I found an unfinished letter which I wrote in February last year, before Covid caused the extended lockdown here in Melbourne.
Like most letters (of a personal nature, written to a trusted colleague), it’s a fascinating moment captured in time:
I’d bought a new lawn mower (worthy of mention, because I’m not really your outdoors sort of handy man and it’s the first one I’ve ever bought) .
I’d just had a successful (sold out) seascape painting exhibition and had gone out to dinner celebrate – and rightly so – with my family. I see we also got an icecream afterwards. That reminds me, I took photos of the Mornington pier that evening to use for reference to do a painting (yep, the work of the artist is never done).
At the time of writing the letter, I was also about to commit to recording and publishing a weekly podcast on songwriting. I also refer to the weekly blog, painting , and YouTube video I was about to begin producing and posting online…..plus there was much more.
There’s more than a hint In The letter about the unknown aspect of all this. How to actually do some of it in practical terms ..eg: where do you host a podcast ? (Blubrry, as it turns out, is very good) and in more general terms: how will it all be received?
While I’m on the topic, here’s this weeks podcast episode. I’m happy to report: it’s being well received.
A Song And A Chat Podcast
Don’t Miss The Bus is the title track off a piano/vocal album of mine.
(from the show notes)
Song #596, written in 2013, came to me in a series of verses… ‘on the ether’, as it were. It really felt like I was just sitting, taking notes. Words – lots of words – kept on coming through. When I thought it was finished, more words kept on coming through. (you can read the lyrics at the end of the blog)
The mystery of where these songs come from is something that comes up often in these podcast episodes.
There’s plenty of songwriting tips here. One of them is: I think it’s really important to have something different completely different up your sleeve that you can immerse yourself in, from time to time. Something that is not related to whatever you spend most of your time on. It’s good to ‘unplug’ and ‘fill the well’.
Today I talk about how it felt to be out fishing on the rocks beside the calm Port Phillip Bay, here in Melbourne. That’s my thing : time out in nature, beside the water.
Each week, I’m really enjoying having a go at explaining the songwriting process, how it happens differently with some songs.’’eg: what was the inspiration? Etc.
In this case, the lyrics are about the different forms love can take in this woken life…..
I’m loving recording these episodes…I keep it free, fun and entertaining…. (read more)
here’s a link to the album on my bandcamp website. You can listen to each track here.
(back to that old letter)
In the letter, referring to my online efforts, I use the phrase ‘drip in the ocean’. And that is apt… there is now a fair bit of my art and music online.
Perhaps more optimistically, it’s a drip in the high country somewhere, gathering with other drips, growing into a river and having a ( positive) effect on the scene.
I see in the letter I also say I’m about to ‘dive back into a lot more gigging’. Well that didn’t happen! There were no gigs here from March onward, last year.
I’ve been posting ‘Live In The Lounge’ Piano /Vocal videos on my youtube channel instead. (Go to my youtube channel, click on Videos and you can see all the ones that are branded like this:
How about the rest of my plans? Well, I think they’re going along ok. By the way, that brings to mind a line in a song I’ve written (from a upcoming album) ‘the best laid plans are open to the end’. I think that not a bad idea.
Apart from the very nature of making an income from the arts : you’ve got to duck and weave and preempt things and change tack constantly to remain in the game and be effective and happy. It’s something I’ve always managed to do. Plan A, plan B and so on.
Plan B was teaching piano. That’s going well. I’m so grateful to be doing this and I realise I’m very lucky. It’s a privilege – and I’m combining it with plan A: Composing. Students love play my pieces. So happy about that – and my cartoons brighten up the curriculum, my teaching notes, and effectively convey complex concepts succinctly.
I also mention in my letter that I’ll produce the ebooks and video courses within 2 years.
A year later, I’ve started editing my first ebook: 12 piano pieces from my 4 piano albums. Eventually I’ll be offering ebooks and video courses on how to play them (this will include cartoon stills and and animated sequences, is the plan.
Back to the other stuff. Well, this is blog number 55 since last March, with 50 odd new paintings… there are 55 podcast episodes ( including 55 new songs to hear ), 100+ videos (music and how to draw cartoons) on my channel. The website has a bunch of paintings for sale on there.
If you’re on my email list, you’ll be up to speed with all this. Thanks so much for being onboard. Your support is so appreciated as I find my way along, I hope you’re feeling rewarded with the art and music I’ve been posting.
This week, I saw a fellow (pianist) blogger enjoyed this recent post on another blog.
It lead me to have a look, read through and reminisce… it made me smile – and laugh about the fishing yarn. Then I played the album on the embedded player – great memories.
You can listen to the album we recorded here (all 1st takes..no mucking around!)…
So. How’s all my online content being received? Well, as per last week’s blog, I’ve received some very welcome positive feedback, which has been great. People are starting tune in and find the aspect of my art and music that appeals…
If you’re thinking about blogging, etc, it takes time and commitment. ..but it’s fun! You have to have faith in what you’re up to as an artist to justify the time it takes to put all this together…
Like any band, Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum have our own sound. It takes time to get to know a band. The videos of songs from the album The Roughest Cut have performed well lately. That’s great. At the school where I teach, Made Me Realise, Falling and Fingers In The Trees were played (by my wonderful h.o.d. Traci), over the sound system which blasts all through the school – indoors and out – to bring the kids in to class. Students and teachers made favourable comments. That was quite surreal and satisfying.
You can listen to the whole album on youtube here: pete pascoe – topic
As it’s Pete Pascoe and The Patient Hum, with the automatically generated youtube videos, Youtube have chosen to create another channel (Not put it on my Youtube channel -or the band youtube channel – confusing, eh). Oh well, long term it won’t matter because I’m making my own videos for the songs off the album to post on the ‘right’ channels (lot of work, eh) & I’m happy the 3rd party (CD Baby) have created these videos.
….and here’s another one i”ve just finished!
Girl (When You Went Away) by Pete Pascoe & The Patient Hum.
This is another song off The Roughest Cut album. The video was filmed on the Mornington Peninsular & combined with band footage from the Sandringham Village Fair, from a while back. The song lyrics are a combination of fact and fiction… The music is by the whole band. This one appears out of thin air at rehearsal one night, based on a guitar riff played by Neil.
The band album is streaming well (on Spotify, Apple music, etc. I’m gently drawing attention to it on social media. I don’t have much interaction via my Facebook page for the band…not much traction. But that’s ok, there’s other platforms. The Art facebook page sees more traffic – and my personal one. It’s all a juggle, because I have so many different brands.
I understand the different brands are confusing for folks, so this blog is partly to help with understanding / navigation along these lines.
The piano albums stream ok. One has 23,000 streams now. Here’s the link: Peace on Spotify
Here’s the first album. This link can play on bandcamp while you read this blog…(it’s also on spotify by the way).
The art? I’ve sold about 20 of the plein air weekly paintings, now that the arts markets have opened up – and they’ve sold via the website, too. plein air paintings @ www.petepascoe.com
I’d like to make more sales through the website. It’s a constant work in progress.
Here’s this week’s
Painting (plein air)
I nearly cooked painting this one – having been up fishing since dawn for 5 hours (see below), I thought it was a good idea to sit myself down on the hot Mt Martha beach and paint.. Talk about determined (or slightly mad…)
Here’s the painting….
I wrote a new draft for my website landing page yesterday, including a how to navigate around the website and where to quickly find which aspect of my music or art the viewer is looking for. This will be adjusted as we can manage.
There is so much to learn and so much time required to get it all happening. I guess The only deadlines I have are self imposed. That and the fact the I need to clothe & feed my family and myself. That’s pretty good motivation.
I like to do things ‘now ‘. That is how I draw, paint, write, compose and record. I work very quickly. So this gradually growing online content posting thing is fascinating to me.
It’s nice to be archiving everything. There are always frustrations along the way… Like : What if did Sony hadn’t turned me down all those years ago? What if I’d never left Palmerston North New Zealand over 20 years ago? Who knew then that the Internet would be what it is today?
I have some answers to some questions and not for others. And that is the way it is and that’s the way it shall carry on. It’s all good.
Here’s an example of my ‘time out’….
As I mentioned, I fished for 5 hours (off the rocks at Mt Martha, Vic, Australia). It was a beautiful dawn. I talk about it on my podcast this week.
It’s fun, clambering about on the rocks and looking down into the water, watching the passing fish.
Eventually, 5 unfortunate – but very tasty squid (s?) – ended up on my table at home:
All this hunting and gathering and food prep time is time well spent, I believe. Fully in the moment, lost in nature, then focussing on the prep & cooking in the kitchen. Not thinking about art or music, for a change.
I’m really enjoying reading a book about the president of Pixar, Ed Catmull , a creative person who got involved in business in a major way. His thinking resonates with my ideas. It’s great to keep reading and learning to help keep things moving on.
I’m a creative person, not a marketing guru. But the expectation for songwriters is: you’ll put 50% of your time into your craft and 50% of your time into marketing.
Yeek! Marketing . The very term leaves me cold. Haven’t we been sold to enough?
Fortunately for me, the marketing I’m doing is creative, involving doing that which I love: making, videos, recording music, writing, observing, painting, etc.
As an aside, I received a call from a telemarketer yesterday. I had a bit of time at the moment, between piano students. I said ” OK, give me your 15 second elevator pitch….GO!
And he hung up. Ha! It took me a moment to realise what he heard above the babble of the call centre – and could glean from my accent – was the instructions (quite animatedly spoken) “blah blah blah …GO!!!!”. So he did. Oops.
On a previous podcast episode I talk about my one and a half weeks I spent gainfully employed as a (very poor) telemarketer, once upon a time in the west…consequently I take it easy on most telemarketers. Most.
I might eventually go back and gather all those anecdotes that spring to mind as I talk on the podcast episodes ..that’s actually part of the plan…plus I’ll bring the songwriting tips together, into a more concise form….yep: Drip,drip drip…the ol’ bucket is filling up. 55 episodes…that’s about 100 anecdotes to put together. Lots of songwriting tips, too.
Here’s some pics of me recording a podcast in the studio.
At night a possum regularly runs across the corrugated iron roof. I’m using a very sensitive microphone. the sound goes from silence to the sound of a train going through my ears each time the possum does his thing – gives me heck of a fright!
As I mentioned, doing this thing creatively (like organising the 4 shots above) means It’s so much fun.
Where do I find the time to write this? Thanks to the wonders of the digital age, I’m writing this on my ipad, in a waiting room…my daughter had an appointment. Never a dull wasted moment these days…juggling parenthood and the ‘artist’s way’ is certainly an entertaining juggle.
As is well documented, it’s a challenging path, being in the arts. Like I said last week. Belief in your art and music – and determination – and are a couple of keys to help you keeping on keeping on.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you’ve enjoyed a read, a look at the art and listening to some more music.
Next steps for me include : finding more gigs (I’ve opted to teach a little less -still 26 students, which is a fair few in two days, on a weekly basis). And I’m no longer full time at the arts market in the city on Sundays….as per my plan in the letter from a year ago, I’m looking after myself and ‘reeling it all in a little’ to keep the wheels on.
If you’d like to help me along the way (and you’ve done that just by tuning in here, by the way, thank you) please do like and share and comment on any of my content that you like that I post online. That would help me so much…
Other than that, you can stream my music, purchase the music online (+ sheet music) and the seascape prints, originals and cartoon prints. www,petepascoe.com Oh yeh, there’s a new donation button on my website landing page too !
Gotta look at how I’m going to finance make my upcoming video course creation and housing, plus the animation that I can’t wait to get I into. I’ll need Lighting, gear, storage, software, hardware…
I’m thinking about a go fund me page….
Ah well, it all takes time. It’s nice to have the plans.
Hope you’re having a great week. Thanks again for dropping by.
Below are the lyrics to the song on this week’s podcast episode. I’m so pleased I took the time and committed to the songwriting path. 800 songs now…it’s great to be sharing them. Its all part of the plan and the process. You can listen online to 13 albums on bandcamp (here) & 55 songs on my podcast episodes.
The drips are happening. There’s a sense of growth which very rewarding. Thanks for being part of this and helping me along.
I really hope my positive online content is helping you, too.
As usual, here’s the words to the song on this week’s podcast episode.
DON’T MISS THE BUS Words & Music by P. PASCOE 2013
LOVE LIES IN WAITING TO QUELL YOUR THIRST
IT CAN GROW LIKE A FLOWER OR LIKE A BUBBLE, MAY BURST
CAN BE GONE IN AN INSTANT AND WOUND YOU FOR LIFE
HEALS LIKE MAGIC IT CUTS LIKE A KNIFE
CREEPS UP SO SLOWLY, YOU HARDLY KNOW IT’S THERE
SENDS YOU TO HEAVEN DROPS YOU INTO DESPAIR
THEY SAY TRUE LOVE WAITS ONLY FOR A CHOSEN FEW
I SAY IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU LOOK FOR AND IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU DO
PART OF THE WONDER IS PART OF THE CURSE
COS IT’LL GIVE TO YOUR SOUL AND STEAL FROM YOUR PURSE
AND IF LOVE IS YOUR RICHES WITH THAT I’D AGREE
AND IF IT’S YOUR MASTER WE’RE ALL LIVING FREE
IT’LL RUN LIKE A CHILD DEMAND TO BE CAUGHT
IT’S STILL RUNNING WILD NEVER CAN BE BOUGHT
IT’LL REAPPEAR IN THE SHADOWS YOU CAST YOURSELF TO
IT’S WAITING FOR ME AND IT’S WAITING FOR YOU
OH LONELY ME OH LONELY YOU IT’S WAITING FOR YOU
YOU CAN’T BEGIN TO IMAGINE THE FEELING INSIDE
WHEN LOVE STARTS TO BLOSSOM INSTEAD OF CROUCHING TO HIDE
YOUR WORLD EXPLODES, TURNS YOU ON YOUR HEAD
NO ONE CAN EXPLAIN WHY WE WAIT TIL WE’RE DEAD
TO EMBRACE THIS SLOW BURNING TRUTH
FOR IT’S FOOD FOR THE TABLE AND WOOD FOR YOUR ROOF
LOVE IS OUR TEACHER, IT’LL SPLIT YOU OPEN WIDE
IF YOUR HEART IS BROKEN, THEN YOU SEE INSIDE
OH LONELY ME OH LONELY YOU YOU SEE INSIDE
LOVE IS A BEACON THAT WILL NEVER CEASE
BUT THERE’S A FREAK IN THE KITCHEN HE’LL COST US OUR PEACE
IF WE DONT FLUSH HIM OUT WE’LL ALL FALL FROM OUR TREES
AINT THAT WHERE IT ALL STARTED NOW WE’RE DOWN ON OUR KNEES
IT WAITS IN THE QUIET PAUSE BETWEEN BREATHS
MAYBE THAT’S ALL WE’VE GOT BETWEEN OUR BIRTH AND OUR DEATH
IT TAPS AT THE WINDOWS AND SPEAKS IN OUR DREAMS
ITS HEARD IN OUR LAUGHTER , OUR WHISPERS AND SCREAMS
OH LONELY ME OH LONELY YOU, OUR WHISPERS AND SCREAMS.
NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU’VE GOT OR HOW MUCH YOU MAY LACK
THERE’S ALWAYS WAY AND THERE’S STILL TIME TO TURN BACK
FOR NO MATTER HOW FAR OFF THE PATH WE MAY ROAM
THEY SAY LOVE WAITS IN SILENCE TO LEAD US ALL HOME
OH LUCKY ME OH LUCKY US JUST DONT MISS THE BUS
LEADS US HOME WHEREVER WE ROAM
YOU AND ME NO NEED TO FUSS
JUST DONT MISS THE BUS