Tag Archives: songwriting

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


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.

 


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.


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.


Enjoy The Ride



Episode #36:  Enjoy the Ride ( Song at 5:50)

A demo like this song is interesting..sometimes you catch a little more emotion than a studio cut, maybe there’s somethings that get edited out… maybe demos are on the way out! In these days of the digital age, a quick sketch in a home studio can become the finished recording. 

Anyway, I’ve got a stack of recordings around. Old and new. This is podcast a great way for me to talk about these songs from a songwriting point of view. 

Equally importantly, you get a slice of life of- yes, the life of a songwriter, but really, I’m just like any other person (we don’t beam in from mars…). I happen to enjoy painting, cartooning, I love writing songs, all sorts. ..

As an artist you can’t help but become an observer. It’s part of the role. You observe and reflect. Actually, I was being observed today. A big kookaburra was eyeballing me from the hand rail of our steps, just outside the window, a beautiful  bold Australian bird.

Todays song , #621 is about the concept of a journey. This week , I’m  going to take you on a ride. As usual, there’s a sense of discovery here, as I completely ‘wing’ what I’m talking about -there is no script. 

The song came about when one of my children was going away on a school camp. I put myself in their shoes and imagined what they were thinking as the bus drove off. That lead me putting my thoughts down, how I was feeling… and this whole somewhat personal scenario lead to a more broader subject, with universal message.. enjoy the ride as I take you through the process.. 

I also take you on the road for a few gigs which I did back in NZ  a while back, when I was on tour with ‘The Sound of the Supremes’. That was fun….

So this is stream of consciousness…where the song came from, what I was feeling, some life observations, all delivered in a laid back manner with a decent dose of humour. 

I hope you’ll find it entertaining and illuminating. Each week there some tips for song writers here -and you get to a song!

Curious? If this sounds like you, sit back and enjoy the ride. 


Pot of Gold



Episode #35: Pot of Gold   (Song at 5:38)

Here’s a slice of life, another 30 minute ‘yarn with a songwriter’. 

Once again this week, I’m delivering a song, and lots of chat. In a relaxed manner, as if you’re in a intimate audience and I’m the piano man introducing a song. 

I take it a step further on these episodes, analysing the lyrics, talking about where the song came from, looking at musical aspects…

What makes a song special. 

Pot of Gold is really about some of the big aspects of life. …death for instance! I manage to get these heavier concepts across with a deliberate choice of a gentle ballad, with a swung rhythm. 

The vocal is gentle, yet forthright. There’s a bit of dark humour in there (which never hurts, in my opinion) and above all else, it’s an honest delivery. 

That’s what makes this demo stand out to me. All the boxes are ticked. The song rings true. 

It has already appeared on my album ‘Don’t Miss the Bus’ – which is a collection of my songs, in a piano / vocal style – very stripped back arrangement style.

I would like to a range this song with other instruments. But it’s got a nice feeling, just the way it is. 

So, ready for a half yarn with a songwriter? Sit back and have a listen, I’ll tell you a bit about my week, random thoughts that pop into my head. , plus there song writing tips. ..on that note, I’m not going to tell you how to write a song, but I am going to tell you how I write a song. 

I hope you enjoy today’s episode. 


(There Will Always Be) Another Day



Episode #34: (There’ll Always Be) Another Day – (Song at 9:10)

Hi there, welcome! How would you like to sit back and have a listen to a songwriter speak? Now’s your opportunity. I’m sitting at my piano – which I noodle away on – sometimes a little absently, as I speak. I also use the piano to demonstrate aspects of what I’m talking about. 

And what I’m talking about this week Is song #584: Another day.. Where did it come from? Neil the lead guitarist in our band suggested it: “Pete, there’s so many songs about winning… What about one about …losing.  I think it’d be a winner!” Ha. He’s got a dry sense of humour, has Neil. 

I also talk about the idea of participation being the important thing. Success is.. what it is.. along the way.  

I like to turn things around to the positive, best I can, so I couldn’t help myself: I gave it an uplifting twist at the end. Perhaps I failed at writing a song about failure! 

The demo itself has a good feeling about it. The band have had a dabble with this song here. It hasn’t made it on an album yet, but I think it will not far away.

It’s been another episode of exploration, opening up… As an artist, you can come across as sounding a bit .. Vulnerable. And I think that’s important. You’re honest about your feelings, you’re inviting the listener in. 

Which is precisely what I’m doing here. Tune in now, hear some new music… ( I’m loving sharing my music this way and talking about it ).

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode… And if you do, there’s another 30 odd episodes here..that means 30 odd new songs.. Please leave a favourable comment / tell your friends / share this far and wide –  thank you in advance!

Enjoy. 

By the way, If you’d like to find out more about my art and music, there’s quite a bit online, including: 

www.petepascoe.com website 

Blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com ( creations in music and art) – not a bad place to start-  it’s a weekly blog (which you can sign up to). You’ll hear about a new music, videos, recordings, a how to draw a Cartoon video, a Seascape painting ( I paint one each week) … Plus lots more….


Time Won’t Wait



Episode #33: Time Won’t Wait  – (Song at 7:55sec)

Where does a song come from, where does it start, how does it build? These are some of things I talk about and demonstrate, as I chat and play my piano each week.

Music plays such a big role in our life. I remember hearing John Lennon’s Imagine for the first time, on the radio. What a recording (what song, of course).. but there was something about the actual recording. Very cool.

So I enjoy songs and recordings that have a certain feeling. Because songs have the power to take you back in time in the blink of an eye. 

It can reawaken old memories you forgotten you had. 

I talk about some things in my past, including a plum fight we had once… In fact the plums were from the tree I used to sit in that I mentioned last week…

Anyway, back to the song, Time Won’t Wait is song #582.  It reflects on the passing of time, the slowly changing dream that unfolds and becomes our life. It also touches on the fact that being a human is a complicated business….

In these episodes, I do look to entertain, and inform…there’s songwriting tips..it’s all delivered in a relaxed, informal manner. 

I hope you enjoy this episode. I play the piano and sing a bit again on this episode, again, to demonstrate aspects of this song.

Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and have a listen, I’ll take you on a trip back in time and inside a song. 

If you’d like to find out more about my art and music, there’s quite a bit online. 

www.petepascoe.com website 

Blog www.petepascoe.wordpress.com ( creations in music and art) – not a bad place to start it’s a weekly blog which you can sign up to. You’ll hear about a new music, videos, recordings, a how to draw a cartoon video, a seascape painting ( I paint one each week) … Plus lots more.

If this sounds like you, there’s plenty on my YouTube channel Pete Pascoe Art and Music.

Social media Facebook, Instagram, etc

And a dozen albums on bandcamp ( Pete Pascoe and co) ….www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com

I love feedback. Please don’t hesitate to flick me an email…and If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please do leave a positive review, etc. that would help me so much ..thank you in advance 

 


Madman’s Preoccupation



Episode #32: Madman’s Preoccupation – (Song at 7:48sec)

Welcome to another episode. 

Hi there, my name is Pete, I’m a songwriter. I’m enjoying introducing a song I’ve written each week. I also talk about where the song came from, the lyrics, the music. 

So you might like to tune in to pick up some song writing tips. Or you might like to just hear a songwriter speak about a song his life, observations. Information and entertainment – that’s what I’m offering.  

It’s as if I’m on a stage, talking in between songs.  Only here on this podcast, I have the license to get carried away, and go where my thoughts take me as I talk. 

This is all ‘ad libbed’. I don’t use notes – mad, right? 

Yep., it’s a Madman’s Preoccupation, alright, being a musician and artist… I picked this song (#683) out because right now, I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy …” You have to be mad to be doing this!”, I say to myself at times…

This song looks back on 3 different stages of life: being your, adolescence and being a parent. It talks about taking time out in nature, the all persuasive addictive power of the internet, the possibility that right now might be a golden age of freedom for the world, in amongst all the ups and downs…

Since we’ve been locked down here in Melbourne, I’ve been producing lots of positive creative content and posting it online, the timing has been great. There’s so much that’s grim on the Internet, I thought I’d do my bit, sharing some happy stuff. 

I’d actually committed to posting weekly content, the week we got locked down…. Since then it’s been ‘all go’ (as usual) In that time I’ve produced and posted  32 How to Draw Cartoon Animals , 30 odd Music videos (YouTube  – Pete Pascoe Art and Music), 32 Podcast episodes, 32 blogposts …www.petepascoe.wordpress.com …32 pairings on the blog, on my website…. www.petepascoe.com  Kind of mad, in a way? 

It’s been a busy, busy, life. An enjoyable life. Come along with me now and I’ll share some insights about song writing, in an inclusive, relaxed manner, with plenty of humour. Enjoy.