Don Hosek - Flute - June 2000
Progress returns, some duets played

I'm beginning to get back in the swing of things. My daily practice time has swollen a bit with my return to playing string bass. Now, my practice routine includes time not only on flute, but also string bass, bass guitar, acoustic guitar and piano. I long for the day when I can quit my day job (frantically saving so that my retirement age will be no greater than 55) and I can devote much more time to music.

I've returned to the Clementi Sonatina #1 and have found that my fingers and lips are much more amenable to playing the piece than they were six months ago. The short spiritoso movement is easy and I can play that flawlessly. Perhaps next month once I've got my home studio up and running (hard disk recorder is on the way), I'll cut an mp3 of this.

Palamon and Arcite is progressing nicely. I have the whole piece mapped out and about two-thirds written. I played through as much as I have written with my girlfriend and was pleased with the result. Some of the syncopations have thrown her (I've had that difficulty with some string parts that I've written as well -- the violin players had a very hard time dealing with my style of circulating bits of melody between parts) and one four bar section threw me as well...

She, in her turn, has given me Beethoven's ``Allegro and Menuett'' to work on which I've not spent anywhere near enough time on. I'll have to squeeze in at least some practice time before her next visit with a flute in hand.

One of the songs my band is doing is Tom Waits' "Step Right Up." For this song, I'm handing over my bass to the guitar player and filling in the sax role with flute. Improv is so much fun because it's so easy to avoid one's weak spots. At the last rehearsal where we worked on this, we went into a bit of a free-form jam largely based around percussion. The trumpet player rescued a balafon from the trash and started playing around with it. The guitar player and singer then started adding some rhythms with random hand percussion and the drummer tossed in some of his own percussion. I started the jam on bass, but then switched to flute. The effect was quite beautiful and we managed to get one of those magical improv moments where we were able to telepathically wrap up the piece. Really makes me wish that we had tape running for that.

Almost halfway through my flute book.