August 6, 1999-Finally broke through last night after an intense struggle starting on the fourth to come up with an opening motif and then exposition. The environment in which I find myself is just short of insanity. If it's not my son playing his videos, it's my father-in-law, who is hard of hearing, watching television at deafening volume, or my wife's nephew playing heavy metal tapes at chromosome-damaging levels. My focus is beyond lethal. I assume if I made eye contact while deep in the midst of composing, I'd burn a hole in them.
August 7, 1999-Amongst the chaos, the first movement of #5 is finished. My God, my God, oh my God! The computer has lost the file. Four days of work gone. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. A computer glitch while I was trying to do a backup...complete trauma and nearly in tears. My God. my God, I work so hard for you...please no, please no...no.
After an eternity of a half-hour trying to retrieve the file, the realization slowly slips in--it's done--it's gone. I'm devastated! In a last-ditch effort I do another file search. First the one file appears--the corrupted one. Then while despondently staring at the screeen in complete psychological ruin for an interminable minute, an identical icon appears. How can there be two identical icons? Could it be hiding in another file?
The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, the Lord giveth back again. Thank God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!
August 10, 1999-Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles. After receiving the Grammy Awards voting registration four days after the due date and having to wait two more days to get to an open DHL office in Prague and a pleading phone call to California and at that only reaching an answering machine...today the Grammys called me to say that under the circumstances they would bend the rules and allow Yitka [Hayden's wife] and my submission. And now there is the biggest, most magnificent complete rainbow outside. My God, life is full of such glorious surprises. From the depths of despair--paradise!
August 16, 1999-At the speed of music, I journeyed through sixty-five days in seventy minutes and feel, in retrospect, as if were ony the blink of an eye. The two thousand measures that comprise String Quartets #3, 4 & 5 feel as if one journey and should be played as such, a triptych, if you will.