2005 January at John Mackey's Blog



Read about the camera


  • How I Spent My Teen Years
  • New stuff for Fall 2014!
  • UTWE Tour : Shenzhen
  • Wine-Dark Sea – the video
  • Wine-Dark Sea – recording and score
  • “Wine-Dark Sea” – the program note
  • We’re buying a house!
  • Symphony for Band – an update, with audio
  • Xerxes — for metal rock band
  • (Redacted)
  • Favorites

  • Cats: LA Cat Show
  • Design: Cambridge Studio
  • Design: Dining Room
  • Design: Family Room
  • Design: Front Door
  • Design: Kitchen, pt.1
  • Design: Kitchen, pt.2
  • Design: Kitchen, pt.3
  • Design: Kitchen, pt.4
  • Design: Kitchen, pt.5
  • Design: Living Room
  • Design: The Austin House, part 1
  • Design: The Austin House, pro shots
  • Food: Alinea
  • Food: Babbo
  • Food: Eleven Madison Park
  • Food: Jean-Georges
  • Food: Joel Robuchon
  • Food: Next: Childhood
  • Food: Samar
  • Food: Scarpetta
  • Food: WD-50
  • FSU Football
  • Japan, part 1:Tokyo
  • Japan, part 2: Sushi
  • Japan, part 3: Kyoto
  • Japan, part 4: Kobe beef
  • Japan, part 5: Tawaraya
  • Loki's First Birthday
  • Music: In Defense of Marching Band
  • Music: My Process
  • Music: Picking a School
  • Music: Pulitzer Tub
  • Music: Self-Publishing
  • Music: Self-Publishing part 2: audio
  • The Austin Rodeo Sucks
  • Archives

  • February 2015
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • August 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006
  • June 2006
  • May 2006
  • April 2006
  • March 2006
  • February 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005
  • December 2004
  • November 2004
  • October 2004
  • September 2004

  • January 31, 2005

    Monday: Administrative day

    I did a fair amount of orchestrating this morning. At least it seemed like a fair amount, based on how long it took, but when I just figured out what I’d actually done, it was only about 10 measures. It’s dense and kind of complicated — it’s where the polka finally overtakes the calypso (don’t ask) — so there’s a lot going on, but it doesn’t take much musical time. By the time I was finished, it was lunch time.

    Now that I’m a “full-time” composer, I’m trying to figure out my best work schedule. The way it’s turning out, Mondays are my “administrative day.” I did some orchestrating this morning because I wanted to get through that tricky bit, but in general, I spend most of Monday answering music-related e-mails that have built up over the weekend (it’s not like there are loads of them) and sending out CDs and scores to people who have requested them. Today I sent a score to the father of a baritone sax player in Mesa, Arizona. The high school band there — at Dobson High School — is working on Redline Tango, and this parent thought it was important for his son to be able to study the full score. Pretty amazing.

    After swinging by the post office, I sent out an e-mail about my trip next week, trying to figure out my full itinerary for my trip to Grapevine High School in Texas. I’m flying there on Sunday to work with the band, and they’re playing Redline Tango on Monday night. On Wednesday of next week, I fly from Dallas to San Antonio for the Texas Music Educators Association conference, where one of the Texas All-State Bands will perform Redline Tango on Saturday, February 12. That means I need to make a bunch of copies of the Redline Tango study score and burn a stack of CDs to bring along. I’ll probably make those copies tonight, and try to burn a few CDs as well.

    Before I do that, though, I’m heading to Central Park for a run. I had a little health scare last week, and my doctor told me that I’m stressed. Running seems to make me feel a lot better, and it’s fun to get out there and listen to the new Shuffle.

    If I can get enough work done over the next few hours, AEJ and I will try to fit in a few more episodes of season 2 of “24.” We watched the first 4 episodes of season 2 last night, and so far, season 2 may be even better than season 1…

    Apparently, “administrative day” also consists of writing completely inane blog entries.

    1 Comment

    January 28, 2005


    AEJ and I started watching Season 1 of the TV show “24” last Saturday. (That was the big blizzard day here in NY. Gotta love a Snow Day!) It took us a little under a week to finish watching the complete first season on DVD.

    What an awesome show. Fortunately, we have all three seasons on DVD — AEJ got us the box set — so we can continue following Jack Bauer in season 2, maybe tomorrow night. I’m awfully tempted to start watching now, though. This show is totally addictive. And DVD is the way to watch it, because you can watch several episodes in a row. And believe me; once you start watching “24,” it’s hard to turn it off.

    Shoot. I just remembered that we have tickets to see the Steve Reich Ensemble tomorrow night. Sure to be a great concert — don’t get me wrong — but this “24” show… Wow…

    1 Comment

    January 27, 2005


    My new iPod shuffle arrived this afternoon. Seems like a great little device. I just loaded it with one of my playlists and tried it out for a minute, and it gave me a little deja vu. It totally took me back to the first time I used my first generation iPod several years ago, and I thought, wow — how does something this tiny do something so cool? I’d love to take it out for a run in the park, but it’s 15 degrees

    The orchestration is underway on the new wind piece. It’s going pretty slowly, but it’ll get there. I need to write more wind music, just to learn how to do it. I find myself constantly flipping to different pages in my orchestration book to make sure that I’m not doing something silly like writing a trombone gliss that doesn’t work. Also, I read that baritone saxes sometimes have low A’s on them, so I e-mailed the bari sax player at Lamar University to make sure that I could get away with writing said A’s. (He said that at the very least, his sax has a low A — so I’m going to risk it.)

    It’s questions like that — and getting new toys in the mail like the shuffle — that slow me down. Oh, and watching reruns of this.


    January 19, 2005

    Blue Devils: Astonishing link

    Well, it’s official. The Blue Devils announced their 2005 program today, and it does, in fact, include “Redline Tango.” As I requested, they linked to this site from their announcement page.

    Curious what that did to the traffic on this site?

    Well, according to The Counter, which only measures hits to my front page, this site had 13 hits on Saturday. Sunday, 16. Things pick up on weekdays usually, and I had a closer-to-the-norm visit count of 36 people on Monday.

    Today, since the announcement went up, my website has had 307 hits. From different people.

    I’m terrified to see what happens to my bandwidth, as I’m pretty sure that all of these people are downloading at least part of “Redline Tango.” Uh oh.

    If you’re here because you followed that Blue Devils link, welcome! I hope you’ll stick around, and I encourage you to check out some of the pieces besides Redline Tango!

    In other news, today was my last day at the Day Job. I packed my things, cleaned my desk, and said goodbye to my boss.

    I think I need a celebratory drink!


    January 15, 2005

    Double Bar

    I finished the short score of Lone Star Polka this morning. I hope it’s not too long. It now clocks in around 9 minutes, 30 seconds.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the title. AEJ thinks the piece tells the story of an old west saloon, and I think she’s right. “Lone Star Saloon Polka” doesn’t really roll off the tongue, and I don’t know if anybody wants to play a piece called “Lone Star Saloon” or even “The Saloon Polka.” “The Brothel Polka” is pretty good, but I don’t know if any educational institutions would touch it.

    Any suggestions?

    To celebrate, I’m going out for brunch.