (this latter seems especially unlikely upon reflection since it would require that the original be recorded fast. Seems unlikely.

I was going to bike to work this morning but realized that part of why it looked so sunny outside was all the snow on the ground. Yichh.

Listening to the sumptuous Journey to the Amazon by Sharon Isbin. Oh to be that good of a guitar player.

16.02: Finally heard back from Risa and broke the news to her and expressed an interest in doing some work with her if she was interested in developing new material. She told me she’d just written her first song today. Too soon to tell if this will go anywhere. She had my number.

Freedy Johnston’s Can You Fly plays in the background.

Random blast from the past
Sunday, 26 July 2009
A bit of guitar practice today. I’ve got the basic riffs from the beginning of the blues book down reasonably well, but I do need some work on the alternating picking variation. I added in the stabs with an upstroke, a bit of work made it work fine in E, but the barre variation revealed some weakness in my barre fingering. Adding in the middle finger on the M3 on the G string, interestingly helped somewhat, but this definitely calls for some work. I suspect that this will come in handy in general playing with barre chords as I’ve noticed some weakness in my barre from time to time.

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.