I’ve always been a composer/record producer who wrote for other people (albums) and for projects – (musicals, movies, television, ballet, etc.) But sometimes certain ideas and songs were more personal and closer to my heart. I never saw myself as a recording artist first, but sometimes I was simply the right guy for the song. In this first of many podcasts, I’d like you to get to know me. The best way of doing that is through my songs. So, these are songs I always wanted to sing myself ... and finally did. 90% music.
The Music of Peter Link
People ask me, “Why “Symphony? You’re not a classical composer.”
Well, Wikipedia defines “Symphony” as:
an extended musical composition
most often written by composers for orchestra –
often presented in several movements.
And so, I bring you the music of a lifetime of composition –
often presented in several movements.
That’s the nature of these podcasts –
a scattershot look, at a lifetime of music …
From a variety of genres;
Pop, Rock, R&B, Reggae, Gospel, Musical Theater, Funk, Inspirational and ...
... whatever ...
Basically the music we all grew up on
All from the labyrinthine (la·br·in·thn) mind of composer, Peter Link
So, strap on them headphones.
We’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary.
And for god sakes,
Turn it up!
This week being the first week of this podcast series, I prefer to let the music do the talkin’. However, if you need to know more about me, please visit Wikipedia.com – Peter Link.
So, these are songs I always wanted to sing myself ... and finally did.
OK, let’s go!
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link
Many moons ago, actually, decades ago,
I owned a home in Antigua, an island in the Caribbean
just off the coast of South America.
Though I spent most of my time in an apartment in NYC,
I would run away to my island paradise as often as possible,
and learned to always go for at least three weeks.
Three weeks because after two,
the last thing that anyone would ever want to do,
would be to get on a plane and go back to New York City.
What would I do down there all that time?
Lay in de sun, swim in de ocean, eat sweet Delia’s good cookin’, an’ write de music of de crickets an’de tree frogs
an’de wind singin’ tru de palm trees at night. Oh yah, man, it be a good life ...
I married a song bird. Actually, I married three of them.
But the present one, just three months into our marriage,
took off to the Rome Opera, to star in a production there
that would rehearse and perform for the next 4 months.
No new husband should ever have to endure
the loneliness of those four months.
So halfway through it all, I hocked my soul, got on a plane
and flew to Italy, for ten days of marital bliss.
Oh what a precious time that was!
But time flies when you’re havin fun.
And those 10 days were all too soon over.
And saying goodbye at the Rome Airport
was an experience that I would NEVER wish upon anyone!
But as life would have it ...
This Is All I Ask
I wrote this next song for a workshop production
of an all black musical called Hot Chocolate,
specifically for an immensely talented man,
who was later to play the leading roles on Broadway
in Ragtime, Jelly’s Last Jam and The Wiz.
Lawrence Hamilton was one singin’ man,
and the most amazing quick study I’ve ever worked with.
On the day I was to teach him this next song,
I sat down at the piano and played and sang it for him,
for the first time.
When I had finished singing it ONCE,
I said to him, “OK, let’s learn it section by section.
He said, “I already know it, Peter.” I responded,
“Yeah, I know you’re quick, Larry, but nobody’s that quick.”
He said again, “I already know it, Peter.”
— and then sang it back to me.
He sang this song for years, in the show, in his concerts,
and in another musical I wrote called The River.
Sadly, I never got a good recording of his performance.
We always meant to, and I always promised him I would,
but we never got around to it.
Lawrence passed away suddenly at an early age.
But the song lives on.
And so, this version is dedicated to Lawrence.
I’m not half the singer that Lawrence was,
but a promise is a promise.
And Lawrence was the inspiration.
I’ve always known it was one of my best.
This, Is All I Ask
Song For A Bro’
What inspires a song?
Sometimes it’s just a job. They pay, so you write.
In fact, I wrote, orchestrated and recorded over 400 songs
for Industrial shows for companies like Master Charge and Johnson and Johnson and Ford Motors
about teamwork and company problems over a 15 year period.
In that time learned my craft.
Often, what also inspires a song, is, of course, a woman.
There’s always great drama in man’s relationship, with woman.
But most often, for me, it’s just simply the events of life itself.
My older brother, Jim, who was always my hero,
was an accountant. One day he got laid off at work.
He went through a stretch of time where he lost his confidence and went into a pretty serious depression.
I was totally knocked out when he turned to me, his little brother, for help. Talk about a one eighty!
Now I was being asked to save my hero.
Song For A Bro’
Playing The Fool
Another source of inspiration for any artist is, of course,
the Artist’s own imagination.
Sanford Meisner, my own teacher, once said
that if you want to be an artist, whether it be
in music or painting or sculpture or the written word,
but you have no vivid imagination, try accounting.
So, some songs come purely from the imagination.
Are they based on true life experiences? Of course.
But these moments of fantasy do not mean
that they really happened to the creator.
We are all “protected” by the secrets of our imagination.
I get to share the stage in this next song
with my favorite musical collaborator of my life,
the most talented and professional person
I’ve ever had the privilege of working with — Margaret Dorn.
The song … Playing The Fool
But For You
Aaahh, Love songs ...
the variety of possibilities are immeasurable.
The potential is as infinite as outer space.
The melodies soar from the heart, the words from the hurt,
the anticipation, the crush, the sorrow and the flight ...
and on and on and on.
At some point in everyone’s life,
because of some hurt, some rejection, some deep disappointment, we give up on love ... for a time ...
be it moments, be it weeks, be it years.
But always ... but always ... but always ...
But For You
The life of a concert artist is the road.
My advice: Never marry a concert artist. They are rarely home. My wife, Julia, a concert artist, in the early years of our marriage, was simply gone for great chunks of time.
You’ve already heard one of those stories.
For seven years she spent all our weekends
traveling from New York to Boston
to sing at an International Church every Sunday.
Weekends? We had no weekends.
So, on the weekends, living alone, I wrote and wrote and wrote ...
to pass the time. Consequently, she’s now working
on her 15th album
that I have written, recorded and produced for her.
For a time, we owned together a second house i
n the mountains of Colorado.
I cloned my New York recording studio
in a bedroom of that house in the mountains
and wrote and would sometimes go out there
to write and record.
Occasionally, she would free up her schedule
and be able to drive out and join me.
Julia is a freak for road trips. No plane ride for this girl.
Rain, shine or blizzard she’d get in that car
and drive the white lines to join me.
And I’d stand at the window ... and wait... and wait ...
wait to see that ol’ BMW comin’ up the gravel road ...
But then for about ten years,
the good Lord decided that enough was enough.
She was finally home to stay.
The kid graduated from college and it was just us two.
Those 10 years were sweet, but, but, but ...
That’s right. Once more the road beckoned ... and she was gone ...
Words Upon The Wall
I am, among many other things, a spiritual seeker.
Stick around and you’ll be likely to hear
a lot of that pursuit in podcasts to come.
I’ve been a church goer most of my life —
either a church goer or a Sunday School teacher.
I prefer the Sunday School teaching experience
to the ‘sittin’ in church’ listening experience.
I just get more out of it.
But some of my best moments in church
are those quiet moments before the service begins
that many of us have experienced ...
sitting in the silence of God’s presence,
applying what we've learned, struggling with life,
seeking a solution … and then, there it is,
written on the wall before us.
Words Upon The Wall
He’s One Of Mine
I have my troubles with religion.
Most of the time it’s too close minded and often too political.
So, I tend to stay away from “religious” experiences.
seeking a better understanding of my own spiritual growth … alone.
Well, at least alone with God ... whatever God is.
I also prefer
thinking of God as an “it” rather than a “him” or “her.”
And yet sometimes I find myself talking to “him” or ... “her.”
I also believe that no religion has a corner on Truth
and that what separates religions
is not who’s right and who’s wrong, but simply language. Consequently, I seek what I can get from each spiritual practice and take what I can get as well.
Earlier, we addressed songs that come from the writer’s imagination.
In this next song, I get to play one of my favorite characters.
He’s One Of Mine
Have you ever painted a watercolor?
Well, if you have, you’ll know that as an artist,
you’re not always in full control of your medium.
You’re really in collaboration with the whims of water.
I find absolute parallels in writing music.
many truly original moments come from mistakes —
mistakes that I might have made that, when addressed,
actually push me into new and unanticipated directions — uncharted territory.
That’s when the soul leaps, the heart plummets,
a new chord is struck.
Well, there ya’ have it. Scattershot Symphony.
The opening movement.
We’ll take a listen to songs reflecting the troubles of our world today.
It’s the toughest of times. We all know that.
But there are solutions. There must be solutions.
I hope to remind you of a few through the music.
So, come back and join us again for the second episode of Scattershot Symphony – The World We Live In – It’s problems and some real solutions – all presented in song.
Also, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts.
And to keep abreast of the latest episode, you can subscribe to Scattershot Symphony from your podcast app of choice.
Thanks to Margaret Dorn, Julia Wade, Jenny Burton, Darryl Tookes and Jillian Armsbury for lending your amazing talents and voices to this music. What a joy it was for me to sing with you.
And thanks to Watchfire Music, Nathan Burgdorff and the entire staff for all your work in producing and promoting this podcast.
A very special thanks also to Stuart Barefoot, our Associate Producer for all your invaluable knowledge and good vibes.
And lastly, a posthumous thanks to, Ludwig Van Beethoven for your opening 4 bars.
(over playout music)
This podcast is presented with loving care by the staff at Watchfire Music. If you liked what you heard, we got lots more where that came from. In the meantime, you can find the songs you just heard on watchfiremusic.com/PJL. There you can purchase the singles or albums and have access to all the lyrics. Also, there you will find all previous podcasts and future scheduling.
If you just became a Scattershot fan,
tell your friends and Stay tuned!