Tag Archives: songwriter

I’d Do It Again



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ghosts and Lamp Posts



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for dropping by.  Enjoy! 

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

Pete 


These Bills



Episode #58: These Bills  (Song at 5.35)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entertainment and songwriting tips.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. 

Enjoy These Bills! 

Pete. 


Post The Picture



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

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

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


A Little Light



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ok. I hope you enjoy ‘A Little Light’

Pete.


Don’t Miss The Bus



Episode #55: Don’t Miss The Bus   (Song at 7.22)

Written in 2013, this one came to me in a series of verses… ‘on the ether’, as it were. It really felt like I was just sitting, taking notes. Words – lots of words – kept on coming through. When I thought it was finished, more words kept on coming through. 

The mystery of where these songs come from is something that comes up often in these podcast episodes. 

You can read the lyrics on my blog here (each week the lyrics to the featured songs are here). www.petepascoe.wordpress.com

There’s plenty of songwriting tips. One of them is: I think it’s really important to have something different completely different up your sleeve that you can immerse yourself in, from time to time. Something that is not related to whatever you spend most of your time on. It’s good to ‘unplug’.

Today I talk about how it felt to be out fishing on the rocks beside the calm Port Phillip Bay, here in Melbourne. That’s my ‘thing’ : time out in nature, beside the water.

It still amazes me after all these years when these songs come along. It’s been a full life so far, committed to the creative processes. 

I’m really enjoying having a go at explaining the songwriting process, how it happens differently with some songs.’’eg: what was the inspiration? Etc.

In this case, the words are about the different forms love can take in this woken life. 

Talking about this sort of thing could quickly get out of hand and pretty much…boring. But I do my best to keep it free, fun and entertaining. 

I don’t use show notes when I record these episodes. It’s all off the cuff. And I think that helps when you’re attempting to analyse a creative process. It helps to be free & it helps if you’re having fun. 

It turns out, I’m noticing after 50 odd episodes, I end up in the ‘songwriting state of mind’ as I record whatever comes to mind. 

It gives me energy, I find it all fascinating. Ok, I hope you do too. I hope you enjoy today’s song and hope you enjoy the chat. 

Thanks so much for tuning in. 

By the way, I’d love you to sign up to my email list. That way, you won’t miss a thing.. New albums, songs, videos, paintings, cartoons, gigs, exhibitions, blogs….

Thanks again, 

Pete


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.


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!


Missed Me



Episode #38:  Missed Me   ( Song at 5:21)

Wow! Episode #38 of my ‘song writer speaks’ series. I can’t believe there’s been that many already. It all seems so new and exciting each week when I hit the record button.

I’ve had fun today, been out to the beach a couple of times today… (might’ve had a birthday, so I allowed myself sometime out – just a bit). While I was at the beach I painted a picture of the scene. This evening I made a video of ‘step by step’ cartoon pig on a bike (part 2) for YouTube. I’ve written a blog post and started adding photos, etc. Now it’s 1am and I’m listening back to the episode I’ve just recorded as I’m writing this.

I mention all of that because when you’re busy like I am , you’ve just got to grab the moments you have to create. 

That’s where this song came from. Song number 5, out of about 700 songs now… next page….

If I hadn’t recorded a demo of those early efforts, I may never have carried on writing and recording my songs. I’m so pleased I have. 

In this episode, as usual, I talk about where this song came from. I look at the song from a musical view point, the lyrics, etc. In this case it’s an early effort, so looking back I can see my lyric writing style has developed.

This song is about the perspective that can be gained you get some time to yourself.

Be entertained & informed as you join me on a journey of discussion and discovery looking at the song ‘Missed Me’. 

Recorded by myself, Paul Dredge and Earl Pollard (R.I.P), Missed Me finally got recorded (in one take) in a studio in Melbourne quite a number of years later. 

In this episode I also talk about how I got to the point where I started writing lyrics, then got my piano playing up to the point where my hands would just natural flow from one chord to the next confidently, in a musically confident way…and a song took shape.

It’s fun playing the piano in between my talking. I sing and play parts of the song to draw attention to certain aspects of songwriting.

So, ever wondered where a song comes from? It’s really just a bunch of simple steps. Along the way, intuitive decisions are made as it’s moulded into a form. That’s the complicated part, when you analyse the process. But it’s so much fun at the time because it’s all done with a sense of play and exploration – much like podcast episodes!    

Sit back and enjoy.

You can stream my music on your favourite streaming service. Or you can find a dozen albums at :

petepascoe.bandcamp.com …

And see my art at www.petepascoe.com

You can sign up to my email list to hear about new albums, exhibitions, etc.

My weekly blog (magazine style: art & music ) can be found here petepascoe.wordpress.com

And my new YouTube channel (new since March 2020) has 60 odd music and art videos on it now.