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Song and a Chat

Music Podcasts

Be entertained with a song and an extended chat, ranging from off the cuff banter/ humour to life observations and song analysis.


Mount Eliza, VIC


Be entertained with a song and an extended chat, ranging from off the cuff banter/ humour to life observations and song analysis.






Hit The Sun

Episode #182: Hit The Sun (Song starts at 6:00) Where did 'Hit The Sun' come from? Well, as soon as I read through the lyrics, like a poem, it took me right back to the day I composed it. It was a beautiful Spring day. I went outside to hang out some washing ( my cat followed me, waiting for his customary ride in the washing basket, back inside). Then I sat on the front porch and started writing about what was around me. Lines like: ‘Ice blue sky, pastel neon sphere, riding high ….Black birds fly, concrete lies grey and old and pitted’. Then I went back inside, sat at the piano and composed the music. It’s very satisfying thing to write a song. I make the time to write when those ‘moments’ come along.I’ve learned to sense them. It’s a feeling that comes over me, a gentle nudge, to pick up the pen and paper or to sit at the piano and let my hands fall on the keys. When I write the words, I work one sentence at a time, this leads naturally on to the next as the story unfolds. When I pause, I’ll read back through the last couple of lines. Sometimes, while thinking of a word to rhyme the last word of a sentence, a new series of images and thoughts come to mind - and away I go again. With the music, it’s largely the same process. When I pause, I go back and play a few lines to get back in the flow, so whatever I write next fits with what’s just been written. Sometimes it comes with a rush. Other times it’s a bit more stop/start, as I experiment with different chords and melody ideas for a line. When it just feels right, away I go again. In terms of images and feelings, One song can be like a photo album to me. You don’t get many words in a song lyric, so you’ve got to pack a lot in - layers are the key. Otherwise you can get wordy pretty quickly. So I find myself in 2023 with 800 songs, which Is like 800 photo albums. It’s nice to be sharing them here on this podcast, offering insight into what the lyrics are about, what I was thinking. But often it doesn’t matter too much what the lyricist had in mind. The words can bring different ideas to the listener. The song might come to mean something completely different to what the composer originally had in mind - and that’s all good. So a song has legs, that’s the beauty of art. It carries on of its own accord, it has momentum. After all these years, I ‘winged’ a new bridge for this song as I recorded this episode. A song is wide open until it’s recorded (and you can always reinterpret it again later on). I hope you enjoy this gentle song, it’s an old demo, recorded in 1991, in the piano bar, after hours. I’m glad I picked up a pen on that beautiful spring day all those years ago. It was fun to take a look at it on this episode. On reflection, 'Hit The Sun' is a strange sort of name, really. I was thinking about hitting the beach I suppose. Can you hit the sun? Written in 1987, this is song #57. Spring sure is here. I include a recording of me, down at the beach. So you can join me beside the waves on this episode. I get out into nature to fill the well. It’s an essential part of the creative process. Taking time out and forgetting all about it from time to time. You can find the lyrics (and the skiing frog I mention on this episode ) on my blog This has links to where I have 12 albums solo and recorded with others. Plus there’s my YouTube channel Pete Pascoe Art and Music. Enjoy.


Gone Too Soon

Episode #181: Gone Too Soon (Song starts at 4:12) Here’s one from 2014: song # 620, 'Gone Too Soon' It was inspired by a neighbour who lived across the street from us. She always had just the right amount of time to chat. She wasn’t one of those you’d have to duck and run from, (through the fear of losing 15mins). Nope. She was positive & interested in what you were up to, bright in the eye and in voice and spirits. Consequently, I chose to write this song for her in an up sort of manner, which I think is a reflection of her character. The version on this episode is somewhere between a ballad and something more (Piano vocals). If it were played in a band, you could push it along with a bit more energy and groove. It’s interesting to me how these sort of songs about mortality all seem to be coming to the surface for me right now. Perhaps it’s like when you buy a certain brand of car with the right colour and then you start seeing them everywhere…or maybe it’s something I write about more than I perhaps imagined. It’s not a subject I’m going to shirk away from. It’s as much part of life as anything. And lives need to be celebrated - the good bits carried on with. I think that’s a great way to help make sense of someone close to you passing away. I think a song like this can be a comfort someone. It was for me this week. I’m glad I found it in my songbook. This was another ‘words first, music second’ sort of song. When I composed the music, it was fun singing along to the chords that came through as I sat at the piano. The opening line of the song is: Summers come early, it’s that time of year… the temperatures rising with the early birds tune. It’s a great way to wake up, listening to the dawn chorus. Speaking of birds, I sat outside having breakfast a the table in my back yard. It was so peaceful…except for the lorikeets ( mall Australian parrot) I include a snippet of audio, so you’ll join me at the table. Then we see where the song 'Gone Too Soon' is going to take us. I’m looking forward to recording this one properly one day. ‘Why wait for tomorrow? do it today'. Is another line in the song. I can still hear my neighbour saying this. I’m glad it’s in this song.. her voice, in a sense. As I look at how the song came together, sitting at the piano with the mic, I really enjoy demonstrating the changes, the bits of melodies and talking about the way they came through. All you need is the feeling and a start, really - and away you go. And away we go…so here’s another song & lots of chat. I hope you enjoy this episode. You can read the lyrics on my blog:, plus there’s links to more music and my art. Enjoy.



Episode #180: Crossroads (Song starts at 4:04) I wrote crossroads, Song #119, in 1989. When I saw the title of the song in my old green songbook, I remembered it was based on an old memory. Reading through the first verse, a vivid scene sort of played out in my mind, like recalling a dream: I was I about 3 or 4. My mother and I had gone to visit an old lady. We sat in her lounge, and cups of tea were served (not for me). My eyes wandered along the old mantelpiece, past the old ticking clock which occasionally chimed. My gaze fixed on a toy car sitting there. got to play with these cars as the adults talked. The old lady kindly gave me the car to take home. All the details are clear as if it were yesterday. That’s the power of art. It can convey so much. The first verse was about the old lady and her room. So for the 2nd verse, I moved on to an (imagined) old man carrying his bags home. That’s when the word crossroads came through my pen, and I thought Aha - that’s what this song is about. The 3rd verse was like an imagined scene from the distant future: the bright sun sinking behind the darkened sign posts, the road disappearing into the fast approaching night. Yep, the cross roads. This was a ‘words first , music second’ song. It’s often a surprise to me, when I analyse the chords and melodies of these older songs. They quite often appear to break all the rules of theory, the harmonic changes, the way the melody dips to unexpected slightly unsettling notes and then back to more expected ones. Shooting from the hip like this with the words and music (which both come through very quickly) is fun and natural for me. I think the result is something almost disarmingly real at times. It’s based on something real, then it becomes something more, ultimately returning to the image of the dark unknown of the crossroads. Which road is right? And creatively speaking, which road is right? You just go with instinct. I let the fingers fall on the keys and the I float your voice up to wherever the feeling takes me. It’s like being in a woken dream, writing a song. It was fun to rediscover this one, as I ‘winged’ the version on this episode. I improvised a piano instrumental section on the fly. It was definitely the feeling from that afternoon that came to me all those years later. Join me now and we’ll find out where crossroads came from . Perhaps you’ve got a cup of tea handy? A mantlepiece? …. Here’s my blog. You can read the lyrics there + there’s lots more music and art to be found here. Enjoy.


Can’t Sing You A Song

Episode #179: Can’t Sing You A Song (Song starts at 3:38) I had a bit of fun with the demo on this episode. Earlier today, I was supposed to be recording some piano for a song. The session got cancelled at the last minute. Turns out I was really in the mood to record, so what started out as a piano/vocal take ended up having the kitchen sink thrown in ( strings, guitars, bass, Rhodes - all done on the keyboards. Good fun. Can’t Sing You A Song is a different style for me. Every now and then I write something left of field. I never block ‘the voice’. Songs do come along that I can’t ever see myself singing - perhaps this is one of them (on the other hand, now the demo has been completed, maybe it could end up on a solo album of mine). It was fun to compose in this sort of groove based song. It did write it on the piano, but after just a few bars,I realised the sort of song it was going to be. So I kept the beat firmly in mind and I phrased the vocals accordingly, emphasising certain syllables. Also, I didn’t introduce any unusual chord changes, in fact I did some repetition 2 chords, three times in a row, this would generally suit a guitar/ band more than just the piano. So I wrote this song with a certain intention - that was suggested very early on. I didn’t fight it. I wrote the words first, then the music just flowed easily, around the feel and the chords that came through. The gist of the lyrics is: I can’t sing you a song or paint a picture without the feeling being there in the first place. And the song is saying: I can show you I’m having fun - and I hope you do, too - but it’s not my place to tell you how: Can’t make you laugh, it’s not up to me But I’ll show you a path where there’s loving free Everyone’s on their own journey, so it’d be wrong of the lyricist to try and twist the listeners arm. This song is about love, first and foremost - the idea that we’ve really just started on this next phase of humanity: connectedness as a species, to proceed. We’ve analysed things so much over the centuries and as a result, we’ve dis - integrated. So I think art and music are the key…laughter, connectedness and healing and that’s what this song is about. It’s a happy song. As a songwriter There’s a real joy when the full circle happens and an audience responds positively . On the episode, I didn’t end up talking about how I produced the demo too much. To create an arrangement like the demo (full band sort of sound), I started with a basic piano track and guide vocal, recorded to the drum beat. Then I added bass on the keys, muted the original piano and replayed a more precise simplified piano part, leaving room for the other instruments (recorded in this order): Rhodes piano, guitar pad L, guitar pad R , nylon string guitar, lead vocal, 2 backing vocals and then the strings, which I added afterwards to bring it all together. I thought the strings would suit the song. So this is the very first demo. Eventually, the parts would be recorded on real instruments, dropping elements in to give the arrangement some space. Perhaps the tempo is a bit quick. If it were just a bit slower, there’d be more groove and that would also make it easier to get a few of those lyrics out. I describe how I came to play the blues in a piano bar. Then it occurs to me this song might work in that sort of style , so I demonstrate that, on the spur of the moment. Picking a style and arranging a’s actually a big part of the process. But most often I think it helps to have the song finished in it’s own right. If you’re recording it, you’re going to be listening to it a lot. Also, as this song says, there has to be feeling and message in my art and music. Our days are few, when also said and done - and we need to have fun along the way. Here we go…let’s find out where and how can’t sing you a song came from…



Episode #178: Inside (Song starts at 4:21) This episode’s song is #630, written in August, 2015. It was one of those ‘words first, music second’ sort of songs. It’s interesting this song should float to the surface for this episode…this week I had a bit of a wobbly moment, we all have them: I was wondering how much would it really have changed things, had I stayed in NZ (at 30 I moved to Melbourne and started again). Self doubt was the feeling that caused me to pick up a pen in 2015. A couple of things happen when you’re in the creative flow. The worries fall away, any murky worrying feelings seem to lift. On this occasion, an answer appeared on the ether, ‘inside’. So the answer can be found within - that’s been said many times. I was just thinking of the great movie Shawshank Redemption, how the small rock pick was hidden inside the bible. Brilliant ..freedom lies within. I’m not one to jump on a soapbox and speak my mind to one and all. I’m far more inclined to drop big themes into my lyrics in a more laidback manner. Which is why, for these words, I thought I’d pick a key that would suit a quietly finger picked guitar. Mid way through, t sort of came the full circle, back to piano, when I improvised a far more keyboard sort of a bridge, with counter bass. Notes with strong harmonies…perhaps they’ll be vocal harmonies Most often the chords come to me intuitively. I was doing my usual thing, when I came to the point where the chorus needed to happen. I’m very pleased I stopped and checked my ‘relative chords’, which I’d written down before I started the music. The chord G# minor had net been used yet. So I stopped and matched a melody note with the chord and put the sung note right on the first count of the bar. It’s all a learning curve, life. We are all going to have our doubts, this song is suggesting the listener might consider go ing within to find some answers. When I was a youngster, I took a less trodden path. A creative one. And I’m pleased I did. I’m still on it. If I’d taken a more expected path, (There’s a line in the song:) ‘would the lone cry of nature still call to me?’ Leading a creative lifestyle, being fully reliant on the arts to make a living, sure has its uncertain moments. It keeps you on your toes. You’re effectively ‘living in faith’, I would say. So I find peace when I go out in nature - and when I go within. So that’s the quiet message in this song… you know, so if you’re in pain, life’s not going great for a moment, go for walk at the beach or sit down and just breathe easily, freedom awaits… I hope you enjoy this episode. I certainly enjoyed recording my thoughts and I had fun rediscovering ‘Inside’, as I recorded the piano vocal demo. Here’s my blog: you can read the lyrics here, plus there’s lots of art -and way more music, each week…. Enjoy!


Evening Hours

Episode #177: Evening Hours (Song starts at 3:34 &16:22) 'Evening hours' starts out with a slightly unsettling discordant bell (sounds like the end something) set against a quiet piano riff. This particular introduction has always brought to mind a potential rough story and an opening scene in a play or possibly a movie or stage show, for me. The bell represents ‘the end’ (also the start) and the arpeggio is like a child music box dancer - ‘the beginning’. A music box is also something that may be equally enjoyed by a young person or an older person…perhaps it’s a keepsake, a childhood memory. And now this older person can’t quite believe the years have passed by - but passed by they have and now it’s time…. Yes, 'Evening Hours' is a deep song, about the end of life. We don’t talk about death much here in ‘the West’, at least. I think we need to. Perhaps a song is a good place to start. It’s not a morbid song, to me. Spooky, sure, but there’s a couple of uplifting lines that say ‘Why not reach a highlight here tonight?’. Life is to be lived, regardless of one’s age. This song was really determined to get a voice tonight, when I came out to my studio to record another episode. It popped into my mind as a contender and that’s generally the moment I go “ok, let’s do it”… I picked up an old cassette from the stack and there it was, the title track from an old 4 tracked home recorded album by Paul Dredge and myself. I recognised the art work on the cassette. Beneath it was another cassette. The 3rd song in my handwriting on the inner jacket that caught my eye straight away was …'Evening Hours'. I thought: ‘Ok, it’s a sign’.. ha. Evening hours was written in 1987. It’s song number 18. Now in 2023, as I find myself writing about the song, I’ve written 800. Bizarre. It’s great yo be rediscovering the old songs - and sharing them - on the podcast. I’ve chosen to include both versions of the song. You get to hear the piano vocal version. And then the other more involved arrangement. I wanted to show what I hear in my head as I play ‘ just ‘ the piano and sing. I was using very basic gear in 1989 and 1991 when these 2 versions were recorded. We are so lucky in this day and age to have wonderful recording gear at our fingertips in our homes. I say: go for it, make the most of it and see what you come up with - if you’re so inclined. Recording is so much like the songwriting process. One happy accident leads to the next. I think the opening riff was due to me pacing my left hand in the wrong position on the piano keys, for instance. What composing Evening Hours did for me was: it made me feel like i could do this thing. I could write songs with feeling and mystery and I could record a version of something that was in my mind. 1987 was a big year for me. It was when I began writing at least a song a week, which I then continued to do for many years. It’s like discovering you can draw. I’ve been lucky to do be doing that in my life as well. I hope you enjoy this episode. You can touch on deep themes with music and somehow ‘get away with it’. I think that’s perhaps what’s happened with 'Evening Hours'. I’d sure like to perform it one day on a stage. It’d have to be the right setting! And I’d like to record it properly. That’d be fun. You can find the lyrics, more music - and art here on my blog I have 12 albums online (solo, and with others), Here we go….


Just Can’t Keep It Inside

Episode #176: Just Can't Keep It Inside (Song at 4.06) Just can’t keep it inside sounds like it was written by another song writer. It didn’t surprise me when it came through though. Every now and then a song in this sort of ‘soft ballad with a swung rhythm style’ comes through for me. I haven’t thought of this song for a long time. It’s from my first book, song number 62, written in 1987, in New Zealand. After writing it, I played the song from time to time over the next decade, but I just sort of didn’t have a use for it. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do with it. It didn’t fit in with 80s music for a live gig, that’s for sure. Also, this: there was one line that I didn’t like. One line and I let the song get buried for what 36 years. Ha. Oh dear. Many times on this podcast I’ve spoken of the need to be free enough to let go of certain parts of a song and rewrite. For some reason, I never did with this line. The line that didn’t sit with me was: ‘while you step on my broken heart and grind it In The ground.’ Yeek ! A little bit gruesome, wouldn’t you say.. and the words just don’t fit the gentle ballad. They might be at home in the middle of a ( really) angry rocker, but not here. As I recorded the song for this episode, an answer floated in on the breeze: ‘while you step on my heart. And that all just reminds I can’t expect you…’ And just like that, like the wave of a magic wand, it was fixed. I’m only partly joking about the magic wand. This creative realm comes up with some amazing stuff in the twinkling of an eye. What was broken is now fixed…and I can share this song now. Recording these episodes has been a really good thing for me to do (that’s what I think right now). Why not put these songs here? Sure, they could be making me some money streaming online…on a paid service. I’m thinking eventually some well. Actually, a lot already are streaming, I’ve featured songs that I’ve previously recorded and released. It just struck me a s thing to do, a few years a go - and here we are. I mention something at the beginning of this episode, something along the lines of: ‘you imagine something and you create a version of it’ That is the creative process. I couldn’t help myself when I recorded the version as part of this episode, I stopped and added bass with a ride cymbal, Rhodes and a very rudimentary strings sketch - suggested orchestration. What happens when you give something form is: you create momentum…and that leads on to the next bit ( eg verse to chorus, and so on, with the actual writing process). With the recording process, you start to hear other possible elements. A low subtle trio of horns interjecting the vocals would be nice…. maybe one day. For now, you have the sketch that I winged as I sat at the mic and piano in my home studio, where I record these podcast episodes. It’s such good fun, and I’m discovering it’s been very helpful to have my piano at the ready, to demonstrate what I’m trying to put into words. Just Can’t Keep It Inside came about when I was younger. My first big romantic relationship had just ended. I was casting about at the time for different songs styles. I did have a style, but at this stage I guess I was fairly unsettled and it took me a while to calm down. Music is such a healing force. Putting ego aside and letting the creativity lead the way is such a healing thing to do, potentially. And the rewards keep growing. Sure, it’s great to write a song like this. But it’s even better when you keep rediscovering it, performing it slightly differently and then you think of more you could add… Ok hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Here’s my blog with lots of links to my music and art, lyrics to the songs on this podcast, etc. I’m a painter as well. I’m about to paint a seascape as I listen back to this episode and master it ready to put online.


All Comes back

Episode #175: All Comes Back (Song starts at 4:09) Isn’t it great to receive an unexpected present. You know that feeling. That’s what it feels like to write a song. So for that to happen, it does feel like it comes from somewhere else. It’s a gift then, to pass on, a gift that you had a hand in bringing into being. It sure feels like a joint effort. This episode features yet another song I’d forgotten I’d written. For me, that’s one of the nice things about recording these episodes. Recalling this song as I performed for the episode was so much like recalling a dream. I had a look at the intro, and the song started coming back to me. I have my songs all written in books, sequentially. Just old fashioned scrawled handwriting and chords with the melody above each syllable in lower case. This is the 2nd draft. The initial draft is written on a piece of A4 paper. The words and music came at the same time with 'All Comes Back' (song #625, written in 2015). As I wrote the words down, although they came through my brain and hand, they definitively seemed to be not only from somewhere else, but it was like they’re from someone else. So. What is this? Tuning into ‘all that is’? Perhaps. Focussing and becoming the person that you can be for a few minutes? Perhaps. Realising your potential? Maybe. Imagination? It seems more than that. It’s definitely a mystery. And it’s a warm, reassuring mystery. This song is about memories coming back, unbidden, recurring memories. Where are they all stashed? And why does one memory in particular come through at a certain time? I like to think it’s the universe drawing your attention to something that’s going on in the moment. Perhaps with a repeated sort of cyclical pattern, something unconscious is triggering us to act out, yet again, the same way. Yet in that moment, if we can stop, tune in and reflect, we have a chance to rise above the situation, and choose a more evolved reaction to what is going on - and grow. I think this sort of thing goes on all the time for all of us. Life offers us constant opportunities to grow. This song is a peaceful reflection about all of that, how it feels for me. The singer is suggesting it’s all coming back. For all of us. So perhaps it’s written and delivered in the hope that it might remind the listener to the possibility of that there’s ‘more’… It’s a wonderful feeling writing a song like this. And it’s great to be able to feel that same sense of wonder and excitement when you rediscover it - as I have - on this podcast. Thank you for listening to my episodes. An audience really lifts the performer. That’s no secret. For me, when I sit behind the mic, at the piano and push record, the energy just flows and the ideas come through. Just like writing a song. At the end of this episode I draw attention to something really special that happened to me last week: a listener sent me a CD out of the blue, with an accompanying letter, saying that my podcast and blog had inspired this person to write songs with someone else, then take the step of recording them and making the CD. Brilliant. If nothing else comes out of recording these episodes, that is more than enough reward. Thank you so much to that person for letting me know. Happy unexpected surprises - that’d be the creative path. It’s been very interesting and fun producing this his podcast & my blog, for 170 odd weeks now. I’m glad it’s giving pleasure to people. Here we go. Let’s see where All Comes Back came from…and where it leads us to on this episode. Another song and some more chat - enjoy! (Lyrics, more music & art here on my blog:



Episode #174: Falter (Song starts at 3.35) I had a conversation yesterday with Paul Dredge, my co songwriter, long time buddy and sounding board (always good to have one or a few of these that you can trust just to listen or offer sound measured advice). We had a laugh together about how a lot of my first 50 or 100 songs were pretty much ‘ baby I love you’. Baby I’ll miss you, or howling at the moon …yep. Love songs. Nothing wrong with that. (Song# 637, Falter, featured on this episode. It’s a love song). Except maybe it’s a good idea to try different subjects, perhaps imagining yourself further down the track, effectively creating a character, a new outlook, a new dialogue. So the very act of the creative work can help us learn, get outside of ourselves and grow. The flip side of that is writing about ‘the now’. It can be fall into the category of therapy/diary writing. As a performer, if your songs are not overly engaging an audience, perhaps this is something to look out for. I tend to start a song with a very basic sentence about something real I can see in the room or some thought that pops into my mind that feels truthful. Generally this will then lead on to the bigger picture, as I step back and consider my position. At this point in time, the listener has had a dose of both views. The bigger view may cause the listener to engage and perhaps become emotionally attached to some concept, perhaps one of the personal confessions of the earlier sentences in the first verse. This is a trick stand up comedians often use. When they first get on stage and open their mouth they’ll often confess something deeply personal… it might be trauma, something embarrassing, etc. the audience is engaged. They feel something, they put themselves in that person's shoes and think wow, that poor person. And wow, how brave are they to get up there and talk about it. Ok. I’m ready to be entertained. That is what a song can do, the entertainment on offer is a story - and a story is pretty much all, as I touched on last week. It needs to be going somewhere. And where it goes is from an island of now, (an island of certainty), then a question is posed, perhaps in the lyrics, or just in the lyricist’s mind for the next ‘island’. Falter begins with observations: how the writer ( myself ) feels about a person, the relationship, how the days flow easily.. love. Then drawing attention to how unconditionally pure the love is that is being felt by the writer. The step from there is the statement, perhaps the realisation: hmm, I think I’d falter without you in my life. The idea that two people have built a relationship like a structure and if 50% of that input and commitment were suddenly to be taken away, the structure would collapse. Note that it’s not: ‘Oh baby I’d die without you… or I can’t live without you’. This is the voice of an older writer. A few years have passed and a few songs have been written since those first 50 (when a few of these sort of songs may have been written. The message here is: you’re wonderful, I’d miss you. Yes I’d fall apart, but I’d rebuild and carry on. It’s not what I’d choose. The idea being is it’s a song about love freely received and freely given, rather than a codependent struggle of wills. Something like that. The music came at the same time as the words for this one. The melody of the first verse came to me on the breeze as I walked a long. I whistled it to memorise the intervals, the meter , the feeling, then noted it down as I picked the notes out on the piano. From there, the beginning, the feeling, it all came into being by asking a series of gentle questions about where the story was going, the music follows like a movie the song grows and a series of intuitive decisions are made - some logical, others not so much. It all builds to a tapestry, something cohesive, hopefully an honest piece of work that’s a little different to anything that already exists.


Can’t Wait That Long

Episode #173: Can’t Wait That Long (Song starts at 3:55) Now and then a peaceful sort of feeling will - I was going to say descend on me - but that’s not quite right. A peaceful feeling will arrive quietly and I’ll find my mood has gently been lifted. When this happens, I’ll see if there’s some lyrics waiting on the piano, or perhaps in my folder of new words… I’ll look through a few and generally there’ll be a feeling of ‘ Aha yes, these words fit the bill, that’s what I’m feeling’… From there, it’s a matter of matching some music to the words. Straight away you get the vibe… For a song like 'Can’t Wait That Long' (which is song #640, composed in 2016), it quickly became apparent that it was going to be a quietly sung song with a gentle lilt. For a ‘words first, music 2nd’ song, this Is the sort of decision that’s already been made by the words. It almost takes any sort of heat off the situation - after all, the song’s already half written. This song has a summery afternoon relaxed sort of vibe. In some respects it’s a ‘smaller’ song… not trumpeting it’s message, like a single of an album. But then, sometimes the quieter songs also have a big message. It’s starts out from a place of frustration, with the lyrics: ‘Got all these song birds that yearn to fly’…they’re caged up in my songbooks. This image leads onto wondering at the ups and the downs of the human race through history. So quickly we move on to a big concept, outside of my personal view of the world. It’s written and sung in a quiet manner, just observing, rather than pushing any agenda - other than: how long have we got? Have we got time in the day to listen to a whole song, and album, someone’s story? I wrote this song a long time before I even knew what a podcast was. It was at a time when I was frustrated that I’d released so few albums. The years tick by and when you’ve got several hundred songs in the bag, it can start to weigh a little heavy on your mind at times. Since then, of course, I made the decision to get on an record more music myself - not wait for anyone else to wave a magic wand and make it happen. 'Can’t Wait That Long' might just end up on an album sooner, now that I’ve given it some air on this episode. That’s one of the nice things about this podcast. I’m rediscovering songs I’d forgotten I’d even written. This is a song that I have played live a bit, particularly when I’ve been doing a solo show and I just want to settle the energy, reconnect with the performer within, deliver the song as an artist. It’s a good one to settle the nerves. And I think it’s that for the listener too. Somehow everything seems to settle down, worries fall away and your mind wanders with the music. I think this might be because the words come from a honest place. They’re true. Consequently, when it came to adding the melody and the chords, it came together very quickly indeed. But It’s a peaceful thing writing a song. There is no rush. I wish more people would take the time to listen to entire songs, whole albums more. Everyone’s streaming sort of unrelated songs that sort of blend into a background sound. Me, I like putting an album on and taking the time to listen closely from go to woah. I hope you enjoy this gentle episode. There’s a bit more piano solo improvisation just at the end, too, to demonstrate how a feeling can provide the start. And a start is all you need. Here we go…'Can’t Wait That Long'. I enjoyed singing and playing this one and then it was fun looking into why I like it so much. It’s a joy being songwriter. You have the pleasure of writing it, then there’s even more pleasure rediscovering it whenever you perform it for someone - this time, it's for you. Thanks for tuning in this week. Enjoy! Lyrics at: music


Cry Your Eyes Out

Episode #172: Cry Your Eyes Out (Song starts at Song #88 was written in New Zealand in 1988. I was up a mountain. I had a ski gig.. playing and singing in the evenings. In the daytime I was skiing. When it rained I either went trout fishing or wrote songs. I also drew 50 cartoon strips about my dog. Pretty much a blissful time. However… I was lonely, for sure. This song is about missing someone. How crying your eyes out can somehow perhaps be good for you. 'Cry Your Eyes Out' is a snapshot of young fellow finding his way in life, being driven on by a passion ( that still drives me on). It’s not the easiest path, you feel stuff and other people around you feel stuff too. I think maybe my Melbourne band 'Pete Pascoe and the Patient Hum' might have another look at this song, after tonight’s episode. You’ll get to hear a piano/vocal take (recorded as part of the episode, on the fly) ..and a version that was recorded on an old 4 track, 2 months after the song was written, in 1988. Paul Dredge - my great friend and songwriting buddy - valiantly play a drum machine live, playing the tiny pads with his fingers, keeping up with me on the keyboards, back in the day. We didn’t have a drum kit. Paul plays some funky bass too. In 1988, we were finding our way with both songwriting and recording. We still are, all these up years later. It’s the best feeling, composing -the sense of mystery and discovery kicks I each time. (If you want to hear our most recent album, you’ll find it online streaming: The Untrodden Track). I made a lyric video for 'Too Dark To See', which is the 3rd song on the album today. I matched the lyrics with simple cartoons which I draw. I love all the music and art I’m doing - and I really enjoy recording these podcast episodes. Now I’m starting to get back into my skin, feet back on the ground, after recording this episode. It’s a winter's night here in Melbourne Australia. I could have done with keeping the heater on, but I turned it off because I was recording and I didn’t want the background noise. Why mention the heater? Because it’s taken until now, after 30 minutes of recording, talking, singing and playing the piano, to realise I’m actually freezing. You’re so focused when you do something creative. I really feel like I’m in another world. This is the state of mind I’ve endeavouring to throw some light on here on this podcast. Not to try to take any of the mystery away - as if I could do that - but just by talking in layman’s terms (with plenty of humour) about how I write a song. I hope you enjoy hearing about 'Cry Your Eyes Out'. There’s also an improvised piano solo piece near the end of the episode, which demonstrates how I go about composing. It’s all part of the show. Enjoy.


Rainy Night

Episode #171: Rainy Night (Song starts at 2:48) This song was written by myself & Paul Dredge (It appears on our recent folkrock album, 'The Untrodden Track' - streaming now). Rainy Night was inspired by a night spent in a house bus, at a beach, as a youngster. A storm was hitting the bus all night. It was really being rocked around. It felt like the full force of nature was doing its thing. It was an emotional time for me, at 5 years old and I found myself questioning pretty much everything - big thoughts for a youngster. Fast forward to a few years ago. Paul and I are sitting in the sun in my backyard in Melbourne. Paul is over from New Zealand for a week of songwriting, recording demos and some time at the beach. Paul is sitting playing his guitar and is coming up with something. He’s looking at the lyrics, which I have ready, of rainy night. I join him and start singing along. In about 20 minutes the song is complete. On this episode, I’ve isolated Paul’s guitar from the album track mix to help illustrate how the song came together. The lyrics are sparse. They could apply to anyone’s experience of a lonely stormy night when your mind gets busy and you can’t sleep. Recently I watched the great Forrest Gump movie again. There’s so many great lines - like when leads are all pulled out and the microphone doesn’t work at the protest gathering and the hippie MC says to Forrest “You said it all, maaaan!“ . Sometimes less is more and I think by not delving into the backstory in the lyrics of this song, it’s all the stronger for that. Plus it suits the simpler harmonic changes that Paul has come up with on the guitar, coupled with a strong riff ( simpler than the chord sequences of a song written on the piano- which can often get a little involved at times). It’s great to have our songwriting partnership alive and well after all these years. We are midway through our next folk rock album, which will be our 6th. When you write like this with someone, in the moment, there’s complete trust in each other - I’ve mentioned this before, here. Also, there’s a sort of an unspoken agreement happening all the way along. When things feel like they’re ‘on’ …there might be a quick glance and a mutual nod…and then you’re both back in ‘creative world’, bringing ideas into being and combining them in the moment. It really is a brilliant feeling, producing (what I think is) an uplifting, beautiful song from the memory of what was transformative, if somewhat murky, experience from long ago. That’s the beauty and the power of art. It’s healing for the creator(s) and it can lift others. Ok here we go… I hope you enjoy hearing how Rainy Night came together. The album track is the version featured on this episode. You can stream the album on most platforms, including


You’re Mine

Episode #170: You’re Mine (Song starts at 2:25) Song #112, You’re Mine, was written 1988. That sounds like a long time ago. I remember a time when 1988 was the future. When I was an exchange student in the USA in 1984, Michael J Fox was starring in Back To The Future, the first of those brilliant movies. Now it seems I’ve had a quick trip in a DeLorean to find myself in 2023 - the years have whizzed by. I’ve just found an old cassette tape of a live gig by my songwriting buddy and great friend Paul Dredge and myself. I see we recorded this on the night of 8th July, 1992. Almost 31 years ago to the day. 3rd song up: You’re Mine. It was a great gig, as it most often was with Paul. I’m at the baby grand, singing. Paul’s playing guitar and harmonising. Welcome to our gig. Having found this old version of You’re Mine on this tape, I decided to feature it on this episode… And now, welcome back now to 1998 - for a while - when I wrote this song. I’d just come back into town after 3 months away at a gig at a ski resort. I got offered a place to stay, sharing a house with a nurse friend of mine. There was someone else in town who thought perhaps it could’ve been her, I was moving in with. But I was far to young for that - just a pup. So this song began as effort to sort of smooth things over, reassure, etc. that was the starting point. Then the lyrics sort of become more expansive - and inclusive - as I take a step back. So initially, I invite the listener in, saying: ‘Look, this was what was happening in this relationship to me’ and then I look at the bigger picture - sort of a ‘couldn’t this apply to us all - this experience, these feelings…’ sort of an angle. My friend, the nurse, moved out and Paul Dredge then moved in. Brilliant: 4 nights a week gigging in a rock band, with darts afterwards til all hours. Daytimes spent writing quiet songs & learning to record together, with a 4 track recorder of Paul’s. Formative times, looking back. We were learning on the gig - and we were learning at home: we were learning to write songs. So, sitting at the piano, I had the lyrics in front of me. Scanning through, I realised they could become mawkish very quickly, so I decided a medium tempo sort a song was in order. The live version (1992), which you’ll get to hear on this episode, is a work in progress. You knock some edges off songs when you play them love. They fall into shape. That’s why gigs are so, so important. - there’s an opportunity for new songs to get some ‘air’. We were lucky, if you like. Our songs fitted in with Paul Simon’s, Elton John’s, Mark Knopfler’s, etc, at the gig. Actually, we were brave, more like it. I’m still ‘brave' now, in 2023: after my recent performance at the Mornington Winter Music Festival, I ended up being asked to play a set of songs for a theatre group (a bunch of creatives - play writers, etc). It was fun & well received. But then I found myself playing the character of a play, having a live read through a script with other actors - a bit outside my comfort zone, but brilliant! Also, I took a phone call early on in the recording of this episode. It was the guitarist/vocalist I met at the same music festival. He’s asked me to play a gig with him this Friday. So history is repeating itself: He and I will be playing each other’s songs, playing background music - just like Paul and I did for so many nights, all those years ago. I love moments like this, especially when they happen live on the podcast. There’s a phrase I came up with in the moment on this episode: ‘purely playing’. That’s songwriting. You have your theory & your ‘chops’. In the moment, you’re totally improvising, offering something up into the air and -out of the ether- it’s seems. You’re met, somehow. The muse? Whatever you want to call it, it’s the best feeling. You have faith in yourself and you have faith that there’s more to the picture… Want to hear more? Here we go,


Just About Enough

Episode #169: Just About Enough (Song starts at 3:47) Today was a wintery day. I went outside and there wasn’t even a ‘hint of a breeze’. That phrase appears in verse one of this episodes featured song. Then I heard a ‘muted bird call’. Those words are also in lyrics , so I thought hey, that’ll do for this week’s episode. I wrote ‘Just ‘About Enough’ for my wife, as an anniversary present. This is song #585, which was written in 2012. The scene that sets the mood for the song - and our relationship, as it turns out - was very peaceful: In the early stages of our relationship, in NZ, we snuck out for a very early morning dip in a hot pool. Bush and mist surrounded us, rabbits hopped by, quail pecked at the grass. There was a vague hint of a breeze and muted bird calls. Pretty peaceful, eh? It’s nice to have a chance to reflect on memories like these as I record my podcast episodes. It’s like a weekly performance for me. I sit at my piano as I talk, demonstrating ideas on the keyboard and or singing, to illustrate what I’m talking about. I have a released delivery. The plan is for it to be entertaining and informative. Thanks for all the great feedback, folks. Thanks for tuning in again this week. If this is your first listen, thanks for tuning in, I hope you enjoy the song, the lyrics, the music, the chat about how the song came together, what inspired it. Memories come through as I talk, which I’m happy to share as well, so you get a real ‘behind the scenes’ sort of a ‘songwriter speaks’ kind of a presentation. I hope you enjoy hearing about what is a love song I wrote for my wife - the great thing about a song is the listener can glean what they will and take ownership, to a degree. Music sure does trigger emotional reactions. It’s a great thing. It’s a pleasure to be a composer. It’s also great to be sharing the songs and talking about them here. Now, back to that opening line: I let my pen wander as I recalled memories of the years we’d spent together since that day - including starting a family and all that entails. Lots of joy and lots of work. But with the lyrics, I kept steering it back to the story of a romance. 2 lives intertwined. The music happened easily, as is often the case for me, for which I’m very grateful. Before I started playing, I thought I’d try and write a medium tempo flowing sort of a song. So I let my fingers play on the keys as if I was finger picking a guitar. That gave me the momentum and away I went, improvising a melody over the changing chords. Chords are like colours. Some are more related than others and become logical choices to string together. In theory terms, what makes them logical choices is that they are related chords, they all came from the scale of the song - literally the key: do re mi fa so la ti do….the chords , the melody, the bass notes are all from the scale….. Here and there, I decided it would be a good idea to modulate briefly to another key, using a semi related chord. It catches the ear. Was it a consciously ‘clever’ choice? Most of the time, my choice of chords is an instinctive thing. The theory Is underlying. The thing is, when you’ve done something often enough, a lot of the technical stuff comes through naturally. And that’s what you want. Because then the music sounds like a natural flowing melody and arrangement. This was a ‘words first, music second’ song. As I improvised the melody, I instinctively and quickly edited the words. I dropped words and syllables to make it fit the melody. It’s a fun process. Again it happens quickly for me. I mention this not because it’s a ‘clever’ thing to do, it’s because I stay inspired as I write this way. If I had to thrash away for days on a song I don’t think I would’ve written many at all. Because I’m a busy person, in the arts. I teach piano, paint seascapes, cartoons, record albums, make videos, blog my work and week.. You can read the lyrics to the featured song of each episode here on my weekly blo...


Life In One Day

Episode #168: Life In One Day (Song starts at: 3:20) I did a gig this week. On the spur of the moment, for my last song, I decided to play 'Life In One Day'. The gig was part of the Mornington Winter Music Festival, here on the Mornington Peninsula. I was playing on the street (It went really well. Met some nice people, enjoyed seeing the way music brings people together). My gig was rescheduled at the last moment. I did let my email list know, but sure enough a lady and her daughter happened to come by, on their way to see me perform, just as I was packing up. I felt really bad that they'd missed the gig and I tried to think of what I could do to make up for it. Then tonight I had the brainwave that I might have a go a recording what was the last song of the gig just for these people (well it’s for you as well) So that’s what you’ll hear on this episode. You’ll also hear the version from the podcast episode 'Old Hat In The Sun'. I composed the song completely in the moment- lyrics included, on the spur of the moment on that episode. I was writing a song for a younger myself. I was imagining I’d gone back in time to address this younger version of myself …and say: ‘Don’t try to live your life in one day, there’s plenty of time’. It was an emotional and dare I say, a healing thing to happen. I’m glad I happened to record the whole event. On this episode, I provide a commentary on where each part came from, what I was thinking, etc. I’ve also included some relevant audio snippets from earlier this week. About where a song comes from…feeling, etc. Which then leads on to how feelings can give you a story. There’s a lot of discussion going on at the moment about what effect AI ( artificial intelligence) will have on music. My initial question is: why the heck are we teaching computers to compose? Shouldn’t this be a sort of almost sacred human experience: going within, communing with ‘all that is’, the muse - spirit, if you will. With this subject in mind, I demonstrate by composing a quick piece of music (like movie music), to underscore a scenario I suggest of a girl looking across a frozen lake on a cold winter's day. I’m wondering how AI would go with that sort of an assignment . So there’s a lot packed in one episode here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it. Here’s my blog where you can find the lyrics…and more music and art: The song lyric itself is fairly self explanatory in the title. Almost a cliche, really - it’s been done. But this is my version, a twist on a classic theme. I’m glad the tape was rolling as I composed 'Life In One Day' - and I’m glad the tape has been rolling again here in my studio in Melbourne, tonight. Recording these episodes is such pleasure. Ok here we go. A song and some relaxed chat, yet again. Enjoy.


The Same Game

Episode #167: The Same Game (Song starts at: 3:50) After focusing on the lyrics for the majority of last week’s episode, as it turns out, here, we are mostly looking at the music composition of song # 672, 'The Same Game'. The lyrics are about that moment when you finally arrive home after a long day out and about. Maybe a candle is lit, some relaxing music is put on, then you sit back and think about everything that happened in the day. We go through a lot each day, us humans - with our interactions and commitments, the unexpected things that happen. Ultimately as we go through our lives, we are all doing and learning as we go along ~ playing the same game, in effect. I found some video of Paul Dredge and I constructing the music together from scratch. I’ve edited the audio from the video into sections and offer insights into what’s happening at each stage of the co-songwriting process. So on this episode, you get to be in the room with us back in 2017, as we work together, composing what turned out to be the 2nd song on the album 'The Untrodden Track' (folk rock). Listening back, this is actually a great example of how Paul and I write together. It’s fascinating to listen to how a song can take shape and transform in such a short time. It’s takes a lot of trust and mutual respect to write a song with another person. It’s one thing to let go and ‘play’ when you’re in a room by yourself. You allow each other the freedom to make the mistakes, laugh and then carry on.You also have to have absolute faith in the other person’s ability and freedom in the moment. A feature of working together is: there is a performance element that comes into play. Well, there is for Paul and I, having played 1000s of gigs together, we push each other on as we go along and this lifts the whole energy. There’s a natural give and take between us as we allow time and space for each other’s strengths to come into play - and the unexpected turns one might take is supported by the other, much like theatre sports. It may turn out to be cul de sac, but worth exploring nonetheless. It may turn out to be the whole chorus, or an apparent dead end moment may end up leading us on to a whole unthought of arrangement idea. We did eventually come to a full stop the original title, which was 'Second Chance'. We completely discarded lines like these: it’s never too late to turn around in the dance Haven’t we all got a second chance? On reflection, perhaps these lines are a little cliched, clumsy and trite, so editing them out in the moment was the right thing to do, Or… maybe it’s not such a full stop - I could now choose to write another song, 'Second Chance', with and edited version of these lyrics - and maybe I will. That’s the nature of the creative flow: you just keep on moving along and go with the flow. Which is really a case of just constantly learning by making mistakes and moving on - again, it’s a lot like life, then: 'The Same Game' we are all playing. So the title and the lyrics ring true, then. It all comes down to the story… just like making a movie, story is number #1. This is the most ‘pop rock- ish’ sort of song on the album, 'The Untrodden Track'. The album cut is the version you’ll here on this episode - plus you’ll hear the audio of pretty much the whole song improvised live, in pieces, as it’s taking shape. Ok , welcome to the songwriting room. Grab a coffee. It’s mid-morning in Melbourne in 2017 and we’ve just had some breakfast. Paul has picked up his guitar and I have a page of lyrics in my hand, ready to ‘wing’ a melody along with his music. Here we go. Enjoy!


Between You and Me

Episode #166: Between You and Me (Song starts at 6:25) I’m going to take you back to 1994 on this episode, literally. This week my wife said to me ‘maybe we should have gone on to England ( we’d moved here - Melbourne - in 1997, originally we are from New Zealand. I think we just might get to the UK sometime…). This made think of the song 'Between You and Me'. So I thought aha! That’ll do for this week's podcast episode. Then I remembered and old cassette tape of me talking in my van at the time I wrote and recorded the demo. Lo and behold I found it straight away in a box in my studio. So I’ve put together some bits and pieces this week, as I set up the song..and it was fun As i let the song lead the way, I found myself talking about some of the deeper aspects of life, how there’s so many parallels between learning an art and making it your life and figuring out stuff along the way. It amazes me what comes off my tongue as I sit at the piano, with the mic on, just going with stream of consciousness. You build up momentum over the years, when you’re committed to the arts. I am. I wrote 6 songs the day I wrote 'Between You and Me'… I think this one’s a good one. I think I might put it on the songs from the podcast album #1. We’ll see. Of course after the song plays, as usual, I dive into the lyrics, see what’s behind them. Then I’ll take you through some of the songwriting process - explain some of the steps as we go along. As I’ve gone along on this podcasting business, it’s amazed me how complicated writing a song really is - the creative process is very involved. And yet it’s simple really. You just need a good foundation (theory) put into practice (practice), go forward, expect the best - and enjoy yourself along the way. Being free to create and let go all the way. It’s bit like a recipe for life, really. It’s a joy, songwriting. And it’s a pleasure to be recording an episode about it each week. I hope you’re enjoying listening. You’re my audience and I’m so grateful to each and everyone of you for tuning in. I hope you like this week’s song. By the way, I’ve got 5 new albums coming along nicely. You’ll get to hear about them of course. If you’re new hear and you like what you hear on this episode and want to hear more music, I have a dozen albums out solo; and with Paul Dredge (folk rock); and with the Patient Hum band (rock). You can stream my music on all the usual platforms (Spotify Apple) here’s my bandcamp site — where you can stream, purchase and buy as a gift. And here’s my weekly blog where you can read the song of the weeks lyrics and view my art, if you like, Ok. Buckle up and come along for a ride. Enjoy



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!



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,


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,