Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's musician 'Pete' thinks we should all calm down and listen to a good lullaby

Pete, a.k.a. Peter MacDonald, decided to make an album of music for small children to help music fans of all ages calm down.

Have a First Listen to Songs for Theo by Pete

Pete is the stage name of musician Peter MacDonald, who has just released a collection of lullabies called Songs for Theo. (Submitted by Peter MacDonald )

The St. John's musician who records as Pete admits a collection of lullabies is an unusual choice for a debut album by a 20-something musician. 

Lullabies for Theo is a collection of gentle acoustic songs designed to lull babies and toddlers asleep.   

"It's kind of the exact opposite of what I feel like I'm feeling in life right now," said Pete. 

"I'm feeling like everyone is very stressed and burnt out and scared and worried.… [The album] is for everyone to listen to, and take a breath and calm down."

Raised on the arts 

Pete, also known as Peter MacDonald, grew up in St. John's in a family that is steeped in the performing arts. 

His parents, Peter MacDonald and Ronalda Hutton MacDonald, operate a musical theatre production company. Peter MacDonald Jr. has been singing and acting onstage since he was five years old. 

MacDonald is now launching his own career in the performing arts, focusing mainly on music with his band, With Violet, and on his own solo career. 

Inspired by little ones

Songs For Theo was inspired by the new babies and toddlers in MacDonald's circle of extended family and friends. 

"There was just this wonderful energy to write about children and children's songs and it just came from the little kids," said MacDonald. 

Pete and his musical collaborators — Spencer Fitzgerald, Sarah Newell and his mother — listened to a lot of children's music, singer-songwriter music, and acoustic-based folk music to.develop their soothing collection of songs. 

Not so relaxed

So does performing Songs For Theo make Pete relaxed and ready to take a nap? 

"It makes me stressed," confessed MacDonald. "I still think about all the work that went into it.… But I hope someday it's actually going to calm me down."

Pete, a.k.a. Peter MacDonald, explains why his first solo album, Songs for Theo, is an album of lullabies

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us, wam@cbc.ca, and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in most of Labrador) on CBC Radio One. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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