Tag Archives: musician

At What Cost



Episode #84: At What Cost     (Song starts at 4:38)

Welcome. This week’s episode has very peaceful feeling about it. The 30 minutes or so just floated by for me, as I recorded it. 

I’m really enjoying myself as I talk, no notes, no pre-production. 

Tonight I just walked into my studio, thinking “What song shall I talk about..” And this one jumped out at me.

I let the song lead the way each week. I’ve found over the weeks that by having fun, ‘playing’, if you will, it leads my thoughts to some concepts that perhaps I never would have got to as I analyse the songwriting process. 

Even the word analysing seems too cold to use as a description of what I’m up to here. 

It’s 30 minutes of relaxed chat. I’m not trying to twist any arms. There’s no underlying persuasive subtext here. What you hear is what you get. 

I’m an honest, creative songwriter, writing songs for the love of it after all these years.

At What Cost (song #548, written in 2010), came through when I was just noodling on the piano. A nice peaceful little riff happened. The light goes on. The thoughts are focussed, the potential of the music is considered, a decision is made : the intention to carry it through to a finished song is made. 

With this song, I put myself somehow inside the mind of my friend as he was observing what was turning out to be the end of a major romantic relationship in his life. There’s a sense of recognising this during the course of the song, with another realisation of more at the end (I love my ‘punchlines’).

There’s definitely a commitment when you decide you are in the process of writing a song – and it seems like some sort of ‘agreement’ to work together with the creative muse happens. It’s not a ‘contract’, that’s too harsh, But it did feel this: from the word go, the first song, all those years ago…it felt like: “Yes, you will be helped to create this music – on the condition you do your best to share it and put it out in the world”. 

Since that day, many years ago, that’s what I’ve tried to do: keep writing, recording and sharing it. 

I hope you enjoy getting ‘inside a song’ & stepping into the shoes of a songwriter, again, this week – more than that, I hope you enjoy the sound of my voice as I speak, too – people have let me know they find me relaxing and entertaining to listen to. Great! 

I really like this recording, too. This is such good fun, please do join me now for half an hour of creative exploration (and if this is your first time here, welcome, again. There are 80-odd previous episodes to listen to…).

If you like the song, check out the album: The Man In Blue (streaming now).

Sign up to my email list: info@petepascoe.com – each week you’ll get the links and a bit of inside information about: A new painting, a blog post, a podcast episode and YouTube video.

Blog: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com 

YouTube: Pete Pascoe Art and Music

Website: www.petepascoe.com

Music on: www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com  and Streaming everywhere

Enjoy!


BP Diner



Episode #83: BP Diner    (Song starts at 8:38) 

On this episode I have Mr Paul Dredge (from New Zealand), along with me.

We wrote this song about (surprise) the BP Diner…it was a petrol and food place, which was opposite a resort I worked at with Paul Dredge. To get the full picture (and more stories), have a look at this blog post from a while back:  The Hazy Line /Wairakei Resort. https://thehazyline.wordpress.com/2020/12/22/the-wairakei-resort-gig/

One grey rainy morning we were sitting in the hotel room. It was the night after a gig. We decided to write a song, as it was too wet for golf. Paul started strumming and after a short while we came up with BP Diner together. 

This episode touches on the friendship I have with Paul. Having someone you can really trust is a great – and necessary –  thing, when it comes to co-writing songs.

It’s a subtle dance, nudging a feeling into an idea, as you start to give it form, not getting too far ahead, not getting bogged down as you go along. 

Paul and I didn’t. We were lost in the ‘now’. We really enjoyed bringing the song together that morning.

Join us at Wairakei Resort, as we reminisce on what was a pretty special time.

The recording on this podcast is from the album ‘Lost In Time’ (bandcamp link). It counts as demo, really, by today’s standards…it was one of 12 songs recorded and mixed in 2 days. One take for drums, piano and guitar. Then Over dubs ( one take) lead guitar & bass. Then one for vocals recorded at the same time. Great fun and I’m so pleased with the result.

I made a video which you can view on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZ6bLf2Vc0 ..It was one of my first efforts, actually. You can see some of the scenes we talk about on this episode. 

For now, sit back and enjoy a relaxed tale of how a song came together and gain some insights into this fascinating process.

You’ll also get to hear anecdotes & memories of the musical past of 2 songwriters.

Enjoy. 

‘Paul’s poetic ramblings’   https://paulspoeticramblings.wordpress.com/author/pfdredge/

Slippery Slope – Jazz album (Paul Dredge on Spotify)

‘BP Diner’ Lyrics on www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

Don’t Miss The Bus (piano/vocal album)    band camp link

www.petepascoe.com


Old Hat In The Sun / Life In One Day



Episode #82: Old Hat In The Sun / Life In One Day    (Songs start at 6:18 & 22:07)

Hi there. I’m writing these show notes immediately after recording this episode (which is what I normally do) … Although I also normally listen back through as the recording ‘bounces’, ready to be put online as a stereo file. 

This time, I’ve stopped the tape. Just wanting to really soak up this moment and try to tell you how I’m feeling. 

I’m feeling pretty good. Unexpectedly, I ended up writing a full song, in the moment (words and music) in this episode. 

The song Old Hat In The Sun was written by a younger me. At 21, the lyrics are about wanting to get it ‘all sorted out’, ( my life, the world ) by … oh, by the time I turned 22. Ha. I wrote this song in 1986, it’s song #6 in my songbook. 

Fast forward now to 2021 and I feel like over these last few years I’ve been letting go of some old dreams, redefining some new ones. Ahh, the voice of experience (and I’m sure if I’m around in my 90s and look back I’ll have a chuckle about me writing this, making plans, now)…

Anyhow, this letting go was the subject of this week’s blog post if you would like to check it out, the lyrics to this week’s song – and this brand new song are there: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

I’m as passionate about my music as I ever was. I hope to still be singing and playing my songs in my 80s. Why not. 

In this episode, as I say, I ended up writing a song as if I’ve travelled back in time, with a message for my younger self: something along the lines of: ‘slowing down a bit might not be a bad idea’

It’s been so busy again this week, creatively, maybe that’s something I still haven’t learned. 

I just feel so strongly that each day, each week, that I’m alive and breathing, I want to create good stuff. So while I’m on here earth, that’s what I’m doing. That’s what I’m up to here: fun, entertainment and information.

Ok, so it’s a ‘two for one’ deal this week. Also, join me in my primary school class. Then, at 17, in UCLA as an exchange student (Akio was the trumpeter from Japan, by the way) & then as a 21 year old thinking about ‘it all’ – including the old man with an old hat in the sun. 

Hope you enjoy this one episode much as I enjoyed recording it. 


Remote



Episode #81: Remote   (Song starts at 7:02)

I’ve changed things up a bit this week: here’s a lively, slightly edgy sort of a pop song from a while back. 

The word ‘remote’ is a bit of a pun in this song. There’s a line about me not having a remote to turn off the incoming creative inspirational visions that are pretty much constant for me. Best I can do is get out into remote nature, away from things made by humans. 

I did that by going fishing this week. I recount a misadventure I had with a beautiful gannet. He got a bit tied up with my fishing lure and I had to do a bit of a catch and release. Poor old bird (by the way, it seemed completely unharmed and immediately resumed his patrolling up and down the beach, looking for his dinner).

My hands were a bit pecked. Not too badly though, as I still manage to play the piano on this episode, demonstrating aspects of the song musically. 

It always amazes me, where the songs come from. In this case, back in 1998, I was lying in bed, thinking about buying a ticket to a Bob Dylan concert ticket. Good old Bob – even when I’m not listening to his music he inspires me. I’m a big, big fan. 

It was a fun song to dig up today. One of 14 songs which we (Paul Dredge, Earl Pollard and myself) recorded in an afternoon. In the recording studio, I love working quickly. I get inspired and it all a happens. I like to keep moving. It’s the same with songwriting. I to make a start and just carry on with it there and then and finish it – quickly. 

I write my songs diligently in my song books and then I flick through them randomly from time to time playing and singing at the piano. When I do this I honour what’s been done so far, go what comes to me naturally, and I’ll edit them, add riffs, alter the melody, etc. So there’s, in effect, 700 odd songs with a lot of pre-production thinking and work already done. 

Incidentally, Remote will be released later this year on an album of 14 songs. I’ve re-recorded the vocals and remixed the songs we recorded back in 1998 . 

Ok. sit back, I’ll talk you through where the lyrics came from, talk about the music – and a couple of excursions at the beach. 

Enjoy. 


Everything Comes To An End



Episode #80: Everything Comes To An End  (Song starts  4:16)

Hi there, thanks for stopping by and checking out the show notes for today’s episode. 

This podcast is where you’ll get to hear a how a song comes together and gain an insight into what makes a songwriter tick. It’s proving to be an ongoing exploration. I never realised it was so complicated. Writing songs is something I’ve never taken for granted. It’s hugely rewarding. I find songwriting to be a very quick and enjoyable process…

A couple of things I’ve picked up from these episodes: How definitely it feels like you leave the room, you go into another world – it’s like being in a movie, when you’re in the creative act of writing a song.

You feel like you’re casting around, somewhere deep within, waiting for an idea to pop up. What pops up is a feeling. An emotion. Sometimes it comes complete with whole sentences. Sometimes you see characters acting out a scene that somehow makes sense to you. It rings true.

That’s the key (or one of them), as a songwriter, I would say this is pretty much number one: it must ring true to you. If you’re going to expect the audience to buy it. People instinctively know when something doesn’t feel right. It’s like trying to pull the wool over a two year old’s eyes when you say ” no there’s no ice cream left” and they look you in the eye with that look. Yep. Fail. 

So feeling is the key. Back in 2014, I wrote this one (song #602) in the middle of a busy day at a primary school where I teach piano. You’ll see it took a huge sense of focus to get a song written that day. 

That’s another big thing. You gotta have tenacity – stick with it and believe in yourself. In fact, I think you get beyond that whole ‘believing in yourself or not’ as an artist … It’s part of the journey. Yes, you do doubt your work (after all these years I do, from time to time –  both the paintings I do and the songs I write). It can be a mood thing. So it pays to watch yourself – don’t be too hard on a creative project you’ve got underway. If you’ve hit a rough patch maybe just go get some sunshine, have a rest and come back to it and perhaps you’ll see it doesn’t have to be thrown out after all. 

Ok on with the show. I hope you enjoy today’s song and I hope you enjoy the chat.

Recording these podcasts episodes each week is a rock solid part of my schedule. It’s a most enjoyable thing to be doing. Each episode flows for me. I generally record the 30 minutes without stopping. It’s all off the cuff. Before I hit the record button, I have very little idea about what I’m going to talk about each time. I always have a feeling it’s going to be fun and entertaining. At a time of such unknowns, it’s particularly nice to have this time waiting for me. 

It’s waiting for you too. See you when you hit play. 

Pete


It’s True



Episode #79: It’s True     (Song at 6.25)

Welcome to a very mellow, slightly mysterious sounding episode. This week’s featured song has that sort of a vibe about it. 

Song #60, written in 2014, came about a few days after a fishing expedition. It was a moonlit evening and I set off after sunset. 

In fact, we going to set off together. Yep, on this episode I’ll take you with me to spend a bit of a peaceful time down by the water. The waves are lapping, the moon is shining on the water…

Why would we do this? To set the mood. It’s all about the feeling, this creative business of songwriting. This is where the song had its beginnings.

Standing out on the breakwater, next to the deep water, deep thoughts sometimes come floating through. 

A beautiful fish came to me on the tides. I did feel bad that it had come to the end of the days, but a family needs to eat. 

A few days later, a couple of mysterious, peaceful melodies came through my fingers on the keys. Words came to me.

It’s the wildest thing to admit that a song or 2 could come about after landing a fish, but that’s what happened in this case.

At the beginning of this episode, you’ll see I haven’t hit on that idea yet. In fact I admit I’m casting about (pun unintended), but that’s what I was doing, looking for the next thread…something ‘true’ to shed light on this creative exercise. 

Then I saw the line ‘silver fish from deep blue sea’ in the song book and that was it. I picked up the thread, got in to the flow….then as the song played, it came to me to take you, the listener, fishing with me. 

Come on now, grab the other bike, don’t worry, I’ll carry the fishing gear. It’s only a five minute ride and we’ll be there. 

Let’s see where this song came from, shall we? 

But the way, if you like the sound of of this song, you can hear 9 more like it, on the album The Long Haul, on bandcamp ( Pete Pascoe and co)…it’s all piano / vocal, with some subtle keyboard strings. One day I’ll release the album with full band arrangement.  

Back to this episode… Here, hold this fishing rod, let’s see if we’re going to catch a fish…

Enjoy!


Secret Lullabies



Episode #78: Secret Lullabies    (Song at 3.36)

Hi there and welcome to another episode. For the next 30 minutes or so, I’ll be guided by my feelings as to what’s interesting to talk about about with this song. 

It’s the way I roll, here on this podcast – it’s a fun way to go about it. I end up in places I never guessed I would’ve, when I hit the record button at the start. 

This  week I’ve chosen to finally unveil the song I use to kick off each episode. The music at the start of each episode is the intro of this week’s song, Secret Lullabies. 

This song  asks some big questions, lyrically. I’m not sure whether it has any answers other than to delivering a soothing ‘lullaby’. 

Old memories are brought to mind by old songs. The cat I had at the time came purring into my mind. It’s funny – I have 2 very mischievous black and white cats in my life now, one of whom is very like the cat I had all those years ago. 

Maybe there’s a sense of things coming to some point of arrival, like some sort of platform of sorts. I’m not sure why I would say that, other than its just a feeling that struck me. The creative flow is a mysterious thing.

Being a songwriter can be like creating a bunch of documents that catch a moment in time. More accurately, they catch feelings from the time. These are the sorts of songs I write. 

It’s such an enjoyable thing to be doing. 

One of the big questions the song asks is: ‘How many friends last the distance?’

A friend who I’ve been lucky to have in my life for a long time is Paul Dredge, my old co-songwriting  mate. Paul featured in last week’s podcast. He popped up again, a bit unexpectedly, when I hit play on the old demo this week. It somehow seemed poetic (wow, auto correct leapt ahead with the word destined, there. Hmm, no doubt).

The realm of dreams often comes up, with songwriting. That seems to be where the creative realm is somehow ‘reachable’ – the subconscious, the collective consciousness… 

Being a songwriter means you’re going to experience a series of constant surprises.Being a creative person and being fully committed on this path is incredibly rewarding. 

As I describe aspects of this wonderfully complicated, simple, mystical art each week, I’m constantly surprised by what comes into my mind and out of my mouth. 

I find recording these podcasts an entertaining and peaceful process. There’s lots of fun to be had here. 

Ok on that note, sit back, relax and let me entertain you…. Here we go again! 

Here’s the links to my music and art. 

www.petepascoe.com 

www.petepascoe.wordpress.com ( blog with lots of links) 

YouTube: Pete Pascoe Art and Music

Enjoy. 

 


cover of podcast 77 featuring paul dredge ad pete pascoe on the cover black and white pic

Anticipation and Longing



Episode# 77:  Anticipation and Longing    (Song starts at 7:00) 

Welcome to another episode, packed with humour, chat & music.

This week I interview my old mate, and co songwriter, Mr Paul Dredge. I also videoed proceedings. So you have the option to watch and listen this week, if you’d like to: https://youtu.be/0cc4r1SVz80

Paul and I ended up talking about all sorts…from All Blacks, to bird calls. Sit back and enjoy this easy conversation between 2 songwriters, as we endeavour to shed some light on how this song came together – and the songwriting process, in more general terms.

We wrote Anticipation and Longing some years ago… It’s one of the songs we wrote when we were at the height of our gigging years together. As Paul pointed out, 5 gigs a week for a couple of years is a lot – lots of musos manage one a week…we were busy! 

We were in tune with one another. It’s a brilliant thing to have the amount of mutual understanding and trust you need in order to write a song together. 

It’s like theatre sports…it’s a subtle dance – you can’t block the other person, and yet you feel completely free to ‘pipe up’ where you both feel inclined, to steer the creative project through to its best possible conclusion. It’s all about the song, the feeling. 

When 2 voices are singing together (people who are comfortable with their individual voices) sometimes seems there’s more than just the 2 voices …the sum of the parts add up to something more. 

In this case, on this recording there is another (great) voice : Michelle Pickett on vocals too…and the brilliant Earl Pollard on drums. 

You can check out the song 7 minutes in, and also on the album Righto here:

www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com

The sound quality of this episode isn’t as good as usual, due to the nature of the live in interview recording – Paul was talking on a mobile phone. But it was fun and I’m glad we videoed it too, although the video only lasts 10 minutes. After that I’ve added edited photos. It was fun to put together.

This fits the bill, then: a relaxed, inclusive delivery & a song. Good times.  

I hope enjoy the episode. Enjoy!

Also, you might like to check out these links:

Here’s my blog with the lyrics of this week’s song + more music and art: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com. I’ve also written about last week’s featured song, Molly Brown – I’ll have to rewrite one of the lines.

Here’s Paul’s Youtube channel and poetry blog:

Youtube:  Paul Dredge Music       Poetry:  https://paulspoeticramblings.wordpress.com/


Molly Brown



Episode #76:  Molly Brown    (Song starts at 5:28)

This week’s song is a brand new one, so it’s very fresh in my mind, as to how it came together. 

I wrote the lyrics and recorded the demo recording 2 nights ago. 

Tonight I’ve been a bit busy. I’ve just done online live concert for 90minutes, where I premiered this song.

Then I videoed myself recording piano and vocals in my studio, playing along to some instrumentation which  I’d already created. This song, ‘Lead The Way’ will be on an upcoming yet to be titled solo album.

After all that, I recorded this podcast episode.

I mention these things here because that’s how it is to be a creative person (like a songwriter). When inspiration strikes, you go with it – and I do…. 

So, as I had my iPad set up in the studio, I decided to make video of tonight’s show, for the first time. Here it is ( I got video of 1st  20mins. The last 10 mins is audios and photos)

Ok. 

Back to our song… I had the melody and and chords all finished, a while ago. It’ll work as a piano solo piece. In fact I’ll put it on my next piano album I think, and produce sheet music.

Back when the first melody snippet came, a woman’s name came through: ‘Someone Brown’- definitely two syllables. So I called it ‘Lucy Brown’ (thinking of the Charlie Brown cartoons) as a working title. 

Also, I had a strong feeling I’d be writing lyrics, telling this ‘Ms Brown’s’ story and also felt that it would be a historical story of note. It was that clear, like receiving instructions. So I put the piece aside and waited…

Earlier this week, it came to me: ‘The Titanic’. I thought ‘Really? But it’s been done (so well, too)’. I didn’t dismiss the idea, just considered the possibility.. 

The next morning I flicked on the computer and there was a post with the heading along the lines of: ‘Molly Brown and the Titanic’. Wow. Really? Really…

So that was the clincher. It’s been a great creative week. I love composing and writing lyrics and I love performing – the online concert was a blast.

I think that’s why I love recording a podcast episode each week – it’s like a performing, to a degree, but I feel like I’m in some sort of ‘inclusive’ (rather one-sided) conversation as well, as I speak. 

On this episode, as usual, I play my piano – for fun – and to demonstrate ideas.  There’s humour here, too. This podcast definitely has a relaxed vibe. 

I talk through the lyrics, where they came from. It wasn’t hard to find some information online, to gain an overview of Molly Brown’s life. I just needed some quick facts to create something from, tell a story, so that got me started (I see there’s a biography to read as well, so I will, one day). 

So this was a different sort of song for me. I really enjoyed the creative process of turning ‘dry’ facts into a descriptive story.

If you’d like to find out more about how the song came to be – and hear a demo recording  – sit back, perhaps grab a cuppa, and here we go…

Thanks so much for stopping by and having a read. I hope you enjoy having a listen (or a view and a listen if you’d like to view the Youtube version.

Pete

www.petepascoe.com      Blog (with the paintings I mention on this episode + lyrics, more music and art): www.petepascoe.wordpress.com


Harbour Lights



Episode #75: Harbour Lights   (Song starts at 7.35)

Hi there. If this is your first time here, what can you expect from having a listen?

You’ll find a show packed with music, humour, anecdotes..even the odd bird call. (!) 

I’m here to entertain you by providing a relaxed 30 minutes of conversation. Sure it’s a pretty one sided conversation, but thanks so much for those of you tuning in each week. I feel like I’m in your company…

plus you’ll get to hear some new music – well, it’ll be new to you, but each week I select a song from the 800 or so I’ve composed over the years – and I’m still going (last week’s episode featured the most recent song I’ve written). 

Harbour lights was composed in 2011. It’s a description of tough period in someone’s life (there’s a bit of me in it – it was one of my shakier chapters). But I got through it. As they say, the darkest hour is just before dawn. There’s an uplifting chorus and finish with this song. So, ultimately, it’s got an ‘up’ sort of feeling about it.

On that note, judging by recent feedback, it seems this podcast is lifting spirits, that is fantastic. This is one of the reasons I started this podcast. We could all do with a lift in these uncertain times.

Another reason I’m doing this is to share my song working tips (by the way, I’m not going to tell you how to write a song, but I’m going to share with you how I do it).

I’m loving recording these episodes, it’s a fun, fluid process each week. It’s all ‘off the cuff’ – as I walk in to the studio each time, I have no idea what I going to talk about. I allow the mood, the music, etc to lead the way…..

As usual, I had some fun on this episode… Given the dramatic nature of the song, I just felt the need, as an entertainer, to lighten the mood. 

Ok I hope this one lifts your spirits.  Enjoy ! 

By the way, here’s my blog. This is where you’ll find the lyrics, the painting and photos I mention  – and more:  www.petepascoe.wordpress.com  / the ‘Black Cockatoos’ post.