The Unexplained – first PYRAMID PARK single

Pyramid Park Social Facbook Banner C

Today PYRAMID PARK (my new artist name) release the first single ‘The Unexplained’ from the new album ‘Vulnerability’. 

Personally, I am so pleased to finally share this song after waiting over six months.  I’d love it if you could check the song and if you like it, please share on Facebook, or any other social sites.  

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 17.34.42

 

For those who enjoy reading lyrics to songs, have a read of these.

 

I’ve come to that place

Where You’ve been for all time

A light burning in space

Inside You are the fire

The unexplained

The unthinkable

It’s how You move

It’s who You are

Your peace, perfect peace

Transcends my understanding

In awe of all that You are

You’re beyond my reasoning

Your power, holy power

It roars like a warrior

You’re King, the King of all kings

Your voice I hear and I follow

The unexplained

The unthinkable

It’s how You move

It’s who You are

Mountain high, I’ll show no fear

Valley low, I know You’re near

Look out for more news about the making of the song and indeed the video.

PYRAMID PARK

Pyramid Park Social Profile A

Things change. And that’s not a bad thing. In fact sometimes change is necessary for us to move forward.

With a new season comes a great opportunity to start fresh. When I look back at some of the projects that I’ve done, I am so grateful for the journey I’ve had as Pete McAllen the artist. But I also realise that my sound has changed. In many ways, I as a musician have changed and, like shedding a skin, though painful, it’s necessary to grow into the artist I am becoming.

This change is very much about being strategic. I was advised by experts in the music world to make the transition from Pete McAllen to something broader than just my name. It’s a massive challenge to find something that’s unique and enables you to have a wider reach, longer term. There are a lot of male worship leaders out there, brilliant guys who are producing music that is not only good, but God-lead. It’s a densely populated market. I knew that if I was going to take the risk of going into music full time,  I was going to need to take things to the next level and rebranding is a big part of that. It takes forever to find a new name. This is not a quick decision or one that I jumped on without thought. I have spent hours and hours researching bands, hammering down what’s come before and what I could potentially create. And from that PYRAMID PARK was born.

Pyramid Park Social Facbook Banner C

The logo is a pyramid. It’s representative of the fact that what we do on earth is connected to God and God lines out a spacious place for us to expand in our world. There’s the opportunity to rest, explore, play, fellowship. It’s in a sphere of God’s blessings. He’s brought us into this spacious place. The more connected we are the more space we have. Rarely does a park have harsh walls separating it from the rest of the space around it. Rather it’s boundaries are identified by markers, skilfully placed trees and the start and ends of roads. This image reminds me of my relationship with God. He manages to balance perfectly our freedom and the boundaries necessary for our growth, safety and security.  Our expanse only reaches as far as God desires it to, but there is so much to be created and explored within that.

From a personal perspective, the change allows me to distance myself from the music as an individual. I don’t have to wrestle between the two ‘identities’ of Pete McAllen the person and Pete McAllen the Artist. It makes space for other people to be involved in the project. At the very least, it brings clarity when I am playing with a band, in an unfamiliar setting. In the past I’ve been introduced as Pete McAllen and his band, Pete and the guys, The Pete McAllen Band. The new name brings clarity. Lack of clarity weakens the message and the power of the songs.

It’s not easy to make a change, especially for my long term fans. I realise that, appreciate that and I know this could come across as impersonal. But let me assure you, this is still me, my projects and my heart behind the music. I continue to be grateful for your support and I hope that my new sound, and my new name will help create that space for you to commune with God. Ultimately everything I do is for His glory.

Thank you again for coming along on this journey with me.

PS Please follow me on the new PYRAMID PARK Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

The Crowd, The Critic and The Muse – a Review

TheCrowdTheCriticAndTheMuse

I did some superficial research to see what other people had to say about this book before I read it and started writing. And I’ll be honest, I couldn’t find much on it outside of Amazon comments and Goodreads. Pete really encouraged me to read it, as did some other creatives in my life who I am privileged to call friends. I really didn’t know what I was in for.

Disclaimer: I didn’t read the book with my eyes. What I mean is, I listened to it on Audible, and so I will be throwing aspects of that into this review and be recommending that you listen to it rather than read it with much shameless bias because it was a FANTASTIC experience (there is intentional capitalisation there – I need you to understand how epic this was).

The Crowd, The Critic and the Muse, a book for creators – by Michael Gungor.

A Review

Earlier this month, Pete wrote about his encounter with the Gungors and some lessons he learnt from them. If you have not read it yet, check it out here and then come back to this.

This book, for all intents and purposes, is written directly to the heart of the creative. And in a similar vain to the The Artisan Soul, it presupposes that we are all creators. In fact Gungor says “Whether or not we create is not up to us. As humans, it’s in our nature. Every step, word and breath is an act of creation.” What we create, that is left up to us. We can choose to create good or evil, life or death, but we are always creating.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the different aspects named in the title.

Personally I felt that this book was not just a guide to building creativity more intentionally into your life – though it does a great job of that – it was also about helping us to understand that our artistry is a gift from God and completed in His Grace and that should inspire and motivate us to be the best versions of our artistic selves.

The Crowd.

I could literally quote a third of the book to you now. Honestly, as I write this, I don’t know where to begin. My perspective has been severely shifted by Gungor’s writing here. Just read this:

It is the crowd who gives the artist her language, her tools, her mode of expression. The crowd can teach the artist to speak more effectively with her work. Without culture, the artist has no language and no one to speak to. But the voice of the crowd will never lead the creator to step outside of the crowds expectations. The crowd will always demand the expected, the controllable. This is why the crowd should not be the primary voice that the creator listens to.

Gungor says that culture determines our context for creativity, and for life. It gives us the rules to live by and if we didn’t have them we wouldn’t function as society. Artists are, by nature, determined to bend those rules – to push the boundaries so that we can see what else is out there. The challenge here is to ask yourself, how much are you letting the voice of the crowd drown out your individual personality?

The Critic.

What is art anyway? This question is answered differently all over the world, in all generations, in all eras. It’s never really been measurable. It’s never been stagnant. It’s never been specific. It’s been real. It’s the external reflection of the soul of a person. ‘It is the ordering of the potential that already exists in creation.’ You CANNOT let the critic determine the significance of your art. You need to be strong. You need to be bold. Create anyway.

The Muse.

Gungor speaks about how society has looked for an appropriate name for the spirit of creativity. The ancient Greeks looked to the Muses, the Romans to the Genius. As Christians we look to God as our source of creativity – the ultimate creator. Gungor supposes that whatever your belief system, we all recognise there is an outside-of-ourselves-influence to our art. This is where we ask the ‘what drives us?’ question. What inspires you? We must remember that our context influences our creativity. Our inspiration often comes from our past, our belief system and more often than not, our reaction to these things. Gungor says that ‘creativity is a gift that arises from a deeper place than conscious thought’. What do you allow to influence you? What should not be on that list?

 

 

I fell in love with this book, not only because I felt like Gungor was speaking directly to my soul, but also because I felt like through the delicate weaving of his words, the author was challenging everything I base my creativity on. Not so that he could take away from it’s value, but to push me to be at a point where I would move from being a creative to being a creator. As he concludes his melodic prose, Gungor says that the artist needs to come to a place where ‘she moves beyond the philosophy and mysticalness of art and into the craft of it.’ I finished the final chapter with the desperate desire to pour my heart and soul onto the page. To throw all the words that are constantly circling my mind onto paper. I want to make everything rhyme, I want to capture everything I see in a poem or a story. I want to create. I want to create life.

This book is not for the faint hearted. It’s not a place where you will find solace and comfort if you are worn out or creatively weary. But if you are worn out or creatively weary, this IS the book you should read. This book does not allow you to sit where you are. It requires you to show up. To be the artist you were created to be, in whatever form you choose. It is going to open your eyes to who you are as an artist – as much as you will let it.

The question is… are you ready?

Take a breath.

Count to three.

Go.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Crowd-Critic-Muse-Book-Creators-Michael-Gungor/0988242907/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499354616&sr=8-1&keywords=the+crowd+the+critic+and+the+muse 

Audible: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Arts-Entertainment/The-Crowd-The-Critic-and-the-Muse-Audiobook/B00DC1MIBS/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1499354572&sr=1-1