Just one thing…
Someone was asking me : if I had to choose one thing and do just that , what would it be?
I love painting, that’s true. Here’s this week’s
Painting (plein air)
I painted this on the same outing as the one I posted on my last blog. This is the same beach in Dromana, looking back down the beach the other way (south). These little beach boxes are in clusters here and there, beside the bay. You have to take a drive and keep your eyes open. This week, again, I have also taken photos of this scene and one day I’ll paint a larger (realism) version in my studio. There’s been about 50 of these plein air paintings in the last 50 weeks , so I’ve got plenty of scenes to paint ‘big’. I really enjoy painting these on the spot.
You can see lots of them here: www.petepascoe.com plein air paintings (more will be ‘up ‘ soon).
Getting back to that ‘if I had to choose one thing and do just that, what would it be?’ question…it’s hard to let go of things you’ve invested in, that’s true – and I’ve invested my time and energy heavily in a few different styles of art and different music genres.
Here’s a song I wrote with Paul Dredge. we share the lead vocals on this song – we ended up singing the sections each composed.
Here’s a cartoon drawing video (did you see this one? I see 337 people have viewed this one.. I’ve loved drawing 1000s of cartoon animals over the years – and it’s great to be now sharing the ‘how to’ to a bigger audience.
But actually, the answer is easy for me (while I really enjoy all the painting and cartoons): piano and singing. Piano would probably be the one thing.
Why? There’s no on off switch. There’s no gear required. You just sit and play.. Nearly every time I do that I start composing. It’s built in. I guess it’s something I’ve done passionately for a longtime, so it comes naturally to me. I’ve played since I was 5.
Here’s me singing and playing another song in my lounge. I’m enjoying videoing these. Eventually I’ll get on top of how to stream live to the Internet too ( I did manage a live feed to instagram the other week – you can see it on my insta .
Sweet Little Angel Blues (live in the lounge -piano/vocal)
Paul Dredge introduced me to this song. He used to sing it when we played a lot of gigs as a duo. In fact, that’s when I started to learn to play blues. It’s a great feeling just sitting back and playing what you can hear in your head, improvising.
We went to see BB King in concert when he came to town. Brilliant. Here, I’m singing Sweet Little Angel for my wife
I used to perform 3 – 5 nights a week with Paul- and lots since, solo. I really miss Performing. It’s ironic, the week that covid 19 lockdown happened in Melbourne (a year ago) was the week that I was to make my big return to much more gigging.
It’s not that I gave it away, ever. It’s just that when my last long term residency stopped, someone suggested I take up teaching, Which I did. 36 private lessons each week is a lot. – especially in 3 days. I found I didn’t have the energy required to find too many gigs.
So this year I’ve pulled it back to 2 days. 26 students. Still a lot, but much more manageable.
So I like the simplicity of playing the piano, the instant gratification I suppose, of composing quickly (which is the way it happens for me) and I like arranging it the way I can hear it, straight away.
I have a new piano album underway. It’s always a fun and exciting time, composing pieces for a new album, gathering a list of ‘maybes’ and putting it all together.
It’ll be an album like this one it’ll be an hour long and be peaceful all the way through (great for listening and relaxing):
I’ve written about playing piano and arranging, a lot. I have my ‘how to play the piano’ books written, waiting to be edited. The next step is to finalise which short piano pieces/ exercises to include when I publish the ebooks and video courses.
The thing is, currently, I teach each student differently- I choose different music for each student. I could definitely look at locking in the those pieces – and still have some flexibility.
I would love to have all my piano teaching, ‘how to draw cartoons’, ‘how to paint seascapes’ all available as ebooks and video courses online.
This is where I’m headed. I’ve already done a lot of work towards this. For now, I’m enjoying where I’m at. it’s been a long road to here.
There is now 25 hours of me talking about songwriting online, on my song and a chat podcast!
Here’s this week’s
Song and a Chat Podcast
(The title above is the link)
(from the show notes)
Hi there, welcome to another episode!
This week’s song is a bit ‘mad’ in a slightly wild sort of way. It was inspired by my looking at a picture of a pig which my wife had put on the fridge door. I thought I’d have a bit of fun. So straight away I felt like I’d give it an up sort of swung feel in the chorus…
It’s a great idea to try different styles- and we can open our minds by listening to all sorts of songs (Finding your way to new music that you like can be tricky on the internet. Have you tried bandcamp? (being guided by artificial intelligence to what we might like to listen to on streaming services really concerns me, but that’s another subject. Songs and art in general are about something much more subtle than what ( I hope) a computer algorithm could ever perceive).
Each week when I flick the mic on, I explain some of the steps I take as a songwriter as I compose – without attempting to sort of take away the mystery about the process.
There are simple steps to take along the way to writing a song, but there’s certainly no ‘one’ path.
In my studio, as I talk about whatever comes into my mind, I’ve got my audience firmly in mind. I keep it light, entertaining and informative. Lots of casual asides, anecdotes, life observations, etc… I also play some piano as I talk, to demonstrate what I talking about.
This podcast is something that’s really ‘clicked’ for me, personally. Over time I may refine what I’m up to here, but for I’m enjoying the whole process.
If you enjoy this episode, there plenty more where this came from (50 previous episodes!).
Anyway, today lets see where that pig on the fridge took me. …read more and listen: Podcast
Here’s something I have decided this week: present more of myself on YouTube, the way I do on my podcast.
Anyhow, in the meantime, I’ll keep doing it all and Ill stick to my weekly schedule. It’s a big commitment, but it feels great to be putting positive artistic content up online each week.
And enough people have asked me to share my teaching online over the years so I’ll stick with this plan too (It all takes time, and that’s just fine).
It’ll be interesting to see where’re I’m up to in 12 months from now.
For now, I’ll just continue to enjoy each week spending as much time and energy on my creative endeavours as I can. This story continues to unfold -and It’s nice to be sharing some of it with you. Thanks for dropping by.
here’s a song which has those words above (in italics) in it. It’s from the new album, The Roughest Cut:
If you’re involved in an art, I hope it’s going well for you.. I hope maybe my online content will encourage you to keep going in some way.
If you’re here, just enjoying what I have to say and post, that’s great, too.
PS Here’s the lyrics to the song on the podcast episode.
Unzipped Heads words & music P. Pascoe
Pig asleep on the fridge is my appetite dozing?
Pot plant up there too are your roots in the winter ?
Sometimes my words appear as snakes and ladders
when I’d prefer to take the lift.
The urge to sprout new leaves is a constant
though my branches are already heavy.
I start each day with a walk by the ocean
freedom as I pay for my mind the levy.
The secret is knowing when to play
when to leave it alone and just say
we’re getting a little too twilighty today
your unzipped heads are driving me away
unzipped heads today
sometimes winds appear as draughts up my spine
then my thoughts and feelings I sift
I don’t want to appear as hiding
wouldn’t you guard such thoughts in the day?
It’s really not a question of siding as
I ask protection for my thoughts as i pray…