Monthly Archives: January 2021

Girl Called Insomnia



Episode #45: Girl Called Insomnia   (Song at 7.45)

Hi there and welcome to another episode. This week I’ve done something different: I’ve found an episode I recorded quite early on in proceedings, which I forgot about.

It was fascinating for me to listen back to an ‘old’ episode – there’s been much that I’ve changed, interns of presentation, energy, etc.

But the thing is, the idea, the premise of providing entertainment, song analysis and funny stories was there at the start – and those key elements are still the focus as we are up to the mid 40 episodes published now.

It would’ve been a shame had I not published this episode. There’s a lot of information here…

When songwriting being determined is so important. Sticking with it, learning as you go along, asking questions to find your path. There’ll be false starts…

I think you can apply this to pretty much anything in life. On this episode I talk about brief jobs I had (in a pet shop & a piano shop). I can certainly apply this concept to my ‘evolution’ as I’ve gone along, recording these episodes.

I also talk about arranging a song, multi tracking, making intuitive decisions as questions come up. The main thing is: is it good for the song? If so, it’s in. If not, it’s ‘outta there’!

The important thing is songwriting is a mysterious process. I won’t tell you how to write a song – but I’ll tell you how I write a song.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode as much as I did, listening back today. It features song #17, from 1987!

By the way, I relate the time I auditioned for my 2nd (ever) piano man gig with Funeral For A Friend some years ago. Here I am on this video, playing it all these years down the track..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WXhcZa2tgs

Thanks for tuning in. Catch you next week.

 


The View



Episode #44: The View   (Song at 9:42sec)

This week’s song ‘The View’, is song #428 from my songbooks.  It’s one of 16 songs which were recorded in an afternoon. You would have to call them demos, but I called it an album and released 100 CDs once upon a time. Doing this episode now will push me on to re-releasing these songs on bandcamp as an ‘archive’ release. 

I’ve had a brief holiday but now I’m back and I’m juggling a fair bit. I’m Back into Gigging, painting a seascape, drawing a cartoon, making videos, writing – plus lots more. Yep, I’m busy. So I have to consciously put a hat on for each task. in this case: my songwriting hat… I compose a piece of piano music as I’m recording this episode. That was unexpected!

Each week I’m surprised as to what comes up as I chat. Songwriting’s a big subject & while it means an awful lot to me, my delivery on this podcast is laidback. I take the art of composing very seriously, but I’ve got my feet on the ground. I’m having some fun here each week.

I’m having fun sharing some ideas. I keep it entertaining, informative…you get the idea. It’s like you’re in an intimate audience, I’m the singer songwriter at the piano, sharing with you where the song came from, what it’s about. 

Why am I doing this? I think it’s a good thing to pass things on once you’ve learned them. I like trying to make a positive difference to someone’s day. If that’s you, and you’ve found you’ve enjoyed this episode, please do leave a positive rating, a kind review – thank you in advance. Also, perhaps If you’d like to subscribe – that way you won’t miss an episode! 

Where I’m heading with this podcast is very fluid… this may be ‘it’ – or I may distill this series into a more compact form and present a songwriting series of videos or ebooks or… We’ll see. 

For now, I’m loving putting each show together. I hope you enjoy hearing about where the lyrics came from, how the music came together ….it’s all so fascinating to me.

 


Explain The Night



Episode #43: Explain the Night   (Song at 4:40sec)

Welcome along to another episode… Mr Piano Man here. I’m sitting at the piano (well it’s hardly likely to be as sewing machine for a musical presentation) chatting as if to an intimate audience.

This week we’re looking at a song called Explain The Night. I tell you exactly what inspired this song, I take you through the process, where the words come from, etc. I look at: each sentence, how it flowed on to the next; how the music came to be; how the choice of chords, accompaniments unfolded & how that compliments the words, the melody.
This aurally so complicated, it would be easy to fall into a monotone sort of bore of a teacher (ala the teacher from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when he’s struggling to get any response from his students,,” anyone? Anyone?” )…but I like to think my delivery is far from that.
In a laid back, inclusive and humorous manner, I’ll quickly lead you through the different concepts and there are constant complete departures from the subject, to break it up.
For example: completely spontaneously, I begin proceedings by talking on the topic of snorkelling. Have you ever been snorkelling? It’s another world under water. All the unknown and the fear is taken away by being able to see underwater with a face mask…
That’s precisely my intention in these episodes…if you’re a budding songwriter I endeavour to take away the Unknown, make things just a little clearer, taking way the fear factor, because if I can encourage just one more person to write a song (or if you’re not a songwriter – interested listener – if I can help you to appreciate listening to (new) music then my job is done….

But what I won’t – and can’t – do is take away the mystery. I can’t Explain The Night, but I will explain some bits and pieces along the way as I ask the question.
Bob the musketeer makes a random sudden appearance in the ‘audience’ this week – now there’s another surprise ( the ‘audience’ pops into my mind, from time to time, as I imagine myself addressing a group of people from a stage). Doing this helps me get into performance/entertainer mode for ‘winging’ and recording each episode. Sure this character is a weird ‘thing’, but it was funny – and it helps to keep the channel open, I believe: humour defuses tension ( obviously), rejuvenates flagging energy levels… I view this character as just another example of my being helped to keep the creativity flowing.

Dive in with me now, I’ll hold your hand. Let me lead the way for an entertaining informative 30 minutes…
and if you enjoy today, there’s plenty more where this came from.,. 40 odd episodes await.
Please sign if up, follow me here and you won’t miss out on a single episode. Here we go….


Still The Same (Lucky Man)



Episode #42: Still the Same (Lucky Man)  (Song at 4:22sec)

Hi Folks, welcome to episode #42. The song kicks in at the 4mins-22seconds mark – but first…today I’ll take you down to a Summer Music Festival in Mornington (Vic, Australia). I was hired to perform on the street. The first song I played, I made up on the spot, especially for a dachshund who was sitting nearby….as you do.

Still The Same (Lucky Man) was written in late Dec, 2017 – a time of year when we often reflect on the things that were (during the year) and what might be  next year). 

I wrote this song for my wife. I talk about things like where the song came from: in the opening lyrics you go from ‘walking at sunset’ and the next line it’s a close up of the ‘light in her eye’. All you need is a start.

As a songwriter, you’re like a director, imagining a movie. When you’re in this creative state and its all unfolding naturally. It’s really like you’re being you’re own secretary, trying to keep up with the action, one line leads quickly to the next and then another entirely different (but still related) scene unfolds.

It’s an endlessly fascinating business analysing the process. I’m having fun as I play the piano here and there, to demonstrate what I’m talking about. 

..and there is plenty of fun along the way. This week I relate a yarn about me dressing up rather scarily at Halloween to drop one off my kids at some new friends of ours house.

This is a love song –  but it’s more of a reflective ‘mature’ type of song rather than ‘oh baby I love you’ type of ‘early days declaration of love’ type of song.

Often it’s only as a song unfolds that you find out truly what it’s about…and then when you have a dig, there’s often more layers.

So join in now, pull up chair and have a listen to a songwriter speaking –  and having fun. Enjoy!