Tag Archives: music commentary

Visions Of Sleep



Episode # 65 Visions Of Sleep  (Song starts at 5.48)

Hi and welcome to another episode of fun, exploration and …intrigue. Where did this song (song # 406) come from? 

It came from a dream. There you go. It was early (ish) in the morning, after all, I’m a musician. It would’ve been sometime before 11am. Probably. Anyhow, I woke from this dream as if someone lightly shook me. So I wrote those words in my diary and then they became lyrics. The rest of the lyrics came from my casting my mind back into a dream like state, sifting for feelings and trying to recall as much as I could. 

A figure, away in the distance, slowly came into view, he came closer and closer and…..

This demo of the song was actually the first time it was ever played. Actually, on the day, three of us recorded 14 songs (first take), and this became an album of which I released 100 CDs. I’ve since recorded the vocals, added some strings and I think I’ll re-release it on bandcamp later this year. 

This is very much ‘information’ outlining the process. But an episode of Song and A Chat is more than that….

So how does an episode roll? What’s the format? Well, I start out with some sort of ‘off the cuff’ sort of opening gambit about what’s  been happening – in fact , whatever pops into my mind. So it’s a relaxed chat.

Eventually, I bring the conversation around to the song. I muse and chat, quite often I come up with something unexpected that ends up being related to the song. The apparently initially unrelated subject material quite often seems to shine a light on some aspect of the week’s song in a way that might never have happened had I not just chatted and had some fun.

I play the demo, then I read the lyrics, analysing them in an relaxed manner. I don’t take myself overly seriously – when it comes down to it, art and music has to be fun ( yes, there’s a recurring theme here). I do enjoy looking at the words.

Then I look at the music and demonstrate bits and pieces on my piano as I speak. 

I hope you enjoy the song – and the chat. Sit back and enjoy having a listen.

By the way, while there’s lots of songwriting tips here, they are delivered in terms that the layman can understand. It all inclusive, as if I’m addressing an intimate crowd at a ‘songwriter speaks’ sort of gig –  no prior music theory knowledge is required.  

Join me in the dreamy realm of the state I get into, as a songwriter, like this : 

“Hi there! Welcome to another episode of Song and Chat ! – with your host, Pete Pascoe – that would be me. Man, the howling winds really blew last night here in Melbourne …..”  and on we go. The howling winds brought to mind an old episode of the TV show ‘The Young Ones’ , so I talk about that for a while…etc.

You can check out the lyrics of the featured song ( and some art and more music ) on my blog each week: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com .

Maybe Visions Of Sleep might work with my current band, Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum.     Hmm…I’ll put it to the guys. Maybe one day we’ll release a new version and you’ll be able to say “I heard the demo – and got the back story ” here. 

By the way, you’ll hear about my little dog that I used to have and what happened when my brother and I let the budgie out for a fly around the kitchen one day….. How’s that for unexpected. That’s just what you can expect. C’mon &  join me now as I get right inside the one of my real passions in life . Songwriting. ….


Memory Of The Day



Episode #64: Memory Of The Day   (Song starts at 7:28)

This episode’s song was fully inspired by some words that came to me out of thin air. Actually, it was like it was whispered to me somehow…in my mind.

That’s quite an admission to make publicly, but, as a creative, these things seem to happen. Maybe it comes through your DNA, something from your past or ancestors….or maybe there’s more.

I think there’s more to it – and as a matter of fact I’m pretty comfortable with that. I’m open to possibilities.

Anyway, The line that ‘came through’ was: ‘Imagine ears and eyes of ages drifting down through time’.

So that’s all it takes to make a start. It sort of asks some questions …and away you go. 

I released this song on an album (just a small run of home burned CDs) and I published a small book of the lyrics presented as poetry + some paintings, back when I had my first exhibition some years ago. 

I intend to re-record and re-release this album with an ebook of the poetry and the paintings that accompanied each song. There is also a small watercolour/pen working painting for each song too. It’ll be fun to bring all together. You can check out my blog – see this week’s post to see some of the art from that time. 

Anyway, back to those couple of sentences, they were just words until I came up with a piano riff early on in the songwriting process. You can hear that riff as I talk and play my piano again this week.

Want to get behind the scenes, see where a song comes from, find out more about the process? Come on and  join me for a relaxed chat – with humour and observations + some piano. 

www.petepascoe.wordpress.com lyrics + art here.

Enjoy 

Pete 


A Tincture of Time



Episode #63:  A Tincture of Time   (Song at 26.58)

(Song plays at 26.58 – you can scroll easily. Each episode is approx 30mins long).

Hi there and welcome! This episode, we have a have a different sort of a format: I’m looking closely at how this song came together, rather than what inspired it. On that note I can you tell exactly what inspired this song…

I’ve been receiving some very nice, ongoing, positive feedback regarding my Song and a Chat podcast, courtesy of Roger from Adelaide, Australia.

In an email, Roger used the phrase ‘A tincture of time’. I said that I thought it was a great line…and that I thought perhaps Roger might be a poet.

This week Roger sent me the sheet of lyrics based on this key phrase (thanks, Roger!)

So I thought: well Roger’s been great, reaching out and giving me this feedback, so I’m going to leap straight in and put some music to this (he’d asked me if perhaps I’d be interested in doing this), which I did. 

The demo of the song is presented in this week’s podcast. 

I also videoed myself during the entire song writing session – in between teaching piano students at a Primary school, where I teach as a contractor. So I have included some of the audio from that day and interspersed it with my usual commentary and observations.

Today’s song is about the idea of getting out into nature and letting a bit a of fresh air and a bit of time take care of all your worries….and how it all seems to work out…

Ok. Fancy a tincture of time, and hearing how the writing of this song unfolded? 

Here we go…

Read both Roger’s original lyrics and my amended lyrics on my blog post ‘Why Theory?’ (June 2021) @ www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

Contact info@petepascoe.com.


Close To Me



Episode #62: Close To Me    (Song at 4.43)

It was a bit chilly in the studio tonight.. Winter seems to have arrived. Don’t you love the change in seasons? I took a walk today down the road. Where I live, I’m close to nature and for that, I’m very thankful. It’s great to get out and get a breath of fresh air.
Today’s song, Close To Me, talks about the beginning of a relationship. Then it talks about how naturally the two peoples lives combine like the currents of a river – and the currents (and the relationship) continue to grow….and then onto the statement that it feels like ‘this love will stay close to me’. I posted a video of me singing this song last week, on YouTube. This episode’s song is the audio from that video.  Pete Pascoe Art and Music is my YouTube channel with lots of songs on there now. And art…
This song, like most of my songs started with a feeling. Letting my hands fall on the keys and form chords is very much like how it feels to put some paint on a canvas and just play. It fascinates me how such a complicated process can happen so naturally and quickly. …that’s how I work. Then I perform the songs and edit them from time to time.
I suppose it takes faith to compose instinctively, like this. You need faith in your theory, your assuredness on the keys, and once you’ve got all that together, you’ve got to be pretty much free: Free in your thoughts, free to feel ok about making mistakes and then maybe coming up with nothing of note.
A certain sort of confidence, I guess you could call it professionalism – slowly starts to develop, over time – much like when you’re a gigging musician, you know you’re going to ( hopefully) reach a certain standard with what you’re presenting. So as a songwriter, I don’t expect a song of note to take form, it’s more you anticipate the magic to be there…because you’re feeling in the mood.
Yep, it’s a mood thing. Ahh the life of the fickle artist… The ups and the downs of the path….it is blog where you can read the lyrics each week – and look at some art…
Ok, got time for a chat? Grab a cuppa, and sit back  or perhaps turn on the ignition and start driving.
Here’s how this song came together…..


With The Flow



Episdoe #61: With the Flow     (Song at 5.22)

Welcome along to another episode. This week we are looking at a song I wrote back in 2016. The day I wrote this one, I was teaching piano. In fact, I was teaching 17 students on a Monday – followed by another 15 on Tuesday! I’ve ‘reeled it in a bit’ now to 26 students. Either way, that’s a lot of private lessons in one day. 

As I teach these lessons, I aim to entertain the students & make it as much as fun as I can – yes, I’m in a creative state. As I walk around the school to collect the next student, often I whistle, just to sort of switch off and relax. Snippets of melody come out of thin air as I just relax and play as I whistle. 

The opening notes of ‘With The Flow’ came whistling from my lips. So I headed back to the Piano room and wrote those notes down.

‘With The Flow’ is Song number 643. That seems pretty bizarre to me. There was never a time when I sat down and said to myself … now I’m going to write 800 songs. They just came – because I made a start and I committed to carrying on…

…and carry on have – learning each time, going with little mistakes, being free, tuning into something – it’s like being a secretary: playing a few notes writing them down, then rewinding the song a little in my head, then starting off again and see what comes out next. 

The title song of the song says it all. With the flow …it’s like swimming with the current of the river – or nature in general.

How does it feel? It doesn’t feel like hard work. Perhaps it should sometimes… in truth, I have worked and I continue to work extremely hard at this. The thing is, because I enjoy the process so much, it really doesn’t feel like work. I’m playing with the a purpose and I’m in the flow. 

These are the things I talk about on these episodes – plus life observations, anecdotes, etc.

I really enjoy exploring, going back in my memory remembering things that were happening at the time I write these songs.

Taking a moment to get in the flow and just go with it. That kind of sums songwriting – or any art for that matter.  Perhaps the art of being human. 

I mention that I went to the beach to paint, again, this week. You can see today’s painting and read the lyrics on my blog post this week. Www.petepascoe.wordpress.com 

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. It’s all off the cuff, I don’t have any notes. As long as I just start, everything comes together. It’s all a work in progress – and it’s fun along the way. 

Here we go…with the flow. Enjoy.


I’d Do It Again



Episode #60: I’d Do It Again   (Song at 6.44sec)

As usual, this week I examine a song I’ve written, I endeavour to put you in the shoes of a songwriter. I’m looking to entertain and inform on this podcast (6.44 is the time where the songs kicks in).

I can’t believe I’m up to episode number 60. 

Here’s a shout out to Brent Vaarstra  https://www.brentvaartstra.com/passive-income-musician  for his podcast that got me cracking on my path of sharing all of this online content on a weekly basis…he shares the how to and the why you’d do it.. I really recommend tuning into what Brent has to say if you feel like you’d like to let people know what you’re up to…and perhaps you’ve got something people might like to invest in…(in the future I’ll have ebooks and video courses on song composition available on my website).

Anyhow, Wow 60 episodes…..that’s 60 songs to have a listen to, 30 hours of me talking about songwriting, the experiences I’ve had, the things that have lead me to be being a songwriter, the sort of life events that have inspired songs. 

And that’s the only time I’ll write a song – when I’m inspired. If I get the feeling something is ‘coming through’, I drop everything and embrace the moment. It’s a total joy. It’s something I’m extremely thankful for, for a number I reasons, which I talk about on this episode…

Today I talk about how I sang in a choral group in Wyoming. I was reminded of this while sitting on a seat overlooking the ocean today. I had some great conversations with passers by. One conversation has lead to me saying I’ll rock up to audition for a choir next week! Why not? – who knows where it might lead. 

It seems to fit right in with my philosophy that the universe throws up opportunities all the time for us to learn and and have experiences that have the effect of pushing on and give us a deeper understanding of our lives. 

Today’s song, ‘I’d Do It Again’ (song #581), looks back at a creative life lived so far, the ups and the downs….and was it worth it? All those trials of being a songwriter all these years..and the statement in the title says it all: I’d do it again..

So join me join me again for a chat and some piano and a song. I’ll take you on a NZ trout stream too..

It’s a very much a pleasure to be recording these episodes. I hope you enjoy it. 

My blog which I mention in this episode is www.petepascoe.wordpress.com. You can find the lyrics of the song featured on this podcast each week on my blog. I used to love reading the lyrics of the record sleeve as I listened to a new album. I think it helps you ‘ get’ a song quicker…  plus you can see the painting of the seat overlooking the bay that I painted today.

The book I’m reading is Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This – Dave Stewart’s memoirs. Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics fame. It’s a hilarious read. His story really resonated with me. The creative path. It’s a blast and songwriting is a fine art to be involved in. 

Curious ? Join me now…. Lots of songwriting tips here too.


Ghosts and Lamp Posts



Episode #59: Ghosts and Lamp Posts    (Song at 5.45)

Welcome to another episode packed with information, humour and mystery! 

I actually said something like that as I introduced this week’s podcast episode and as I said those words, the lamp I picked up from the side of the road ( someone was throwing it out) recently went out. It’s one of those ones you tap 3 times to get different levels of light. Anyhow, given the subject matter of ghosts, that was quite a moment, here in the middle of the night in Melbourne in my studio all by myself. Not spooked at all! I tapped it and away it went again. It’s never happened before…

Here I am, talking all around the subject, this week’s song. Sometimes by doing that you come up with a more ‘real’, fuller picture with depth. More of the story. 

That’s the way I roll: I see art as life and life as art. A painting I did today (of Olivers Hill in Melbourne), sitting beside the water, caught my eye as I recorded this episode. Painting outside sets my mind free. 

And that is a necessary part of the equation when it comes to songwriting.

Today’s song, song # 312, Ghosts and Lamp Posts, was written on the 3 /12 in 1991

The moment that inspired this song is etched in my memory. I was driving home from a gig at a resort in the middle of a rainy night when a large milk truck ( and trailer ) came around the corner, just on the wrong side of the road. It was one of those moments. He corrected his course. I veered to the left, just hanging on the road and in an instant the moment was gone & I carried on home.

It was an inspired patch for me in my twenties. Nearly everything inspired me. I was writing about 5 or 6 songs a week. My diary entries each night always finished with a lyric writing effort – and I finished the lyric. It wasn’t just a line or two. I wrote the whole lyric quickly, there and then.

So what does it really take to be a songwriter? I would say it takes dedication. You’ve gotta stick with it. Just start writing. Write around the subject and if you’re not sure what the song’s about, sometimes that’s all the better.

Ghosts and Lamp Posts sure took me somewhere again as I listened midway through recording this podcast episode. It’s got ‘a feeling’ about it.

I hope it takes you somewhere and I hope you enjoy the chat about it – and around it. Plus there’s some intermittent piano playing as I talk. 

Thanks for dropping by.  Enjoy! 

Here’s the blog post I mention in todays episode ( you can read the lyrics to this song and view the painting I painted earlier today -a seascape. It’s a great creative life). www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

Pete 


These Bills



Episode #58: These Bills  (Song at 5.35)

This is the podcast where each week I’ll put you on the shoes of being a songwriter as I attempt to figure out where/ how a song came to be…so

Let’s find out what the inspiration for this week’s song These Bills (written in 1991) was…

It’s a great idea to study other songwriters. So, although I’d already written 190 songs, I decided to buy a Bob Dylan sheet music book and analyse and emulate his style for a song or two. Great move. You learn so much by analysing others works – especially those whom you admire. 

For the lyrical content, I always go with what is it in my life that I’m feeling right now….I was much younger then and when I received a phone message with the words young males often dread from the opposite sex: ” we need to talk” came through I thought: “Uh oh”. Alarm bells went off. I reflected on what’d happened to this point in the relationship – especially events of late – to try and get a handle on what was coming up. Then I looked around the room for a comforting distraction. Great. I saw pile of bills waiting to be paid. Something else ‘not fun’. But at least it served to be a distraction …..

The trick is, just writing your feelings down is therapy. A diary is a big help, personally – and for your keeping a free creative state of mind. It gets stuff off your shoulders and you can reflect on it, see things in a different light and you turn it into art (this is the essence of this week’s blog post, by the way. Plus I talk about a painting I did this week on this episode – you can see the painting and read the words to ‘These Bills’ on the blog post: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com). 

The more you do something, the more natural it becomes, right? So it is with song writing. Just write and write. Then go write some more. And record versions of what you’re up to, so you can step outside your work and clearly see/ hear what the listener will be receiving. It’s different to listening while you’re performing the song. 

Juggling so many different artistic endeavours, I do get a chance to reflect on work done. By nibbling away and coming back, I get to see things from another angle. So that’s one positive thing about being involved in a few different artistic areas. 

Probably my favourite thing to do is write songs – and make sure I really enjoy each moment of my life as much as possible. Easy words to write, but it’s something I think we need to keep reminding ourselves about. I do this, generally. I had a Fractured skull in my 20s. I got a second chance. That was when I decided to commit to the creative path I was already on – and to make sure I lived each day. Because each day lived since was (and still is) a bonus for me. 

So on this podcast each week, I’m really enjoying chatting about what I’ve been up to as an artist and musician & observations about life in general… It’s all put across in a laid back, natural flowing manner. 

By the way, this demo version ended up on the album Tasman Bridge. You can listen to it here: https://petepascoe.bandcamp.com/album/tasman-bridge

Entertainment and songwriting tips.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. 

Enjoy These Bills! 

Pete. 


Post The Picture



Episode #57: Post The Picture     (Song at 6.58)

Where does a song come from? It’s a bit like how long is a piece of string…
For me, my songwriting (and my painting) comes from a combination of what is happening in the moment around me – and within – and memories.
My lyrics lead me across time, like a time traveller. How does that feel? It makes me feel free – free to express whatever I’m feeling.
When you’re writing a song it doesn’t feel like you’re doing it alone. There some sort of cool cosmic agreement going on, a meeting of energies …that’s one way of trying to explain inspiration.
So you tune into something…it’s like theatre sports, or arranging songs with your band. You can’t block other people’s energies /input. The creative flow just stops. So you just ‘play’ with the ideas that flow.
When I wrote this song – song # 324 – I was well along my creative path. I was on the road a lot. I worked 3 nights a week at a resort as a piano man. Come Sunday afternoon, I was off in my van, free as the breeze.
And I had my ears open.
And my heart…
I could’ve played my cards a little more guardedly, looking back.
Yep, my heart was open at this point, as it was pretty much broken, but I was hopeful that a relationship that hadn’t even really been allowed to start might somehow come to light….
What I gained personally by putting myself out there – and vulnerable – was personal growth.
I think the true artists path and the path of work on the self is completely intertwined.
After all these years I still absolutely love just letting my hands play on the keys with a bit of feeling…. And like a trout nibbling at the end of a hopefully cast fishing line, there’s an answer – more often than not – and were in business.
That’s how it feels to be a songwriter.
This week I’ll take you from a winter’s evening in central New Zealand where the newspaper selling man’s call floated across the city square. I’ll we’ll go to a camping ground next to a stream, in the warm summer of the North.
I’ll explain how a feeling became a painting instead of a letter, which in turn became a song, then turned into another working painting and then became another finished painting (which will become part of a music video). You can view a painting on this weeks blog at www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

Entertainment and information – that’s what’s on offer here again this week.
I hope you enjoy the episode.
Don’t forget you can sign up to my email list at info@petepascoe.com …eventually I’ll have ebooks and video courses on how to write songs … In the meantime there’s a stack of music (13 albums) and art waiting for you online.
Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy the show.


A Little Light



Episode #56: A Little Light   (Song at 4.56)

Hi there, welcome to another episode packed with anecdotes, songwriting insights & humour. Even if you’re not overly into songwriting, you might enjoy this – the focus is on information and entertainment! So sit back and have a listen as I chat, touch briefly on concepts, before moving on to the next thought.

I record these episodes without any notes. As soon as I settle on the song and flick the mic on, all sorts of possibilities come into my mind..memories, and those invariably leads to some peoples faces, which brings up different emotions. I would say emotion is the big driver of song composition. 

This week’s song is about how there’s always ways to bring a little light into your life – no matter how dark it gets.

You can view me singing this episode’s song on my YouTube channel Pete Pascoe Music Art (lots of music videos here) It’s so nice to shut my eyes and have a sing (as I play the piano) through some songs from my songbooks. There’s often a series of pleasant surprises for me, as I recall old melodies & sections of songs I’d forgotten I’d composed. 

The songs are all written in my songbooks in a shorthand form – just enough to remind me of the crucial information. I’ve begun creating lead sheets and piano arrangements of all these songs – they’ll be up online before long.

It’s nice to bring these songs out into the light – shed a little light on how they came to be, what there about,,..

Right. I’ve been out fishing: yesterday until 11pm, then I was up at dawn this morning at 5.45am ….last night it was great to see the sunset, then the starlight. Then seeing dawn this morning..all these different times of day have a slightly different light.  I talk about these scenes, the things I saw when I was fishing on the rocks and at the beach.

And I think I’m going to head out tonight… yep, I’m a bit keen on fishing – it’s my ‘time out’.

I hope you enjoy this episode. I feel inspired each time I start talking about the music. I enjoy adding some piano here and there, as I speak, too. 

Do look up my blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com . You can read the lyrics of each episode’s song, see a painting & some cartoons (& this week, you can have read about how I feel about what’s on TV and commercial radio these days – not my personal cup of tea….). 

Thanks so much for dropping by. If you know of someone whom you think might enjoy this podcast, please feel free to share it far and wide. Thank you in advance. 

Eventually I’m going to be producing video courses and ebooks on songwriting. I’m really looking forward to that. If that sounds like you, please do sign up to my email list. info@petepascoe.com (you’ll get a free album of music and a weekly email so you won’t miss a thing).

I have 13 albums @ www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com  and about 6 of those albums are streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.

I produce music in different genres…. 4 piano solo albums that play for an hour,more, piano vocal albums, rock band music & folk rock.. I love it all. 

Ok. I hope you enjoy ‘A Little Light’

Pete.