Tag Archives: musician

Time Wheels

Episode #68: Time Wheels    (Song starts at 4:26)

Welcome to another episode. I like the way this podcast is developing. Casting my mind back, it’s hard to believe more than a year has gone by since I recorded my 1st episode. Those time wheels keep on turning.

Written in 1991 ( yes, that is some time ago, and it’s a surprise to me that so many years have passed since I wrote this one).The lyrics of Time Wheels are a collection of seemingly random images from my past. The reflective mood of these words were then given a context, a suitable musical bed and a melody to then take flight and become…. a song.

It’s a seemingly magical thing…come along with me in this episode and I’ll take you inside the songwriting process once again. 

By the way, if this is your first time here, be not afraid: this podcast is not a dry ‘how to text book’ on songwriting. It includes songwriting tips on how I go about it, but it’s more about sharing the feelings and my experiences along the way, sort of looking to shed light on the process without ever looking to try and demystify the process – as if I could do that.

Time is obviously a universal theme. It means something different to everyone and what it means to an individual changes…over time. Our perception of time changes in relation to our state of mind: being immersed in a passion can mean a long period of time can flash by in an instant. Conversely, if you’re not enjoying what you’re up to, 30minutes can seem to take an eternity.

(Perhaps this is a bit like quantum physics, how the observer can influence the outcome of experiments simply by observing (?) or not… anyhow…back to songwriting…)

I talk about the recording process here, too, in general terms. Again, how magical it is – how it feels to sing together in harmony with 2 other people. We recorded all the vocals on this demo in one take. In fact the whole album, Righto, (which I have on bandcamp here : www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com) was recorded like that. From memory there was perhaps only one false take.

We did the 17 songs in 3 days. Who does that? Well, we were well rehearsed and we were passionate and we were used to making music together …we played five nights a week together. That’s a lot over three years. 

I was younger when I wrote this song. But I’m not sure if written many better ones than this. It’s got ‘a feeling’ about it.… 

Here’s the story behind time wheels. Enjoy just sitting back and enjoy the chat -and some music. 

You can find the lyrics at the end of this week’s blog post www.petepascoe.wordpress.com (resilience and self belief post)

Huckleberry Man

Episode #67: Huckleberry Man    (Song starts at 7.54)

Hi there & welcome! This week’s episode features a song that came out of thin air – a collaboration between myself and my friend Jo Kinniburgh. The evening it happened, we didn’t set out to write a song – it was completely unexpected.

It was at the time I composed my very mellow 1st solo piano ‘River Music’ album. There were 3 of us living in the house at the time, reading Tolkien by candle light, going fly fishing… Sounds pretty tranquil doesn’t it? It was.

But, In contrast to all this, ‘Huckleberry’ came through like a shot in the arm –  a song with a sense of humour and message too, I think.

Jo started the guitar riff and I piped up with ‘Pascoe speak’ -half ‘gobbledegook’-  sung ‘lyrics’. Huckleberry and the other character, Miss Merry Meadow arrived from the ether, as did Jo’s chord changes. I edited the lyrics and it all came together in no time at all. Great fun.

Over this past 15 months or so, as I’ve archived and examined my creative work (music and art), the elements of humour keep arising. I would venture to say this humour helps to keep energy flowing, keeps you on the breath, ready to receive whatever comes through from the muse – or whatever you’d like to label this ‘ thing’

To me, it’s more than a thing. ‘It’ feels like an ever changing …entity …is the wrong word …force ? Wrong, again. Ahh my coarse brush of my language fails me. I’m comfortable with that. It’s a mystery. Perhaps we can agree to that ?

The lyrics came from somewhere ‘deeper’. As usual, I did weave universal themes into what (on the surface) was a light hearted song. There’s s little bit of me in Huckleberry. And perhaps there’s some of  of Huckleberry Finn here as well. Maybe that’s an example of the power and the uniting force of the arts. Here I am, living in the South Pacific , channeling something written by a novelist from the northern hemisphere, in another century.. ..And there’s a little bit of someone else I know in Miss Merry Meadow.

But there’s more … Huckleberry represents male energy in general and Miss Merry, the female energy. So this song is about that dance.

In this episode , I imagine Beethoven composing in a castle, talk about my imaginary dog…yep, we get all over the place, again. The sense of play as I speak helps me to uncover and explain some of the processes I go through to come up with these songs..

So thanks, Jo. I loved writing this with you. And thanks to you, I’m presenting another ( hopefully ) entertaining and informative episode – that’s the aim.

Enjoy that sense of fun and the ‘up’ country type of song as well… Yeeharrr……

Lyrics here : www.petepascoe.wordpress.com ( plus a stack of art and more music).

King Edwards Park

Episode #66: King Edward’s Park  ( Song starts at: 6.44 )

This song (# 380 ) reminds me of how it felt to be sitting in King Edwards Park all those years ago, back in New Plymouth, NZ. 

I can recall the mood, the sounds of ‘ the ducks chattering in love’, the sights … just a few people strolling by, a monarch ( butterfly) floating by on the breeze… the most peaceful kind of scenes: late Autumn & the seasons seemed to have been paused.

I was sitting on the old wooden park chair, writing the words that turned out to be the lyrics for this song. 

It brought out some emotions as I listened back to this song. I starting thinking about how I moved to Melbourne ( from NZ). Looking back, There’s been a lot of sacrifices I’ve made, to live this life as a songwriter. 

I think, to a degree, it’s necessary to really commit to an artist’s path, to come up with art or music that is really ‘honest’ You’ve got to live a little and ‘find your voice’ – the voice that is yours and yours only. 

That’s why my lyrics stand out to me. They ring true and I’m not trying to write like anyone else. 

I feel the same about my music. To begin with, you start out by emulating the music and songwriters you admire.

Then you sort of step out in faith and have a lash at writing something of your own. I think you get lucky initially, then you basically just work really, really hard at what you do, chipping away, being honest to yourself while playing and keeping all the theory in mind.

Then one day you wake up and find you’re consistently writing songs you really enjoy. And other people do too. 

I love how you sort of get to dip into another world ( or different worlds ), constantly, as you close your eyes and wait for the next flash of inspiration to come through. 

This is the way the words and the music comes through. Eg a monarch ( butterfly) floated by and I thought of a monarch as in a queen . So in the next line I cast myself as a jester – an entertainer- observing the day. 

I really enjoy analysing the lyrics, recalling how they unfolded. I find it amazing how much I can recall. 

For something different, as a songwriter, it can be a good idea to sort of not divulge everything -leave a sense of mystery. I did this in the bridge, talking about the night air so cool….

So join me today as I retrace the steps, looking at how the music & words came into being. 

It really is all a bout the feeling . That’s number one. 

See if this song makes you feel anything in particular….

It’s great fun to be a songwriter & It’s nice to be sharing how I go about it. 

You can check out the lyrics on my blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com 


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.



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