32 minutes | May 30, 2023
Episode #165: Bigger (Song starts at 4:52) The lyrics for 'Bigger' (song #689) were written in 2015. I remember having them squirrelled away, waiting for the mood to hit me to sit down and write the music - which I did in 2016. This song has a strong rhythmical element, but it’s absolutely folkrock. The lyrics all stemmed from the brain wave. ‘It’s bigger than you . . . .and it’s bigger than me’. The pause was always there whenever I thought of the line, before I wrote the music. While it’s not spoon fed, the gist of the lyrics is this: yes, there are a lot of problems in the world, from personal relationships right through to international relationships between countries. But we’ve just gotta have faith that it will all work out. How do we find that strength, find that faith? By following our passions, working constantly, which ends up being self therapy, so in effect, we have the power to heal ourselves and that’s the way we are going to heal the world. So the lyrics are certainly about the bigger picture, then… The inspiration for this song most likely would have been a news bulletin. I always find them extreme and confronting, when they beam in, as someone’s radio report comes within ear shot. I tend not to listen to the news reports much. I do keep my ear to the ground - it seems you can read and hear most of which you need to hear about, very quickly, online or via TV, the newspaper, etc. If we keep an open mind, we can hold a broad, measured view and navigate our way through the world. Everything will turn out ok. That’s what I wanted to say in this song, In my early 20s, I wanted my music to have healed the world by the time I was, oh, 27… feet not really on the ground, then! This song comes from an older set of eyes, someone who’s had a bit of experience, has a different view of a similar set of parameters. The effect of the song, with the strong beat and slide guitar is: there’s a lot of heavy subjects covered here, but it’s delivered in foot tapping way that makes it palatable. Most of the lyrics won’t be caught 1st time around, and that’s just fine by me, as the song writer. When I did eventually write the music, it came very, very quickly. I recorded a quick demo of one of the verses (which includes the main hook - chorus line, if you like - must be one of the quickest choruses in history, if that’s the case. I include that demo verse in this episode. The full version on this episode is track# 4 on the album 'The Untrodden Track', by myself and Paul Dredge - which I am unashamedly plugging here. In this day and age it falls to the artist to also provide the ‘bark’ and the ‘vehicle for the bark’, in terms of getting the song heard and noticed. There’s a lot of traffic on that internet. I’m stoked with the album. I have faith in the songs and I love the arrangements. I think it’s a great listen. Lookout for more lyric videos for songs from this album on my YouTube channel Pete Pascoe Art and Music. It’s streaming now, all over the place (ad break over). Ok, relax and let me entertain you as I sit at my piano and tell you all about Bigger Enjoy!
31 minutes | May 15, 2023
Episode #164: Destiny (Song starts at 4:31) Today has been a beautiful, pristine autumn day. The sort of day where you breathe the air in and think ‘Yes, it’s good to be alive’. On that note, that’s what I was thinking back in 1991, when I wrote song #198. But I was also considering the big picture…some things were coming through on the news about conflicts between people and between countries. I’m pretty much a pacifist, I think. The thought of violence is abhorrent to me. So I wrote this song, thinking about my future…what sort a future awaited me/us. Back then I was very keen on sharing my music and art. On reflection, I’m not too sure how successful I was at that. I did gig a lot - and record, but the internet wasn't there to help back then. I have been working hard these last 164 weeks, sharing a song on this podcast and sharing paintings, cartoons and writing on my blog, videos on YouTube (my channel is Pete Pascoe Art Music), etc.. Songs sometimes appear to come along ‘out of time’… in 1991, I was asking some big questions about humanity - questions that were equally apt for now - I suppose the lyrics could suit any age, really. Back then, to a degree, I didn’t really have the language for some of it, given I'd been lucky to grow up in New Zealand, in the relatively peaceful South Pacific. But what I really felt was: it was definitely time for creative endeavours to take centre stage and lift us in a positive manner, leading on into a positive future. This was a lyrics first, music second song. This was the way I worked back then. These days, it’s often both music and words at the same time, but I still do write lyrics when I feel inclined - perhaps when I might be away from the piano, and the mood hits me. It is nice to sit at the piano a few days later, leaf through a few pages and see what's on offer. One set of lyrics will often catch my eye and away I go. What happens? I play, for want of a better word. I allow instinct to take the wheel. All the theory is there as a support, something to draw on. I know how chords interact, what melody notes will fit where. However, when I'm ‘winging’ a melody, the technical aspects drop to the background. I allow things like emotion to lead the way. It’s a balance. The theory, as it were, is there like a massive support network. Anyway, back in 1991, the news came on. Reports about conflicts between people, between countries…. And thought to myself why? Why would we do this? This is what inspired 'Destiny'. And I also thought: what do I want to do with my life?… and that pretty much became a line in the chorus. But I turned it around and asked a question: ‘What do you want to do with your life?' Looking at the song today, I realised, as an artist, I was directly asking a question of my audience. Interesting.. I’m not sure how often I’ve done this.. I think it’s quite an effective thing to do, engaging the audience (the song Secret Lullabies comes to mind). I think this song is going to appear on the first ‘Songs from the Song and a Chat Podcast’ album - I’m planning to record piano vocal albums of songs from this podcast. That’ll be fun. Even with songs that I might have already released on a band album, a piano vocal take and can be a good creative thing to record. So, back to the beautiful day today, which is was in my neck of the woods. Right now as ever, there is conflict in the world. But in my day, my surroundings, its was all beaches and sunshine, for which I feel very grateful, indeed. The way I handle it is: I put as much time and energy as I can muster into producing more music and art - and I’m working equally hard at sharing it each week. I hope you enjoy the old demo of 'Destiny' (piano/vocal). It was fascinating for me to 'roll' the old tape and listen back to a much a younger me asking some questions and making some statements. After you’ve perhaps listened to this episode, if you want to hear more,
32 minutes | May 9, 2023
Living In The Movies
Episode #163: Living In The Movies (Song starts at 3:28) Ever feel like you’re living in a movie? - you know, when things just seem to go weird and you think “You couldn’t write this stuff...”. That’s how I felt back in 1992, when I composed 'Living In The Movies'. At the time I was playing 5 nights a week in a piano bar, with Paul Dredge, my longtime friend and co composer. It’s funny, earlier tonight, my wife and I visited our neighbour, who had some friends over. Long story short, I ended up on the piano, being 'Mr Pianoman'. It was a great night & brought back memories of the residency with Paul, back in NZ. It lead on to me playing my songs, talking about the paintings and the podcast. At the end of the evening, someone asked me what I was about to do.I said I’d finish a painting then record a podcast episode. They couldn’t believe it. But that’s me, I’m a night owl - and I've got a 'bit on', you might say. And I was a night owl, back in 1992, performing in the evenings. When you hold down a successful residency, you’re sticking your neck out a bit. Which can be very good. Or not so good. There’s a thing called the tall poppy syndrome. I think society can be pretty good at supporting an artist as they grow, then waiting for a moment or an episode where the artist might record a less than great song, or perhaps a dramatic event that may be magnified/distorted by the media. For me, in the piano bar, it was like being under a microscope: there was no stage line, as such. Complete strangers could come and talk in my ear and tell me their deepest secrets as I played and sang a song (much to Paul’s amusement, as sat next to me playing bass or guitar). What could be a simple conversation could be misconstrued by an observer... The piano bar - the music - was my 'rock', so to speak. Something I could rely on, in amongst all the ups and downs of growing up and performing every night (and it still is a 'rock' for me). About this time, I started to see some synchronicity in the movies, a parallel (to me at least), of what was happening in my life and what was happening on the screen… And I thought.. hmm, yes I think that’s a good idea for a song. So I picked up my pen at about 4am, after walking home on an early spring morning after the gig and a spot of night clubbing. It’s a great way to get things off your shoulders. Apart from that, as I wrote, I started to think about how hard it would to be a popular movie star. Then the next day, the press leap on some rumour, or the movie star appears in a movie that bombs at the box office. Sometimes a pack mentality sort of kicks in and the tide rapidly turns on the artist. So I introduced more about that aspect with the lyrics, rather than what may or may not having been going on in my life at the time. I think the result is the lyrics might have a wider, more global appeal. On this episode, I talk about how I brought the song together, composing each section & what spurred me on to the next part. I really enjoyed recording a quick piano/ vocal demo as part of the show. I stopped and overdubbed some strings and vocal harmony… Now I’m thinking song #240, which was just languishing in the shadows of my a page in my songbook, could become an 'up' guitar driven rock song, to present to the band (P.P. & The Patient Hum) to perform and record. That’d be fun. So it’s a good idea as an artist not to give up on something that’s ‘not quite there’. The same thing happened with the sunset painting which I’d left it unfinished when I started recording the podcast episode. I‘d been painting in circles, not progressing, unsatisfied with it. Afterward, just as I was leaving the studio, I picked up the brush and lo and behold, with a few brush strokes, the sunset sky came together quickly. It can be the same with a song: a few tweaks and the whole feeling of the song can be transformed. As I share my processes and thoughts on the art of songwriting,
31 minutes | May 1, 2023
Episode #162: Ready (Song starts at 4.55) On these episodes, I’ve often talked about the peace you can find in the outdoors, preferably near water for me. I’ve found by getting outdoors, I manage to still my mind and quickly get into the creative state, the zone required to write a song. This episode pretty much shatters that peace, in a good way (I think). Looking back, the song 'Ready' was probably the result of a build up of tension for me, in my mid to late 20s. It's a guitar/band driven rocker. I was so ready… ready to make some major changes in my life. I was ready to record, ready for a major romance, ready for …life. So I was ready to sort of cut loose in some way. I was ready to do that again this week, when the band (Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum) played an outdoor gig. I ‘cut loose’ and unleashed a lot of energy, as the front man. It’s fun, that’s for sure. A lot of positive energy can come through from somewhere when you perform, compose and record. Back in 1994, in NZ, my band weren’t with me at the time I wrote 'Ready'. I was out there, on my own and I was determined not to give in. In fact, I was just getting started. So I wrote the words as I sat in my van, overlooking the ocean. Then I drove home and composed what turned out to be a 3 or 4 chord guitar based rock song - on the piano. The old demo I found is on a tape that’s seen better days, so the sound quality is a bit ‘iffy’, this time. But the recording has a certain sort of feeling about it. When I recorded this demo, it was my first time that I had a real studio all to myself. I was given permission to use it between 10pm and dawn for a couple of weeks. I didn’t really know how to work much of the gear, but I set myself of completing an albums worth of recordings in the fortnight - and I did. I realised I had an opportunity to put on tape what was on my mind, without any input for anyone else. No band? No problem… I programmed some drums and played some drum fills live, played keyboard bass, piano and organ. One evening as I was recording the vocals a guitarist knocked on the studio door. He liked what he heard, went home, grabbed his gear and recorded all the guitars in one night. So much fun. All this from came about by writing about an experience ‘I’d rather forget’. Some things that don’t appear to be so great at the time can actually be the catalyst to get you moving. And I did. And I haven’t stopped. Right now, I’ve never been busier as a creative person. The new Patient Hum band album is really taking shape. I’m producing that, painting big seascapes, blogging, making videos, half way through more albums. Making sheet music, video courses. It’s all ‘go’. With 800 songs up my sleeve, I’m enjoying this way of sharing them. By the way, I mention these 2 on this episode: Zed Brookes and Andrew Johnstone. Their latest album is here: www.brookesjohnstone.bandcamp.com You can check out 12 of my albums on www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com, or they’re streaming on Spotify, etc. Or… there’s the 160 songs on this podcast of course (you can scoot straight to the song on each episode if you wish. I mention the time it plays, as above). This week’s blog post has the lyrics, more music and art - including this weeks seascape painting. It’s all go around here. www.petepascoe.wordpress.com And I’m ready - for more. Hope you enjoy Ready. It was a fun episode to record. Ready? Here we go…. back to 1994! Let’s look at song #343.
32 minutes | Apr 26, 2023
Episode #161: Low Tide (Song starts at 4:23) Welcome to another episode. Today we are looking at the song #556, 'Low Tide'. Last night I was out fishing. I did a quick recording while I was there, rod in hand at the beach at night. You can hear it on this episode. Being out in nature really blows the cobwebs away. It clears my mind, it seems brings in energy. When I return home, I’m rejuvenated. The world seems to be an even better place. So head out to my studio and get stuck into some seascape painting or some song writing... ...like the morning, in 2011, when I sat at my piano and looked at some handwritten lyrics. I came up with some chords and a riff straight away. Earlier that day, I’d had pretty dark bad dream, right before I’d woken up. So I'd been moved to pick up my pen. The words that I'd written turned out to be the lyrics On the episode, I mention the book The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron. One of the great things Julia suggests is morning pages. The idea is you wake up and write down whatever comes through. Most often you are just clearing your thoughts. Sometimes snippets of ideas seem to come through that seem to come from somewhere else. That’s the moment you sit up and take notice. A couple of things seem to be happening. You are inspired, dipping into somewhere within and from somewhere else. The other thing that is happening is you’re discovering your own voice. It’s a long road, the unfolding process that is a life in the arts. There is no ‘getting there’ - and if you do, it’s a fleeting moment of (perhaps) success before you go "well, that was good. What’s next"? For me, composing a song like 'Low Tide' moment like that. Generally, I come up with some chords and perhaps a riff, and then you sing over the top of it, and then you realise you’ve come up with something you like. So you then become secretary. And write down what you’ve just composed. It can be a bit like recalling a dream. You can’t force it, but if you just sort of wait, the music comes back to you. Then you write it down. So, back to this morning in 2011, 'bad dream'. . I’m glad I wrote the words down when I woke up, caught my thoughts as they came through, I turned a murky feeling (which stayed with me for a few hours) into something good. The title low tide only came to me after I’d written 12 lines. That’s the way I work: I often just start writing and something almost always come through 'Low Tide' became a song I like to listen to - and I like to perform it with my band. On this episode, the version you’ll get to hear the album cut from the album 'This World Offers You' - by 'Pascoe', as we were known back then ( it’s now Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum.) You can check it out on www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com There’s a live version on my YouTube channel Pete Pascoe Art and Music Here’s my blog. The lyrics from Low Tide are here ( + other music and art): www.petepascoe.wordpress.com I hope you enjoy hearing more about how the song came together. I also draw attention to the underlying themes that are woven into the lyrics. As I sit at my piano, it's fun, demonstrating the songwriting process. Enjoy.
34 minutes | Apr 18, 2023
Episode #160: Maybe Sunday (Song starts at 4:45) During the recording of an episode a few weeks back, the lyrics to 'Maybe Sunday' fell out of my song book. I said at the time “Hmmm maybe I should do an episode about writing that song.” Today I picked up an old cassette tape an I discovered an old demo of 'Maybe Sunday'. That clinched it. This episode has turned into a quite a light and breezy episode, which is probably a reflection of this song. While it’s a song of perhaps longing, wondering and dreaming, the style I wrote in was really a mid tempo sort of song with acoustic guitar strumming in mind. Creating a song is an exercise in being lost in the moment. Well, lost to the world around me, but for me, it’s not a case of being lost. Every action and thought is quite a decisive thing. It’s like ‘playing with a purpose’- and letting go of the outcome. It’s a great of example of just enjoying the ‘doing’. Perhaps that’s a big key of songwriting. There’s an element of performance, I think, too. You lift yourself, you trust yourself: that your fingers on the keys are going to do good things, as you improvise and accompaniment for an as yet imagined melody - which you then ‘wing’ over the top. It’s a fascinating process. It’s fun analysing aspects of what is really quite a complicated thing. For me it’s instinctive. How can that be? Having the theory and playing chops under your belt certainly gives you confidence - and this: freedom. You’re free to have fun. I think having fun is huge part of the songwriting process. So I wrote the lyrics one evening, back in 1993. Wow, I’ve just realised that was 30 years ago (goes silent for a moment) … time passing is not something I dwell on too often. That’s one of the great things about being a very active creative person, fully engaged in a number of disciplines. You are so often fully engaging so much of yourself in the moment, the past and future are forgotten about for the moment. This amount of focus is the key. But for me, it’s not sort of furiously involved, it’s a gentle engagement, it’s free feeling and - again - it’s fun. A joy, if you well. At the time I wrote 'Maybe Sunday', I was alone, thinking about someone - a potential romance, wondering whether it was going to happen. At the same time my life was rapidly changing. I’d left town, was as free as I’d ever been. I was gigging when I could, fishing when I felt like it and… songwriting. This sense of personal freedom is something that I constant allude to in my blog writing, as it turns out. On that note, I’m very grateful I’ve chosen this creative path. Yes it has its challenges, but it is just so rewarding. I enjoy composing in different genres. On this episode I mention and play a bit of Albertine for the album 'The Unfolding' - Gentle piano solo. Then there’s 'Mobile Phone'…from the album 'The Roughest Cut' - total rock. I also paint seascapes, and draw cartoons animals …yes, there’s variety in my days. I mention these other things as I did say I’d put my blog in the show notes: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com I hope you enjoy hearing about how 'Maybe Sunday' came together. Here we go…
34 minutes | Apr 11, 2023
Nowhere Now Here
Episode #159: Nowhere Now here (Song starts at 5:21 & 25:51) There was a bit of rain on the roof tonight as I recorded this podcast. It was a nice morning, but it turned into a really ‘steel grey sky’ sort of day, which is the opening gambit for the lyrics of 'Nowhere Now Here'. This week’s blog post (which I wrote earlier today) took on a theme of rain, & I also painted a squally looking seascape. So it’s been a nice creative sort of a day. Before I started, I sat at my table in the backyard, with my cat. I recorded a quick spoken observation about how important it is for me to sit quietly in nature to get myself into the creative zone, open those creative thoughts (which you’ll hear on this episode). 'Nowhere Now Here' started out life at a Melbourne beach (in Sandringham). My children were playing in a boat shape we dug out of the sand. It amazes me how quickly and completely children disappear into another world. It’s not unlike the songwriting state, come to think of it. Very much like it, actually. The whole imaginary world, it’s so real. You go there, leaving behind what’s going on in the moment. I do it so often, it comes very naturally to me, for me. It’s such a joy and it’s certainly not something I take for granted. So I wrote the page of lyrics and then joined my children in the imaginary sandy boat. The music for 'Nowhere Now Here' is co written by Paul Dredge (NZ). It is from an album of ours called Tasman Bridge, which includes songs we co-wrote in different countries. In this case, I wrote the verse and mid sections. Paul answered with the chorus and bridge. It is such good fun, sharing the process with Paul. We have done thousands of gigs together, so we know each other’s musical styles very well. But there was something there straight away. The first gig Paul & I did, we harmonised on Homeward Bound by Paul Simon. The voices blended so well, it was so easy - and that’s the way it’s remained. The same with the songwriting: we’re ‘on the same page’. On this episode, I perform a piano vocal version, which was fun - I can’t remember the last time I played it. I also include the album track which clearly shows the different sections (written by each person). We sang lead on the sections we wrote. As we had 5 evenings to learn each other’s songs and record them, we quickly realised it would make sense to do this. I have a video for this song up on YouTube my channel is Pete Pascoe Art and Music. Here’s the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM919PyLzgo&list=PL5WTg3pdJlzj1fmDMsW6BZophZfXu4QiC&index=4 And you can find the lyrics & the painting I did today on my blog www.petepascoe.Wordpress.com I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Thanks for checking out my podcast. If you’re new here, my plan is to put you in the shoes of a songwriter, looking at the process. But this is no dry tutorial sort of podcast. Yes, I do analyse the music and words, but it’s a very relaxed and inclusive vibe, with an emphasis on entertainment. Enjoy.
32 minutes | Apr 4, 2023
Episode #158: Halfway There (Song starts at 4:06) The song 'Halfway There' was written in a place called Kuratau, New Zealand. It’s a beautiful peaceful place, situated by Lake Taupo. A river runs silently below the bluff which is covered in the dark green of New Zealand bush and it flows into the majestic Lake Taupo. The tuis and bellbirds calls float on the semi alpine air. We (we being myself and Paul Dredge, my great friend and co-composer) had decided we needed to hit the road, get outta town and have a break - for as long as it took.… We’d been playing 5 nights at a great gig for a few years, in a piano bar, playing as a duo. We’d loved it, but we just felt like it was time for a change. The emphatic peace of Taupo called to us. It had a profound effect on us. Soothed the nerves, and we settled into some song writing - and some tennis, fishing, darts, etc ,which I talk about on this episode. The riff to 'Halfway There' (song #249), came to me as I quietly played my electric piano one evening. We had the big floor to ceiling glass doors rolled back, so the sound of the summer evening floated in. Our surroundings really do have an effect on what we get up to. The riff just sounds like the country, somehow. Then I opened my mouth and sang. What were the words about? Well, there was another person whom we both thought would fit in with our music very nicely - a 3rd voice, as it were. The lyrics are really just floating images and thoughts about this Idea, how it might be if it happened. So I ended up with another song. Eventually, Paul and I found another residency which I also I talk about this on this episode. It did involve a gorilla suit and a lion suit, one evening! The things you find yourself getting up to when you perform a living. Our van Hercules was so reliable, all the miles we covered, the hours spent driving along with the windows open, the signs and the smells of the New Zealand countryside - all very soothing. This is the mood that came through really strongly in 'Halfway There'. I really enjoyed singing and playing this for the episode. It was also fun. Looking at the lyrics afterwards, seeing how the words came to be & what each line pertains to. Composing music, it’s like you’re walking 2 paths (or more) at the same time, letting your mind be free, creatively speaking - at the same time, you keep your mind on the theory, what notes might be a logical choice to sing next, what chord or bass note, the tempo, etc. It all happens so naturally for me and it happens very quickly, for which I’m extremely grateful. It’s a real pleasure to be sharing the songs and having a chat each week on this podcast. I hope you enjoy what’s turned out to be another very relaxed episode. Here we go, join me in the country in New Zealand, in 1993. Let’s see what happened…
33 minutes | Mar 26, 2023
Never Throw A Day Away
Episode #157: Never Throw A Day Away (Song starts at 4:27) Featuring a song from the recent album The Untrodden Track by myself and Paul Dredge. I include the album track on this episode. I never throw a day away. I can’t afford to. I’m really committed to this artistic path. It’s my passion, it’s the way I make a living. So I’m busy. 'Never Throw A Day Away' began at a bus shelter. I was on my way home, after a long day. It was the end of a changeable day, weather wise. It was a bit chilly, but there was a hint of spring in the air. I’d just missed my bus, after I got off my train and ran..but off my bus went. What did I do? I picked my pen up, looked around me and started writing about what I was looking at: a seagull approached me like a soul out of the night, gleaming white; the hint of spring in the air; the dulcet tones of the city; the dark cloud, like a hanging shroud… It went on .. the puddles were a reminder of a changeable day…. Which lead, finally to the line: ‘Still, I’ve never known one you’d ever throw away’. I’m an optimist. That's my approach, for some reason. As a youngster we didn’t have much, growing up (I don’t feel like I ‘missed out’. I was loved, we had fun). But my soccer boots were second hand… and different to all the other kids. No matter. When I tied those old puma boots on, the pliable leather spoke to me, told me I could do great things. When I perform, I put on an imaginary superman sort of suit …when I compose, I get into my ‘can do’ mindset. It’s not arrogance, or being overconfident…it’s just getting yourself into the zone where you know you can do it. It’s a quiet confidence, based on work done. Like when you address a golf ball and get into the ‘now’ - it’s the same at the piano, with lyrics in front of me, away I go. There’s also this: I plan to have fun, whatever happens… When you start writing, you have no idea how the song is going to go. Sometimes it all comes together. I’m pleased I’ve committed to writing songs for so long. I’m passionate..this one is song #661. It’s just what I do. I love arranging and recording my songs,. This one worked really well for Paul Dredge and I. I love his lead guitar at the end. It really got the build up I wanted and I enjoyed arranging (keyboard) strings too. I had Dire Straits and Supertramp in mind… I love the dynamics of their recordings. It’s important to have role models. It’s equally important to take the time to find your own original voice. I’m glad I picked up my pen, and started writing what turned out to be another song. I’m also glad I recorded this episode, too. I hope you enjoy hearing how the song came together. Here’s my blog www.petepascoe.Wordpress.com. (Creations in music and art ) ..you can read the lyrics of this song here, and view this week’s seascape painting, which I painted earlier today. It’s great to be on this creative path. If you’d like to sign up for my email list, that’d also be great: email@example.com. You won’t miss a thing that way: new albums, podcast episodes, sheet music, paintings, gigs, etc. …there’s plenty more coming up, Ok, on with the show… enjoy!
31 minutes | Mar 20, 2023
Episode #156: The Silent Stream (Song starts at 27:16) I was sitting at the piano and found myself starting to compose a song. Then I had the idea to stop, head into my studio and write the song, while recording the process. I’m glad I did. Earlier in the week, I was sitting beside a stream, where I was camping. You’ll get to hear the sound of the stream bubbling along. For this episode, I read a piece of writing which I wrote when I was sitting in the sun. I Describe the process of walking up a stream, trout fishing: ‘Fishing a stretch of river that might take 5 minutes to walk beside can take an hour to fish properly. It’s seemingly timeless time, a meditation for the senses. The quiet music of the river and the bird calls, the dusty green of the bush against a powder blue sky. It’s a great way to start the day…’ The point of sharing this writing with you is to try to show how being out in nature really relaxes me. It gets me into the relaxed meditative state required to write a song. It fills the well. I mention the song 'Timeless Time' by Paul Dredge and myself. It’s about this (from the album 'Walking Through A Dream' - streaming now on: Spotify, Apple Music, etc. here it is on bandcamp https://petepascoe.bandcamp.com/track/timeless-time ). Back at home, the lyrics came along unexpectedly, as a result of me sitting outside, listening to nature - but there’s no stream in my backyard.. so I thought… sitting by the silent stream… hmm, the creative realm? Watching the clouds drifting by?…so I wrote the lines that came to mind. Then the next day, I sat at the piano and just let a riff happen. It had the peace of a river sort of feeling. So I had a sing. Then I paused the process to setup the studio to record this episode. There’s a line ‘til the minutes have no meaning’. While finding the river audio, I stumbled across some audio of myself talking about this idea, the week before I went camping. That surprised me as a couple of weeks later, the concept came through clearly and ended up in the song. So songs can begin with ideas that sort of just pop into your mind, out of sequence on a timeline. As a creative person, you sense it’s one of those moments, so you record it or write it down somehow. The beginning of this song was a series of moments like that. Then I got into the studio and steered it through to a point of being a good demo. Join me on this podcast …fishing, at a stream; at the table in my backyard; in the piano room where I teach; at the piano in my lounge…. and in the studio as I write a song this week. Eventually, at the end I sing the finished song (and play it on the piano). I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording basically how I write a song from ‘go to whoa’. It’s a relaxed, entertaining 30 minutes of chat, with lots of piano, The lyrics to 'Silent Stream', the painting I mention and more writing from the morning spent beside the stream are all on my my blog this week. Here’s the link. Creations in music and art https://petepascoe.wordpress.com/ Enjoy.
31 minutes | Mar 16, 2023
Share The Blues
Episode #155: Share The Blues (Song starts at 3:25 & 26:46) I've had an interesting time recording this episode: I got into my studio early, thinking I’d be clever, get the job done and get an early night. …yeh, right! Not. I ended up recording a 'produced'/arranged demo, with some different sounds, which took me a while. Consequently, it was a very late bedtime. It was recorded pretty late at night. What inspired this song was the feeling of waking up at dawn. This is actually the song I was thinking of when I picked out 'Drift Away' for last week's episode. A similar mood, but different melodies. There’s a bit more of me in this song (perhaps more personal than 'Drift Away') …there’s a line “ there’s a personal limit in us all ”. Yep, we all go through stuff, it’s great to be able to get things off the shoulders and put it into art. As it turns out, I recorded another version of 'Share the Blues' - a piano vocal take - at the end of the episode. It happened on the spur of the moment. Listening back now, I think the piano/vocal version is stronger. The melody changed in the chorus. Oh well, it was fun recording the other earlier take and there’s some interesting ideas on it. Perhaps it would be interesting to turn this into a duet sometime. All songs are a work in progress until they’re released. Variety with my songwriting has been a real key for me. I’ve been very lucky with some long term residencies … actually I mention 'Loves Me Like A Rock' by Paul Simon. Paul Dredge (long term songwriting buddy) and I were singing and playing it live one night - after a huge day of trout fishing and driving. We got to the gig. Someone turned the lights up and then the next thing we knew, the camera was rolling. Here’s the youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG6Fsw_ssAg The residencies were so much fun. They also gave me time to get to know myself as a songwriter. This process takes time and it requires freedom, which is precisely what I’ve had plenty of for so many years. Yep, I’d say I’ve been lucky, but I continue to strive to hang on to my freedom. It’s a challenge and there are sacrifices along the way. But for me it’s a rich path, creatively speaking. I think perhaps I wrote the lyrics for 'Share The Blues' immediately after 'Drift Away'. I often used to write in bunch in bunches of 2 or 3. Writing one lot would awaken my pen (my voice), so I would make the most of being ‘in the zone’. Being in this creative state, it feels like a slightly altered reality, come to think it. You’re a time traveller; an observer; you get to sort of view things from another person’s view point at times. It really does have the effect of opening your mind to new possibilities. Perhaps that’s why I love composing songs so much. It continues to be a pleasure to be sharing them and talking about the songs/ the creative process in general, here. I hope you enjoy 'Share The Blues'. I enjoyed singing the 2nd version (look out for it at the end of this episode.
32 minutes | Mar 6, 2023
Episode #154: Drift Away (Song starts at 3:03) I took a drive this evening. I live on the outskirts of Melbourne, on the Mornington Peninsula, out in the country. I wasn’t sure where I was going... just following my nose. As it turns out, it lead to a nice quiet beach where gentle waves were lapping. I took a walk and when I got back to my car, I was thinking about a song… 'Drift Away'. Well, I was remembering the melody, not the words. I thought 'Drift Away' (which I later found in my song book - song #157, written in 1991)) was going to be the melody I was hearing in my head at the beach. But no! It was another song, completely. So I thought what the heck. Let’s do this one… When you’re on a trip like that, not sure of where you’re going, that’s how it feels when you’re composing a song: there’s a sense of adventure & quite often a peaceful feeling - at least there is for me. You’re on the breath, you’ve got some momentum. In fact, that’s all you really need to start: a feeling, a mood…and away you go. As I had a quick try at singing the song before I recorded this episode, as usual, I could 'hear' other musical elements (besides the piano & voice). So I couldn’t resist it, I recorded a quick arrangement. That’s been one of the pleasures, recording these episodes: discovering songs I’d forgotten about, or just reworking a line or two on a song that I thought perhaps wasn’t really up to scratch. Fixing one or 2 words can make all the difference. 'Drift Away' was inspired by a morning I can clearly remember. I woke just as dawn was breaking. The light drifted across the slate grey sky. It was a quiet moody morning. I’d pulled the curtains back to watch the sunrise. It was so nice to be awake. I had no place to be that day, so there wasn’t that feeling of “Oh no, what am I doing awake? I've gotta get back to sleep”. No, this was the opposite of that of that feeling. There’s one line ‘ take the time to send your fears away’ that catches the ear. I underlined it with a slight harmonic change in the music. How do you send fears away? By doing the opposite: visualising positive scenarios & outcomes. So I was setting myself up for the day.. Catching that sort of feeling was easy enough in the lyrics. The words came quickly. When it came to the music, the first couple of chords set the mood and away I went. I haven’t looked at 'Drift Away' for years. It was a pleasure to rediscover this song. As I say, it’s a peaceful one. In fact, the feeling of the song rolled over into the entire episode & I found myself I reciting the words as a bit of spoken poetry on the spur of the moment. Later on the episode, I recount the drive in the country I had this evening, as I improvise some piano music. It all leads me to a mistake on the keys of my piano. So using this unexpected note, I demonstrate how I then might compose another song..one song can lead so easily to the next. The first couple of chords were like that, notes that I hadn’t played like that before quickly lead me into the song, Drift Away came together quite quickly, then. this is the way it seems to work for me, particularly when I’m writing music to lyrics which have been rewritten, I do mention a song which did take me a couple of hours to finish: 'Molly Brown'. This one came to me as a fully formed melody and chords - a piano piece - except I called it someone ( blank) 'Brown', definitely a female energy. And I also knew it would be a song about a historical event. Then it came to me to write about theTitanic. I resisted the idea because it's certainly already been done. But the next day, on the internet a story came up unexpectedly about Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the titanic. Amazing. Ok. I wasn’t going to fight that. So I found a dry account of her quite remarkable life, found there was a story to tell or retell… I created lyrics, imagining scenes based on the online account of her life. Here’s the link…Molly Brown podcast episode #76 ...
31 minutes | Feb 27, 2023
Episode #153: Work Song (Song starts at 2:24) We are heading back in time on this episode, way back to 1986 when I wrote 'Work Song'. This was song #11. At the time. I was working in a music shop - a short stint, as it turned out. I really wasn’t cut out to do the 9 to 5 thing. 'Work Song' is a statement to that effect. I recorded a version live for this episode. It was nice to sing and play this one, after all these years. It brought back so many memories. I was young then. Determined to take my music somewhere, already committed to living a creative life. In the lyrics there’s a line: ‘If you choose to live by the clock, it gives you no time for love’ . It pretty much summed up the idea that we’ll miss all the special moments & life will just pass us by if we get lost in some pastime (a job) that we are not passionate about. This thought came to me loud and clear back then. I thought ‘Hey, I think I’ll write a song about this idea, and so the the lyrics took shape. A few Weeks later, I was trying out a brand new keyboard (one of the perks of the job). It was a Korg DW8000. It was a beautiful sounding keyboard, with lots of inspiring sounds. As I pushed the buttons, selecting the preset sounds, I improvised little pieces . One of these riffs struck me as quite strong, so when I got home that night, I sat at my piano, recalled the riff and wrote it down. Then I remembered the lyrics I had written recently. They were sitting on the piano, waiting. As usual, it all came together quickly. Before I knew it another song was born. So I duly wrote into my exercise book. Little did I know one day I’d be recording a podcast episode about it, having now written 800+ songs. The songwriting is driven by passion. Well, it is for me. Songwriting is not something I wonder whether or not I’ll carry on with. It’s part of each week. It sneaks up on me after a few days and a melody comes through my fingers from somewhere. I spent a lot of my life being a piano man at night, and a songwriter in the day time. I don’t regret a minute of it. I wrote my memoirs of my piano man days and I have a work in progress version up on a blog, which I stumbled across today (I mention this on the episode, so, as promised, here’s the link.The Hazy Line - Memoirs of a Piano Man I also mention the songs 'Old Hat in The Sun' and 'Don’t Live Your Life In One Day' (a song completely improvised/composed live a previous episode): Old Hat In The Sun Here’s my weekly blog with the lyrics and the painting of the week too. www.petepascoe.wordpress.com It’s a creative life. It’s a rich life. I really enjoy sitting at my piano, with the mic, talking about the creative process. I love entertaining, it’s what I do. So this podcast is an entertaining weekly look at how it feels, how I go about writing a song - and you get to hear a new song each week. .... like 'Work Song'. Hope you enjoy the episode. Here we go…
30 minutes | Feb 20, 2023
Diamond Of A Moment
Episode #152: Diamond Of A Moment (Song plays at 3:15) Before I recorded this episode, I had a fairly raucous, loud band practice for a couple of hours, In contrast, Diamond Of A Moment is a very gentle ballad. This turned out to be a very relaxed episode. It was pleasure to sing and play the song. I hadn’t sung it for years. I decided to add a vocal harmony, a cello/bass string sound and another string part. Song #466, Diamond Of A Moment was written back in 1998. I enjoyed rediscovering this song, delving into the lyrics and music, recalling what inspired it. When I wrote the lyrics, initially I let my pen have it's say. Just whatever pops into mind/whatever comes through my pen is where I start. In this case: ‘Some of my favourite diamonds are the dew drops on leaves. They last but a few moments, or hours, depending on the day.’ Sure it’s a little ‘woofy’, perhaps, but I didn’t dismiss my work and it lead on to something more substantial. There’s a risk you might never finish anything when you’re a creative person. The key is to put aside the judgement, just enjoy the process. Usually when I do this I end up looking back at my work, perhaps waking up the next day, sitting at the piano and rediscovering the song and generally I think “Well, I’m glad I took the time to do this.” These are the moments. We have the option whether or not to catch thoughts, the melodies. No one’s making me do this. I’ve composed 800 songs purely because of the joy it gives me (and of course for the pleasure it gives others). I have a blog. Like this podcast, I publish a post weekly. This week’s blog post is called ‘Those Little Moments’ (www.petepascoe.wordpress.com) So I thought that was a nice ‘tie-in’ with the essence of what this song is about: sort of distilling all the complicated twists and turns of life down into an observation that eventually our tears become the dewdrops. As I look into how the music came together, I demonstrate on the piano and I interject with spoken word observations in between singing the lines. It’s fun to go between the analytical thinking and the creative thinking, It’s a very gentle process, songwriting - at least it is for me. It’s complicated..all the music theory is like a support network underlying every musical idea. But I go about intuitively, in a very quick, free manner. Where do melodies come from? It sure is a mystery, which I’m sure not looking to take away..as if I could. Chords dictate which notes are good to sing, and a melody can dictate which harmonic options are going to work, in terms of accompaniment. It’s like in the moment you’re the director of the whole band. At least that’s the way I think. I can hear the strings, the bass guitar, the guitars, the backing vocals, the drums, the whole arrangement. It comes in ‘fully arranged' sounding phrases to me, as I build the sections of songs and put them together. It’s a bit like you’re waiting for a story to come through and I’m telling my version. Ok, here we go, hear how the song came together, some anecdotes, etc. and of course you’ll get to hear a new song. Also on my blog you can read the lyrics, view my painting of the week which I mentioned on this episode. My writing, art and music are an evolving interrelated series of processes. It’s all a joy to me and it’s great to share some spoken word, singing and piano playing here on this podcast. If you’re tuning in to listen each week, thank you so much. I hope you’re enjoying the podcast as much as I enjoy recording the episodes. Enjoy!
33 minutes | Feb 13, 2023
Episode #151: Mystery (Song starts at 3:24 ) This song (#499) was originally titled 'The Medium' I wrote it about the time I went to visit a clairvoyant person for the 1st time. I decided to change it to 'Mystery' at a later date. I guess I thought the new title might get the song listened to more. Crash Test Dummies had a song about this subject, on a great album of theirs God Shuffled His Feet. I suppose that sort of gave me permission to write something similar. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I would talk about when this song popped this week. It’s a very personal thing to experience and I think it pays to be discerning in terms of what you choose to share at times. As it turns out, it was easy to talk about the experience I had. The crux of this song is in the chorus where I sing ‘ I want to say thank you’ - because that’s precisely what I wanted to say to this person who helped at a time when I really needed a hand. It was a nice feeling, singing and playing this gentle song as part of this episode. It flowed easily. That’s my memory of how the song came through, to. The words came easily, first. The last couple of verses came to me as a reflection of this time later in my life. It was such an interesting experience. We tend to view ourselves a certain way for part of our life, then something happens and we unfold a little more and our perspective changes. This song is about a time of some personal transformation in my twenties. I was searching, really - finding my own path. The music came very quickly, as easily as the words. The two parts sound very natural, then. Not forced. Which I think is a big part of what could be deemed to be a successful bit of songwriting. I’m pleased I shared this song. It’s been tucked away for years, although, I did sell about 30 copies of an album I called ‘12 Quiet Songs’ in 2005. Back then, I’d recently found a great Jimmy Webb album, ‘10 Easy Pieces’. I can really relate to Jimmy Webb's song writing style. He sang his songs on this album himself ( his songs have been recorded and released by all sorts of wonderful artists such as Glen Campbell). Maybe I’ll re-record this album again, one day. That’d be fun. This is one of the things about recording the episodes for this podcast. It’s all a work in progress. I’m enjoying the complete unknown aspect about each episode, as I’m talking and playing without a script or more than a general plan of having a chat and sharing a song. It is indeed a mystery how the episodes come together, much like songwriting. I’m looking to bring some light to the songwriting process. I’m not looking to take away the mystery, though - as if I could. It does surprise me how complicated the process is. For me, it’s something that’s been self taught, really. After singing lots of Elton John and Paul Simon, etc, I felt like I’d like to give this songwriting thing a go back in my teens. Which is just what I did …and here I am years down the track, having composed about 800 songs. It’s nice to be sharing and taking about the songs here. I hope you enjoy hearing about the song Mystery as much as I enjoyed recording the episode. Here we go….
33 minutes | Feb 6, 2023
Carry Me On
Episode #150: Carry Me On (Song starts at 3:13) Hi, on this episode we are looking at Carry Me On, song #237, composed 1992 (you can find it online as part of the album 'Righto', on www.petepascoe.bandcamp.com. I will remix it one day and it put it on the other streaming platforms). I’ll also take you underwater with some snapper. I live on the Mornington peninsula, Melbourne, Australia and take a dip in the Port Phillip bay quite often. Most of all though, I’ve looked at where the song came from, how it was composed. In this case it was a ‘words first, music 2nd’ sort of song. Co-written by myself and mr Paul Dredge, great friend and longtime co-songwriter. Picture Paul and I having a cuppa, In Paul’s lounge, back in 1992 in NZ. Paul, having had a brief look at the lyrics, leaps into the opening riff on his acoustic guitar. I ‘wing’ a melody as I hold the lyrics sheet, watching Paul play. In this moment we are totally free, tuning into what the other is offering. It’s a bit like like ‘theatre sports', where neither actor blocks the other. The idea then is: the story evolves naturally, being plucked out of thin air by two creative souls. We are communicating fully in the moment without speaking, while listening closely to the music that the other person is producing. We are both improvising in the moment, based on knowledge of the theory of music & visual clues - but most of all, we are just following ‘the feeling’ - where the melody, chords and dynamics appear to be guiding us. It’s a fascinating process to delve into. I do it on this podcast in a very relaxed, inclusive manner. This is no dry tutorial. I’m not here to tell you how to write as song. But I do share some ideas on how I do compose. I asked Paul to share his memories about the song, so I’ve included some audio from him (by the way we are 8 songs into our new Folk Rock album. Although he lives in another country, we still write and record, via the internet. Check out 'The Untrodden Track', our last album.). You’ll also hear about our 1996 mountain rock performance. An outdoor festival in Manawatu, NZ. Joe Satriani was the headline act - heady stuff for a relatively young band. I start to compose another song on this episode, again (I must go back through the episodes and finish some of these off). I find myself demonstrating on the keys and this leads naturally into the composing process, so I go with it when it happens on this podcast. Here’s my weekly blog, where you can find the lyrics to 'Carry Me On', my new seascape painting which I touch on, plus lots of other goodies. www.petepascoe.Wordpress.com If all this sounds pretty good to you, please do email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to join my email list. You won’t miss a thing that way. Also, if you do enjoy this episode, there’s another 149 episodes to discover. Please do leave a favourable review and share this with people whom you think may be interested. Thank you in advance. Ok , without further ado let's get into Carry Me On. Sit back, relax and allow me to entertain you!
33 minutes | Jan 28, 2023
Hope and Forgiveness
Episode #149: Hope and Forgiveness (song starts at 8:44 & 28:28) As I recorded this episode, I was feeling so energised. The creative flow was happening. I’ve just been away camping for 2 weeks. Being out in nature really does it for me. 2 weeks was a complete reset. I take you to my campsite, sitting outside my tent as I talk about the Australian animals that we were surrounded by, the peace, the sound of the ocean. Then, in contrast, I take you on the train in the city, where people's faces had ‘barren fixed stares’ … because this is when I wrote the lyrics to 'Hope and Forgiveness'. I talk about the scenes and the people I was looking at as I was writing the lyrics & then we look at how the music came together. This podcast is about creativity, in general. But it’s also turning out to be a podcast about living positively & enjoying life. That’s what I do. I recorded piano solo album #5 the other night, (a version of 'Hope and Forgiveness' will be on it - just piano, no singing). I’m working on the sheet music too, so that will be available online later this year. I also talk about one of my seascape paintings that sold last week, and one I did on the spot while camping, while simultaneously whacking huge Australian horseflies that chose to chomp into my back and legs as I painted. Yep, you’ve got to be determined and focussed and passionate to be on the creative path - which I am It’s one of the reasons I enjoy recording these episodes each week, sitting in my studio with my piano and chatting about what springs to mind. It gets me into performance mode - and that’s a big part of song writing mode. There’s plenty on offer this week. Wallabies, tiger snakes, melody, humour… look out! This week's episode is a 2 for 1 deal: You’ll hear the audio from a YouTube video of me singing at the piano, (part of a Live From The Lounge online concert from during covid lockdowns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnzXPzljm3s), At the end you’ll hear the album cut: track 2 from the album 'Walking Through A Dream' - streaming now. (Featuring Mr Paul Dredge on guitars, bass and vocal harmony. This was our 4th album). On Bandcamp you can see photos, lyrics, stream music and buy songs for yourself or send it as a gift… https://petepascoe.bandcamp.com/ Here’s my blog too www.petepascoe.wordpress.com (lyrics to the song here, art, links to much more online - which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as listening to this episode. Here we go, 'Hope and Forgiveness'…rolling!
32 minutes | Jan 13, 2023
Man in The Mountain
Episode #148: Man In The Mountain (Song starts at 5:06 & 7:36) Welcome to a time travelling adventure. On this episode, we’re going back to 1988. That’s one of the great things about being a songwriter. You get to move about in time within a song. You get to act, imagine, be emotional and tell stories. It’s a blast. I enjoy composing a variety of music. I’ve sold 5000 CDs of mellow piano solo pieces, I enjoy singer songwriter, rock, folk rock genres and so on… 'Man In The Mountain' is a wild old song which I composed one rainy day. At the time, I was mid way through an entertaining stint at a restaurant at the Whakapapa ski fields at Mt Ruapehu, in New Zealand. I took my keyboard back to my cabin each night. It was great synthesiser (Roland D50) which had marvellous sounds on it. If I’d written this song on the piano I imagine it would’ve turned out quite differently. For this episode, I recorded a mellow piano/vocal version. I followed it immediately with the old demo I recorded on 4 tracks - lifted from an album by Paul Dredge and myself ( 'What It Is'. The total release was about 20 cassettes. Probably just as well, as we were finding our way, teaching ourselves how to record, how to arrange songs, but we had fun - and we were learning). You’ll hear that the old demo could do with a remix. Oh well. Again, it was fun, it had a certain sort of manic energy, which suited the lyrics. The piano vocal version is more understated affair. It’s a little more haunting and mellow, which I enjoyed recording. I keep a diary. It ‘clears the slate’, keeps my pen free and ready to write song lyrics. I catch what comes through and really just 'get to get out of the way', doing my best to be a secretary as the words tumble in. I’m really in the flow when this is happening. Fast forward a few days and I'll have a stack of lyrics awaiting my attention. like back in 1988: "Hmm, man in the mountain.. oh that’s right… this is a bit whacky ‘ a thousand animals crawl at night like thoughts in my mind..’ obviously a love song. I’ll pick this synth sound and see where I can take it"... So you bring energy and intention with you as you compose. The words suggest a musical style, but a lot has to do with how you are feeling as to what sort of song you end up with. It’s also not a bad idea to try writing with different sounding keyboards (or guitars, or different instruments if you’ve got them up your sleeve). 'The Man In The Mountain' (song #76), was fun to write and fun to record. This episode was fun as well. The energy of the old demo spilled over into proceedings - and I’m glad it did. As usual, there’s humour here - and lots of observations. Have a listen and step into the shoes of a creative songwriter for 30 minutes. I hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed recording it. Here's my blog : www.petepascoe.wordpress.com you can contact me at email@example.com. I welcome your feedback. If you do enjoy this episode, please be sure to leave a favourable review -and tell your friends about it - thank you in advance! Pete.
34 minutes | Jan 13, 2023
Where Lovers Part
Episode #147: Where Lovers Part (Song starts at 4:24) On the last episode (Sure Does Fly), I mentioned a riff reminded me of another song. As it turns out, that song, Where Lovers Part, Song #30, was written the same year (1987). It came about when I felt the need to get some feelings out. It's about the ending of a relationship, the emotional reactions needed an outlet. You feel stuff. By putting it into a diary, you get things off the your shoulders and it clears the slate. Then by putting them into art, it can be a healing thing - for the writer and the listener. Sometimes songs are almost a very straightforward account of actual events in the writer's life. Some songs are pure fiction. A lot of songs are a mixture of the 2. This allows the writer to get the emotion out, some facts are stated about what’s happened, then things can change: you get to play with words, it’s like being the director of a movie. The thing to keep firmly in mind is, it must read true. I would say that’s #1, well actually, I think feeling is #1, then the story. There’s nothing quite like a singer/songwriter getting it right. It doesn’t have to be over the top, in terms of emotions with the delivery. You can say so much by understating what’s going on. In fact, particularly in performance, if you give it 85%, it seems the audience will supply the other 15. If you start out at 100%, it gives you nowhere to go, with a recording. So it pays to reel it in a bit at least to start with. Having said that, this ballad does get bigger in the choruses. But not too big. I was a lot younger when I wrote this song. I’m surprised now that I never released it (other than it appeared on a very small run of cassettes - an album featuring songs by Paul Dredge and myself. It was our 4th '4 tracked' album, 'Give You A Call'. We were very much finding our way with the production thing. Lots of fun and a valuable learning experience). I read the lyrics as a poem this episode. I just had a feeling to do it. I also compose music for a new song at the end of this episode. It was a complete surprise to me - it wasn’t planned at all. It’s an example of how the emotion of one song can quickly inspire another. I hope you enjoy the song - and the chat. Thanks so much for following my podcast. For those of you that are new here, having a look, this is the songwriter talking about creativity, life, in the moment. It’s as honest as it gets - and it’s fun. Enjoy Here’s my blog, by the way. It’ll lead you to more of my art and music: www.petepascoe.wordpress.com Pete.
32 minutes | Jan 2, 2023
Sure Does Fly
Episode #146: Sure Does Fly (Song starts at 5:22) Relationships are often the catalyst for spot of songwriting. Going way back to to 1987 now. I wrote this song for my brother. It’s quite a personal song, focussing on old memories - particularly an image of a summer evening in New Zealand from my childhood. The blackbirds were singing, the colours were starting to drift toward the purple spectrum as the sun set. I was outside, playing sport with my elder brother (as we did, right up til darkness fell). It’s a poignant memory for me, of seemingly never ending years of a largely happy childhood. Siblings play a key role in our development. We share traits, we are bonded and we learn about our differences as the years go by. I enjoyed singing and playing the song for this episode. It’s been years since I tried to play it. The song came to mind when the blackbirds song floated across the beach to me from the bush on the bluff. There are pockets of blackbirds here in this part of Melbourne. An introduced species (from the UK) to both New Zealand and Australia. They bring back memories of my childhood. I can understand why our ancestors chose to introduce animals from their homeland, unfortunately at the expense of local species). The blackbird call is soothing to listen to. The males sing at the change of light, the magic time. They float tunes and experiment with different notes and phrases, much like a songwriter does. Back in 1987, I sat at the piano and as I looked at the words I’d already written, I let my fingers wander on the keys as I floated a melody, experimenting. With notes and phrasing, much like the blackbird. It does take time to build up the theory. It gives you confidence to play intuitively. The notes find the ‘right’ keys and your voice does likewise. The listener picks up on the feelings in the song that may awaken memories. An attachment forms and those memories are recalled whenever the song is heard. That’s the magic of a song. It’s also a magic feeling playing and singing a song you’ve written down through the years. It’s a step on, to listen to a recorded version of one of your songs. This is the way other people hear the song. You are no longer involved in the performance, so your mind is free to focus on the overall sound, and also the details. As I’ve said a few times, it’s a real pleasure to be recording these episodes. It gets me into a creative state of mind. I enjoy finding out more about the songs, more about the songwriting process as ideas pop into my mind while I’m charting and playing the piano. Sit back and have a listen as I sing and explore 'Sure Does Fly' bringing old memories to the surface. Enjoy.