Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

Falling



Episode #54: Falling (Out The Back Of My Mind)   (Song at 5:50 and 28:28)

Last week I touched on the idea that the most important thing about songwriting is that you want to convey feeling. I do think it’s actually more important than the message. 

‘Falling’ is a song that fits that description to a ‘t’. 

A friend of mine listened to the song the other week. She got back to me, said it made it her cry. She wasn’t sure what the song was about…..but it got to her – she really liked it. 

Job done! As an artist you are looking for an emotional reaction. That’s number one…so, mission achieved. 

You’ll get to hear two versions of the song on this episode – a piano vocal version which has an air of fragility about the performance. Then at the end of the episode, you can hear the band version of the song. It’s interesting how you can start with the same melancholy feeling, but then you can take it all to another level with the right instrumentation – and the right band. 

Anyway. My plan each week is to put you in the shoes of a songwriter, give you an insight into where a song comes from. If this is your first visit here, thanks for dropping by. I aim for these episodes to be informative, relaxing and entertaining. I deliver the information in a manner that is hopefully appealing to both musicians versed in theory – and the layman, equally. You need no musical knowledge to follow the majority of what I’m talking about. 

Notice I haven’t mentioned much about what today’s song is about … It’s a mystery! But it was somehow ‘pressing’, insistent that I do my best to interpret some of the sounds, the images, the feelings that were coming through. 

Piqued your curiosity? I hope so. 

With the help of my piano, I play it live as I talk, I hope to shed some light on what’s going on with the song Falling. 

Join me now for song and a chat. Enjoy!

As usual, I have really enjoyed recording this episode. Once again the sense of mystery – the unquantifiable elements – of the creative domain take me on a merry dance. And it’s all good fun. 

YouTube Pete Pascoe Art and Music 

The Roughest Cut by Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum (this is the Bandcamp link, but it’s streaming on all the usual platforms..Spotify, etc.

Www.petepascoe.wordpress.com  this is my blog, where you can view this week’s seascape painting, plus there’s lots more music and art here each week. 

The book I mention in this episode is : by the Pixar boss, great piece of extremely clear writing, describing how people can communicate extremely clearly and powerfully and productive lay in the right group of supportive, open people. It’s like being in a band… 


Talk In Riddles



Episode #52: Talk In Riddles

It’s an interesting thing for me to consider how I came to be a songwriter. It’s not something I really set out to be, but listening to the likes of Elton John, Neil Young and Neil Finn, something sparked in me. And it burst into flame and its still burning strong after all this time. 800 songs later and I’m still enjoying the whole process very, very much.
This is song #283, from 1993. I see I wrote the lyrics in Auckland, NZ.  This was the week I went to see Suzanne Vega in concert.The producer of her great album, 99.9 Fahrenheit, Mitchell Froom, was on keyboards. He produced crowded houses first 3 albums. He is now the keyboard player for Crowded House – they are on tour in New Zealand currently. Playing Palmerston North soon at the beautiful Regent Theatre.
Today I listened online to an interview with Mitchell Froom, who was talking about his role as keyboard player for Crowded House. I find that on the same day I pick a out the song I wrote the week I saw him perform in NZ to be a cool coincidence.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018786468/crowded-house-keyboardist-s-arrival-35-years-in-the-making
Incidentally, I was lucky enough to play keyboards in concert with Neil Finn for a show on one of his solo tours…it was by invitation ….at the Regent Theatre in Palmerston North, New Zealand years ago….a great experience.
These last few weeks, I’ve been listening to Crowded House on Neil Finn’s online fang radio show. They’ve been presenting unplugged versions of the songs on their albums to date and talking about how the recordings happened. It’s been great.
https://www.fangradio.com/
But I digress – quite decidedly so. That’s a little bit how I roll on these episodes. The more I talk instinctively, the more the mysterious threads all fall together and ( mostly) crystallise into something quite clear.
Any how, I’m talking in riddles here….
The song was a reaction to unclear communication between myself and a potential romantic interest. It was a growing time for me.
Songwriting is a really therapeutic thing. But you want it to be more than just therapy… It’s gotta be a step on from that, so it’s art.
So today, as usual, I look at the lyrics and the music and talk about how the song came together.
I’ll also take you fishing on a small stream in Victoria, Australia. I’ve just returned from a camping trip at the foot of the mountains and it was bliss.
I painted a picture of the stream – it’s on my blog – so are the lyrics to today’s song. You can find them here each week: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com
Have I piqued your curiosity? I hope so. Sit back and have a listen.
I hope you enjoy today’s episode.
More here: www.petepascoe.comwww.petepascoe.bandcamp.com Youtube: Pete Pascoe Art and Music
+ spotify, apple music, insta, etc


Unzipped Heads



Episode #51: Unzipped Heads  (Song at 5.40)

Hi there, welcome to another episode! 

This week’s song is a bit ‘mad’ in a slightly wild sort of way. It came from looking at a picture of a pig which my wife had put on the fridge door. I thought I’d have a bit of fun. So straight away I felt like I’d give it an up sort of swung feel in the chorus…

It’s a great idea to try different styles – and we can open our minds by listening to all sorts of songs (being guided by artificial intelligence as to what we might like to listen to on streaming services really concerns me, but that’s another subject. Songs and art in general are about something much more subtle than what ( I hope) a computer algorithm could ever perceive). 

Each week when I flick the mic on, I explain some of the steps I take as a songwriter as I compose – without attempting to sort of take away the mystery about the process.

There are simple steps to take along the way to writing a song, but there’s certainly no ‘one’ path. 

If this is your first time here, thinking about having a listen, I hope you enjoy listening to some new music and chat that goes on around it. 

In the past, I have presented these sorts of episodes with a live audience and it’s been great fun doing that. I’m looking forward to doing more over those sort of gigs, once we get back out gigging again, here in Melbourne.

In my studio, as I talk about whatever comes into my mind, I’ve got my audience firmly in mind. I keep it light, entertaining and informative. Lots of casual asides, anecdotes, life observations, etc…

This podcast is something that’s really ‘clicked’ for me, personally. Over time I may refine what I’m up to here, but for I’m enjoying the whole process.

I also play some piano as I talk, to demonstrate what I talking about. 

If you enjoy this episode, there plenty more where this came from.

If you’d like to see more about what I’m up to as a song-writer and artist…( seascapes and cartoons), check out my blog petepascoe.wordpress.com .Each week there’s a new painting and cartoons, etc there. Plus links to more of my music. I have 13 albums up online – solo and with others. ..

Please do sign up to my email list- email me at info@petepascoe.com …what do you get ? You’ll get to hear about new albums, videos, paintings, exhibitions and gigs…and you’ll receive a free sampler album from my www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com ( 13 albums here). I also have about 6 albums on Spotify, Apple, etc…

Anyway, today let’s see where that pig on the fridge took me. 

Thanks for having a listen.


Climbing Mountains



Episode #50: Climbing Mountains   (Song at 6.08)

Welcome to another ‘songwriter speaks’ episode. In fact, (Ta dah!!! ) this is my 50th episode. I really look forward to turning the mic on, having a chat and sharing a song (a demo) each week.

You can check out this week’s song on YouTube ( Pete Pascoe Art and Music ) too – I videoed myself singing and playing 14 songs on Valentine’s Day ( I went ‘live’ for the 1st 5 songs on Instagram). I particularly liked the version of this song. So I thought I’d look it at it for this episode.

The lyrics are about someone who’s doing it tough. The title came from a book about Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbing Mt Everest. I started with that title, then the thought of this person came strongly to me. Empathy appears to be a big part of being songwriter, if you are looking to engage a listener.

As I say, this person was really struggling, so: climbing a mountain? How about actually making to the kitchen table, for a start.
The result is a supportive sort of a lyric, ‘we are there for you’ sort of tone, while hopefully being in encouraging in a ‘You’ve got this, you’ll get through it’ sort of way – ‘but I want you to know, you’re not alone’.
I wrote this song in 2016. It seems apt for now with so many people struggling around the world with covid -19
The music is slightly unsettling (intentionally so in the verses). It gets moving in the mid sections, then it’s warm and predictable in the choruses  – and ultimately reflective at the end.
It is such good fun writing songs. You really tune into a creative realm and it seems to be collaborative effort. It’s fascinating to me.
Anyway, if I’ve piqued your curiosity, grab a cuppa, sit back and and I’ll guide you through the process in a relaxed, inclusive manner including a look at the lyrics.
If you like new music, check this episode out – and then there’s another 49 to go back and listen too! Or if you’ve been with me for a while now, thanks for tuning in each week. I hope you enjoy today’s podcast.
Don’t forget, the lyrics are on my blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com


In My Own Time



Episode#48: In My Own Time – (Song at 7.38 & 20.35)

Sometimes the cliche of ‘a dark time in a life being the time where seeds can be planted and eventually grow into something new’….happens. 

This is what happened with In My Own Time. 

One dark night long ago, I wrote down exactly the thoughts that came into to my mind- stream of consciousness style. 

The music does reflect the mood of those words. But there’s an underlying sort of uplifting lilt that comes through, almost despite myself. It seems to be an ongoing theme in my at and music – I will generally offer something that is ultimately uplifting. 

But it’s true. The artist’s pain can become something that gives people pleasure, that’s just one of the great things about the arts. 

In this episode, I also include some of the version the band eventually recorded. It’s quite ‘up’. So much so, it became the song we played first at all our gigs for a few years.

Here’s where you can hear the whole song ( and the album ‘This World Offers You) https://petepascoe.bandcamp.com/music

So from the dark night of the soul, something has grown and it has lasted. 

No matter what you’re up to, if you’re on a path, following a passion, never give up. Just keep moving and you’ll get through. 

In this episode, I also play a quick snippet of a song ‘Unwind’. I recorded an instrumental version of it today. You can see the video on YouTube at Pete Pascoe Art and Music 

Any artistic path has its rocky parts. You’ve just got to be determined – and perhaps a little mad – to see it through at times. When I wrote these lyrics, I wasn’t exactly on top of the world….and this week, on Sunday, I painted a picture at the beach. It was a really rough day. Very moody colours, but I had a job just hanging onto my canvas, let alone getting paint in the right places. But I got there! 

I’m loving sharing my songwriting tips, ideas, etc… Each week, I look forward to recording an episode for this podcast. I record my spoken voice the way I rewrite my lyrics: I shoot from the hip, go with instinct and sense of exploration – and I have fun. Actually that’s not a bad recipe to keep in mind when you’re trying to get into the creative zone required to do anything in the arts. 

Ok, I hope you enjoy this episode as much a I enjoyed recording it. 

If you do enjoy it, there’s 40 odd episodes to discover. Please do follow me here..and spread the word! 

See more on petepascoe.wordpress.com. Links to art and music there. 

Enjoy! 


To The Sea



Episode #46: To The Sea  (Song at 8.15)

In each episode, I attempt to give you an insight as to where the featured song came from, what it’s about, etc. 

This episode’s song, however, is an elusive fish. It’s more about the feeling. It’s an ‘observation’ sort of a lyric, delving into deep archetypal sort of undercurrents that go on between male and female energies. It talks about the dance and dramas that seem to happen to most of us as we find way along in our lives, while keeping an eye out for a potential long term relationship…. 

I guess it’s about how things tend to sort of come together naturally if we allow them to. That said, it’s a complex business and has been studied – and agonised over – since forever. 

Perhaps I’ve just caught a feeling, managed to weave that into some lyrics and floated them on a tune without really answering any questions. 

An image that comes to me each time in the third verse is: looking in a window at a brightly lit old inn, somewhere near the sea. It’s late in the evening, and there are reflective men in there, perhaps catching their reflections in the window as they cast their thoughts back over the years… 

If all this sounds sort of mysterious, well, it is. And that’s the essence of any art. The thing is, if it rings true as you are writing, then it’s worth completing because if it’s true to you as a composer, it will ring true to the listener. 

See if this song stirs any feelings for you (It starts at 8min 15seconds in).

Before and after the song rolls, in amongst the serious business of analysing a craft, I talk about the week I’m having, some of the things that are going on. Plus there’s a memory here of a gig I played in a restaurant where some bread rolls became airborne… All good fun. It’s great to be able to relate some of these funny things that have happened to me on gigs and otherwise. 

Enjoy. 

 


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!