Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

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!


Favourite Time



Episode #41: Favourite Time  (Song at 7:50)

Hi there. Welcome to the last podcast episode for 2020.

This time, I’m not only talking about the song Favourite Time ( the 4th song I wrote ), but I’m also focussing on one of my favourite times in my life: whenever I find myself in the act of writing a song. 

It’s like this: It sneaks up on me. One moment I’m just playing on the keys, the next I find something’s come through my finger tips that something… that sounds like a song. It sounds…different somehow. Even though there’s only 7 notes in a scale and only so many chords, the possibilities seem endless. 

As I was recording this episode, sitting at the piano, this is exactly what happened. Over the course of the 30 minutes, the song I started composing keeps playing in my mind. So I pick it up intermittently – in between talking about the song Favourite Time – and eventually I take you through the moments where the chorus and the bridge come… 

It seems a completely fascinating process to me. How can it be that each time it happens it’s a surprise, like somewhere I’ve never been before, when I’ve actually composed about 800 songs, now? 

I think the answer is: it’s the whole ‘feeling like a child’ each time…. The feeling of excitement and mystery is how it feels. 

On that note, we have 2 new kittens. I nearly stepped on them as I walked out the door. Their eyes followed me and I saw their eyes open as they took in the bright colours of the trees and the sky as they watched me through the glass in the door as I walked to my studio to finish work on this episode. Aren’t kittens great – full fun and curiosity – now there’s 2 key words to keep in mind if you’re song writing: have fun, keep an open mind.

Speaking of new beginnings, 2021 is nearly upon us. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for tuning in this year. It’s certainly been a year of upheaval, a tragic year. In amongst all of this, I hope you managed some times of joy. I have, it’s mainly come about with my being so committed to my art and music ( new album out this week! The Roughest Cut, with the band – very excited. Streaming now!!!). You get so lost in the moment, you forget about everything else that’s  going on. 

The other times have been mainly due to my being lucky enough to have family and close friends to help me through and share some laughs with. I hope you’ve managed some of the same. 

All the best for 2021….. See you then.  I hope you enjoy this highly creative episode. 

Oh yeah, the song ? An early relationship was the inspiration…..have a listen and find out more. Welcome, again ….step into the shoes of a composer… Here we go. 


Mobile Phone



Episode #40:  Mobile Phone    (Song at 9:07)

This week’s song, song #520 was written in 2002 ! It’s now 2020… And this is the year that Mobile Phone has finally been released! Same numbers in the year, just switched around a little…

This is a social comment song. Generally I’m a glass half full sort of bloke, but I haven’t got my head in the sand. 

As a songwriter, you are by nature an observer of human spirit. 

And this is topical this week, being nearly Christmas.

I wish some of the positivity, giving, ‘thinking of others’ that we claim to feel and act on during this festive season.. I really wish we’d act in this manner on the other 364 days of the year, too.., that’d be good. We could do with it! 

Mobile phone paints a pretty grim picture of society / humans in general and it’s written from the point of view of a youngster, a father, a wife and then from a bigger…sort of spiritual angle. So maybe it’s not such a bad song to bring up and mention at Christmas.

This demo is a piano groove with keys bass and drums. This is markedly different from the version which appears on the band album which will be out on Christmas Eve! The single Mobile Phone is out now. You can check that out next if you like. 

The lyrics came like a stream of consciousness. There is a natural sort of a flow. The music came quickly too, very much flowed. It’s a guitar riff song that came naturally – on the piano ! One of today’s tips from a songwriting point of view touches on this natural flow….plus there’s plenty more. 

There’s also a couple of Christmas memories in there too: I recall my brother and I sneaking into the lounge before dawn to feel the Christmas presents, see if we can glean anything…and the second memory involved my sisters rather large Great Dane cross dog and our cat, providing some Christmas lunch entertainment !! 

So. Sit back and enjoy a 30 min chat with some piano here and there…  be informed, entertained, uplifted and transported to another world.

If you like this demo, please do check out the single…. And the album when it’s out on the 24th. If you like to listen to an actual band, interacting with each other… that’s what’s on this album – dropping in time for Christmas ! 

Enjoy !


Heart In The Distance (Face To Face)



Episode #39: Heart In The Distance (Face To Face) – (Song at 5:35)

Thanks for tuning in for a listen. If this is your first time here, sit back, relax & be entertained. I enjoy having a yarn, letting the words and music take me where they will.

This song is about the idea – the feeling – that sometimes when you’re a long way away from someone you know well, sometimes it feels like they’re right beside you. 

I had this feeling when I was in NZ, camping away from my now wife, who was back in Melbourne. I’d gone over to New Zealand for a music tour and tacked on a fishing trip. 

I remember clear as day the feeling when I woke up in the sand, where I’d fallen asleep when I was fishing…. The moment is etched in my mind.

I’ll take you on that fishing trip with me up to Spirits bay in New Zealand. It’s beautiful remote beach. Really inspired.  I couple of stories about the magnificent nature that can be found up there…

A song can be an emotional book marker in time. Heart in the distance, Song # 451, was written in 1999. As soon as the demo starts, I’m back there. 

I talk about imagination – where the song fragments first appear. It’s a process that never ceases to amaze me. The words I sing when I start writing a song lead me to what the song is about (often I have no idea what the song is about until I’m a fair way through it).

This song has become a real ‘marker’ of a very happy part of my life, I was thinking about my future in that moment on the sand. All kinds of thoughts flowed in, with a rush, as I came back into my skin on the beach. The ocean somehow cleanses our minds. I love being at the beach.

Lots of songwriting tips here again this episode, I talk in an inclusive language, in easy to understand concepts that is appealing to both those versed in musical theory and equally with those that haven’t got the foggiest about this. 

Anyway, you’ll get a slice of life again, lots of life observations and asides. 

All here for your listening pleasure. 

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode.