Peter Pond newsletter :: May 2012 #40

Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald
Peter Pond Society editor Bill McDonald

BALLAD OF PETER POND COMPOSER

Hello yet again.
Below are two emails from "Ballad of Peter Pond" composer Paulo (Paul Finkleman) shortly after he received Peter Pond Society 39 with the song attached. He is the newest member of Peter Pond Society.

Here is the first:

Hi Folks,
The song about Peter Pond was written AND recorded over a two day period with some students at Peter Pond Community School in Ft.McMurray on a very limited budget and time constraints. I haven't heard the song in 25 years. Hearing it now, I intend to re-write some of it, re-record it properly, and do a much better job this time around. I'll send it to our Pond-loving friend Bill McDonald when it's finished, and he'll distribute it to you, I'm sure.
Musically yours . . .
Paul Finkleman, Songwriter, Entertainer and Musical Historian
pfinkleman@shaw.ca (403) 252 8967
10804 Brae Place SW Calgary AB. T2W 1E3
www.paulomusic.com

Then I asked him to give more details into the writing of the song ie. what's his average time for writing one, what brought him to Ft. McMurray to do the song and had he known anything about Peter Pond before arriving there. It was with this email that he attached his more recent song about David Thompson to show what he could do with more time and better sound production. If you want to hear the DT song, please ask me and I'll shoot it back as an email attachment. Here is the second email from Paulo.

Hi Bill,
To answer you questions: Most songs take at least a week to write. usually a couple days with the words and music, and then, like a sculptor, you keep going back and fine-tuning it, and the more you start to play and sing it over the next few days, the more little changes you want to make, finessing it until you finally say" Yup, that's good". I never had the luxury of doing that with the Peter Pond song, as not only were we limited in time, but I had to keep the students interested and involved in the process. I believe it was the Principal at the school who set it up, a woman who had heard me do some concerts, and thought I'd be the right person to work with the students. I've always had a love of local history, so I knew a bit about Pond, but nothing in depth. The other thing that's difficult about writing historical ballads is that you can't really use poetic license to embellish. I'm a story teller, and it's fun to make things up as you go along. But with historical figures, you gotta go with the facts.
I'm attaching a song on mp3 I wrote and recorded last year about David Thompson called "Stargazer, Mapmaker". It illustrates what can be done with a little more time and effort, and the quality of sound production is 200 times better. I hope you enjoy it and can pass it on without difficulty.
All the best . . . Paulo Finkleman

Au revoir,
Bill