Posts Tagged ‘Done Well and To-Do’

Weekly Update for January 22, 2012

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Well, now that the January 15 concert is under our belts, I can relax … a bit …

There is still preparation to be done for our performances at the Experimental Sound Studio and the Chicago Bass Festival.


  • Scheduled a couple of rehearsals to work on Autogenous Mining.
  • Provided a more or less complete equipment requirements list to ESS, and
  • a slightly less complete list to the Bass Festival.
  • I’ve been working on my part … getting the locations of all those harmonics drilled into my fingers!
  • Sent an e-mail to my “bass players” list, working on setting up a reading session in March.
To do:
  • an e-mail to the mailing list, last reminder for the upcoming concerts, and a wrap-up of January 15.
  • Secure locations for the two rehearsals mentioned above.
  • Create some program/handout material for both upcoming concerts.
  • Keep working on my part for Autogenous Mining, see “drilled fingers,” above.
  • Remember to shut down my adwords campaign after the concerts!

Weekly Update, 14 January 2012

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Our performance at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights is tomorrow, so I am not making a long or large update today.

What do I have to do today?

  • Remind all the players about what to wear, when we’re meeting, that kind of stuff
  • Perhaps, send a note to the mailing list–for instance, only to those folks who have set “Illinois” as their location. But maybe not; I don’t want to wear out my readers, and I’ve already sent a number of messages this year.
  • Practice! A slow once-through of all the pieces, at least once today, perhaps twice.
  • And take a nap to allow neural synapses to connect that slow practicing in my brain.

And what do I have to do soon?

  • Work on setting up two rehearsals (minimum) for Autogenous Mining, which we’ll play on February 3 (not that far away!)
  • Hammer out details of our needs for performance February 5 at the Chicago Bass Festival
I hope that both of you, dear readers, will be able to attend one or more of our upcoming performances!

Update for the first week of 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Things that got done:

  • Got the handout printed
  • Some good slow practicing (half tempo) this week
  • finalized the program order for January 15
  • finalized the program order for February 3
Some that still need to get done:
  • Will we be able to get a photo?
  • write up a description for ESS to send ’round, with bios and such
  • schedule our rehearsals for Autogenous Mining
  • write notes for my introductions to the pieces at First Presbyterian
We had our last rehearsal Monday morning.

Handout created by Anthony Ponchelle

Update for the last week of 2011

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Well, we are coming down to the wire now: as I write this, there are just two short weeks–and not very many rehearsals–until our performance at First Presbyterian Church in Arlington Heights. Our program is now final, although I’m going to allow myself a day or two to make final tweaks to the order. Here it is, just at the moment:

  • de Victoria (Cameron) Three Spanish Motets
    • O quam gloriosum est est regnum
    • O magnum mysterium
  • Jan Alm Quartet #1
  • Hadyn (Hatwich) Adagio
  • Purcell (Stoll) Air and Dance


  • de Victoria (Cameron) O vos omnes
  • Russell Ultra-Rondo [U.S. Premiere]
  • Simón García A Night in Compostela [U.S. Premiere]
Other stuff I got done since my last update:
  • Exchanged some e-mails with the organizers of the Chicago Bass Festival, getting some details worked out.
  • Got my designer to create a printed piece I can hand out
  • (spent some of the holiday season with family in California)
In the coming week, in addition to just practicing as much as I can, I will:
  • Get the print piece printed
  • Get a photo taken…something! that I can use for the ESS announcement
  • Finalize the program order and get it to Ken at First Presbyterian
  • Schedule rehearsals for Autogenous Mining
  • attempt to write some program notes?!
  • start to work on organizing a music reading session in March or April
I hope to see you on the 15th!

Weekly Update — for 17 December 2011

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Let’s just admit that holiday-related events conspired to keep me from writing in a timely fashion this week.

Upcoming: rehearsals on Thursday and Friday mornings. Can’t wait!

Weekly Update — 13 December 2011

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

A few good things done this week … a few left undone.


  • Sent a reminder to the mailing list. Respecting my subscribers desire for lightweight inboxes, I’ll only have one more opportunity to send to the list before our January 15 performance.
  • Set up a Google AdWords account and campaign. Have you ever done this? Advice? It’s pretty fun to imagine that my ad is appearing on Google SERPs. Hey, if you see it, don’t click! It’ll cost me money and you already know about us.
  • Got our rehearsal schedule firmed up, and arranged my holiday travel around it. It worked out *phew*.
  • Had a good exchange of ideas with bassist and music thinker Steve Lawson on a subject similar to my “Opening the Kimono” post. Didn’t go far enough, and I hope it wasn’t because I was being pushy, but I got a lot from Steve’s response to my initial question.

Yet to do:

  • Work out details (schedule and amplification) with the organizers of the Chicago Bass Festival.
  • Work out further rehearsal time for Autogenous Mining, some time in January.
  • Create a printed piece to hand out (I can do this now that the Experimental Sound Studio performance is confirmed).
  • Follow up with the marketing guy at ESS.

And more than anything else right now, I need to practice, practice, practice! The notes are largely there now, but playing everything consistently and expressively comes only with a lot of repetition so that it’s all fluid.

Weekly Update — 4 December 2011

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

A good week of progress on our performances, mostly by adding a performance!


  • solidified details for a February 3 set at Experimental Sound Studio
  • gathered detailed schedule information from Dan, Anton and Julian, hoping to find common time(s) for additional rehearsal
  • started an adwords campaign! Got a free $100 credit as a teaser, so I thought what the heck, I’ve got several things to promote now. The campaign has received one click!! (Which cost me $0.66)
  • talked with the mar/com director at my daughter’s school about publishing a piece in the school’s public announcements (I know it sounds small-potatoes-like, but personal communities are the best places to connect, and this is a good community)

Still got-to-do:

  • printed piece to hand out
  • e-mail to list
  • contact organizers of the bass festival to work out details there
  • schedule January rehearsal with composer of Autogenous Mining here in Chicago


Weekly Update — 27 November 2011

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

This week has of course been interrupted by the Thanksgiving holiday. This has a mixed effect on my ability to prepare for Chicago Bass Ensemble activities. There’s more time that I can dedicate to CBE by virtue of two days of holiday from But there is added distraction: family visiting, lots of cooking and eating (thankfully, I managed to rein in my inner glutton and did NOT overdo at the Thanksgiving meal) and just the general feeling of exhaling and taking it easy for a bit.

So, I did NOT

  • get much done in the way of organizing any supplemental rehearsals
  • do anything more than have a five-minute conversation with my designer about printed handouts.


  • receive the latest score from Mike Wittgraf for the piece we’ll be premiering in February
  • get close to solid commitments for a February 3 performance at Experimental Sound Studio
  • begin a rough 4-track cut of Autogenous Mining to use as a rehearsal aid
  • spend some time listening to rehearsal recordings
  • draft an outline of a series of podcasts on the subject, loosely, of “starting a band” with my friend Wilson Hogan (hahaha, he totally needs to update his Google profile!).

And this week I will:

  • Solidify the February 3 performance, by talking with Adam at ESS and also inviting Doug Johnson to join us
  • continue to work on some supplemental rehearsals
  • get farther along on printing up handouts
  • send out an e-mail to my mailing list (the goal here is to be regular for a while, to build up some top-of-mind attention)
  • continue to reach into my network of places to promote this, specifically the parents at my daughter’s school, who tend to be pretty appreciative of this kind of thing.

Finally, I’m about to write and publish some thoughts on the subject of publicly displaying the raw and partial recording of Autogenous Mining. I hope you’ll read and comment!


Weekly Update — 21 November 2011

Monday, November 21st, 2011

It was a busy weekend between family starting to arrive for the holiday and my wife’s concerts. One of the last things on the list was writing a blog post. But among the first on the list was to get some practice time in. Along with that (yay!) here are some of the things I did accomplish during the week:

  • edited together scraps of our rehearsal on the thirteenth, so we get some sense of how things are sounding
  • began looking into how best to use Google adwords
  • exchanged e-mails with Mike Wittgraf, composer of “Autogeneous Mining,” discussing some questions about the notes and such
  • continued to track down people’s schedules to arrange a February 3 performance.

There will be plenty of distraction this week, but I’m going to:

  • arrange some additional “less than all of us” rehearsal time (there’s work to do! and not enough times when all four of us are available!)
  • work on a podcast about this experience with my friend Wilson Hogan
  • get planning on a printed announcement that I can hand out to strangers on the el.

I did hear from one of the bassists on the “Bass Playing Professionals” LinkedIn group who has expressed interest in being part of “the hive.” That’s a good thing! Even if it starts small I think it’s a great idea.

I look forward to your comments!

Weekly Update–13 November 2011

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Here’s a very quick recap of what’s gotten done this week:

  • Following my own advice and that of Jonathan Fields, I have reached out to the LinkedIn group “Bass Playing Professionals” to invite its members to be part of my creative hive.
  • I have the texts for the de Victoria motets that we’re working on.
  • I’ve sent everyone the score for Mike Wittgraf’s piece (for the February 5 concert). We’ll look it over tomorrow morning in our rehearsal.
  • I’ve started researching how to use Google AdWords.
Next steps:
  • Get a good rehearsal under our belts tomorrow, November 13.
  • Talk to my friend and colleague Bonnie Gibbons about using AdWords.
  • Confirm whether or not we’ll be able to premiere “Autogeneous Mining” on February 3 at Experimental Sound Studio.
That’s all for now . . . a busy weekend here!