Tag Archives: songwriting insights

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.


Everlasting



Episode #53: Everlasting  (Song at 5.48)

Hi there, 

Welcome to another episode. If it’s your first time here, thanks for stopping by. My plan is to try and put you in the shoes of a songwriter – both in general terms and also what I was thinking and feeling when I wrote the song featured in each episode. 

I’m having a fun week. I inherited a very nice old writing desk. Being a writer, I am stoked with this. I also picked up a cool lamp for my studio (from the grass verge). I actually talked to the guy as he was returning home from a jog. The lamp had belonged to his mum. I said to him it’s going to be put to good use in my studio.

I bring these things up because it is good to create a space that makes you feel good in a creative sense. Makes sense, right? 

Ok, Everlasting, song # 519 …this one was inspired by the bird chorus – both the dawn chorus and the evening song. It can’t help but give us a lift if we stop and listen. Which I do. 

The kookaburras did their thing this morning at 5.30 am, waking me from a deep sleep. It didn’t worry me. It’s a great sound – and they know when to shut up, which is a good thing. 

Birdsong is so peaceful, it inspires a bigger picture / underlying, deeper themes and I attempted to put some of those feelings and ideas in the lyrics for a short simple song. 

Every time I write a song it fills me with so much energy. And something happens when I turn the mic on and record these podcast episodes… the same energy fills me. A lot of the songwriting process is a complete mystery and it’ll remain that way. There is an awful lot that you can analyse and I do talk about it….like the importance of catching ‘feeling’. That’s so important…probably even before ‘a message’…in terms of what a song should have.

I hope you enjoy this episode. As usual there’s some pretty deep concepts, but it’s all presented in a relaxed manner. I’m enjoying this so much. Thanks again for stopping by. 

In this episode, I do mention the painting I did today while sitting at the beach. You can see the painting, the writing desk, the everlasting painting and the lamp + the lyrics to everlasting  on this week’s blog….it’s on. www.petepascoe.wordpress.com  Enjoy.