Feedback for Artists

Hi there. 

I’d just like to make it clear the following isn’t a plea for some attention. But if you’re wondering, any creative person loves receiving positive feedback, regardless of where they are at along their path. 

I recently released a rock album: The Roughest Cut. I’m very happy with the songs, the way the band played, the production, the standard of recording quality that I achieved…. I’m stoked. 

Streaming now (Rock – Neil Young-ish/ Crowded House-ish)

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I do have 12 other albums doing well online, but this rock album stands out because producing this sort of album was the goal I’d been working towards ever since I arrived in Australia in 1997.

I was waiting for a professionally recorded album, but it’s turned out I’ve had to do it myself – and that’s fine. it just took a bit longer than I thought it might. The album was recorded with a $0 budget and I used every bit of gear I own to do it. My recording studio is modest, but I make the most of the gear I’ve got. I think outside the square and go with what sounds good to me. Here’s song number 3, This Story:

I really like the high spooky synth and slightly unsettling piano riff in this song. I also enjoy Neil’s lead guitar, with the band cranking at the end. We repeatedly play a section which has a 2/4 bar. This has the effect of pushing things on. It’s such good fun arranging music.

We’ve received some very nice feedback from people who’ve listened to the album. Alot of people haven’t listened yet – and that’s fair enough. Everyone’s got a lot going on. 

That’s the way it is. You put your heart and soul into something you absolutely believe in. You publish it..and you look happy. You believe in it, promote it – and move on. I’ve enjoyed producing videos for a couple of songs which you can see on my youtube channel (they’re also on the band’s youtube channel) More are on the way.

It’s an exercise in self belief and determination. 

Speaking of determination, I got pretty wet painting at the beach today, but I boxed on. The bright sunshine disappeared as a big front went over.

I was forced to find some shelter until it passed.

I eventually finished the painting. My clothes were a bit soggier than when I started.

So, finally, here’s this week’s….

Painting (plein air)

Ranelagh beach, Mt Eliza, Vic 29cm x 12 cm $145

I really enjoy painting at the beach each week. More of these here: plein air paintings

I’ve been doing the art and music for fair old while. By its very nature, you remain the learner, you remain as passionate as when you started. Otherwise you’d quickly get stale and move onto something else other than the arts.

I’ve been enjoying painting large studio seascapes like this for about a decade now.

More of these here: prints of studio paintings

When it comes to new albums of music it’s a tricky time, these days, engaging an audience with streaming. It generally takes a few listens to become emotionally engaged with a piece of music. A lot of folks don’t bother listening to a song once unless it’s got 20,000 likes, etc. or unless they’re told its good by radio or a record company. It takes courage to stand up and say ‘I like this music’ when no one else has.

(More cartoon drawing videos coming soon…)

My piano solo album Peace has been streamed 23,000 times, so that’s coming along. The other 3 piano albums: Eridanus/River Music, The Unfolding and Release have been purchased as CDs in the past (5,000 sold) but they’re yet to really take off with streaming… you have to have faith in your music, keep chipping away, enjoying what you do – and you do your best to consistently publish great content and products.

With streaming, you are also competing with every song that’s ever been released – yes, it’s a bit different these days.

In the record shop once a upon a time there were all the new releases, plus some ‘evergreen’ sellers. But streaming means everything that’s ever been recorded is there ‘on the shelf’, vying for attention. 

today, I’m drawing attention to this  ‘offering feedback’ I because I believe it is really important that we support artists. 

Again, self belief and passion and determination are the things that carry an artist along, but the odd nice moment along the way in terms of positive feedback makes the world of difference. You just have to go about your work, do the best you can , put it out, then move on creatively each time. It takes a lot of self motivation.Passion is the key.

The other week at the market stall, a lady took a photo of my online links. Later she contacted me to say she and her family loved the music- the band album and the quiet piano solo albums. – they also enjoyed drawing cartoons (on youtube -lots of how to draw cartoon animal videos here) with me, etc. They fully engaged. It gave me a lift just when I needed it. So nice of her to let me know.

Here’s another song of mine. It’ll be on an upcoming solo album – it’s nearly finished. This is a piano/vocal version. The video includes the lyrics.

The lyrics are about  how it’s Ok to share how you’re feeling – it’s ok to make yourself vulnerable when you’re safe and supported. You don’t have to have the answers to everything. 

Youtube video

OK To Say ( Piano/Vocal- Live in The Lounge)

One of the biggest challenges for creative people these days is the expectation that we will invest time and energy to market that which we have published. This involves a mountain of time and hard work – just at the time where creatively you feel inspired to move on to your next work. 

I’ve been good at being creatively productive in my life. Marketing: not so much so. It doesn’t come to me naturally. I’m doing my best now to catch up. I’m learning all the time, but I know it’ll never be my forte. 

One way to ‘market’ what you do is to post on different platforms. I’m more than happy to engage in more creative activity (in the name of marketing)… I’m really enjoying producing a podcast episode each week… here’s this week’s

Song and a Chat podcast

Episode # 54 Falling (Out The Back Of My Mind). ((5.50 & 28.28)

(From the show notes) Last week I touched on the idea that the most important thing about songwriting is that you want to convey feeling. I do think it’s actually more important than the ‘message’. 

‘Falling’ (song #609) fits that description to a ‘t’ . 

A friend of mine listened to the song the other week. She got back to me, said it made it her cry. She wasn’t sure what the song was about…..but it got to her – she really liked it. 

Job done! As an artist you are looking for an emotional reaction. That’s number one…so, mission achieved. 

You’ll get to hear two versions of the song on this episode – a piano vocal version which has an air of fragility about the performance. Then at the end of the episode, you can hear the band version of the song. It’s interesting how you can start with the same melancholy feeling, but then you can take it all to another level with the right instrumentation- and the right band. 

Anyway. My plan each week is to put you in the shoes of a songwriter, give you an insight into where a song comes from. I aim for these episodes to be informative, relaxing and entertaining. I deliver the information in a manner that is hopefully appealing to both musicians versed in theory –  and the layman, equally. You need no musical knowledge to follow the majority of what I’m talking about… (read more) 

I keep moving on to the next creative project – it’s the creative way.. I have a solo album almost finished. I arranged and recorded all the ‘ band’ parts on my keyboard : the strings, ‘guitars’ bass, piano organ, synths . I Sang all the lead and backing vocals. So much fun. That’ll be coming out soon. I’ve been listening to it every couple of days. Just a couple more ‘ fixes’ and mixes. 

Looking for new music? Have you heard the Man In Blue? (this link is for bandcamp, but its on spotify, apple, etc..)

This is a solo album from a while ago. At What Cost is probably my favourite track..hmm plus the title track. I enjoyed making the video for At What Cost. I should do one for the title track ‘The Man In Blue’…

In the meantime the band is rehearsing toward gigging again. After so much time of not being allowed to be together due to Covid -19, we are going over the songs off The Roughest Cut. Looking ahead to the next album, I have also put together a bunch of possible  songs we haven’t yet recorded but have played a lot or a bit… And of course some brand new songs. 

Keeping the wheels on isn’t always easy when you’re committed to so many paths. I really might have to hit pause on a few avenues and get busy finding funding for my animation, ebook , video course plans. 

This week I’ve started editing sheet music for piano, for my first e-book. Looking forward to using my new e-book software!

Like everything I’ve done to this point, I’ll probably end up doing the best I can do with the limited budget and gear I have. It keeps you on your toes. 

I hope you’re having a great week. 

If you have the opportunity to let a creative person you like their work and you’re wondering whether to tell them, do let them know. It will give that person a eal lift. 

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s art and music. 


PS I just got this feedback on my peace live in the studio youtube video:

‘Beautiful beyond words….’ Thanks, R.D. , much appreciated – and timely, given the topic of today’s blog!

Here’s the lyrics to the song featured on this week’s podcast episode:

Falling (Out The Back of My Mind) words & music by P.Pascoe

A calling from the depths of my desire

pullin from the embers of the fire

echoes faintly ’round my mind

here goes, this is where

I’m falling, falling, yes,it’s true

falling out the back of my mind

Over water, where sound travels true

can’t hear words anymore

Just the language of the weather of the years

The memory slowly reappears

falling, falling , yes it’s true

Falling out the back of my mind

I remember how it felt

Ahh like the sinking of a boat

I can’t recall the words they wrote

Slowly coming back to shore

Surely this has to be more than dreaming

Morning’s creeping through my mind

A warning -pressing but not unkind