Reverie Nature Podcast

Writing a song: Podcast's Theme Song

May 04, 2024 Chad Clifford
Writing a song: Podcast's Theme Song
Reverie Nature Podcast
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Reverie Nature Podcast
Writing a song: Podcast's Theme Song
May 04, 2024
Chad Clifford

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Please support the podcast through a donation or subscription at Buy me a coffee
Join host Chad Clifford on a captivating journey through the intricate melodies and profound inspirations behind the theme song of the Revery Nature podcast. In this immersive episode, Chad delves into the soul-stirring essence of the song, inviting listeners to experience its full length and unravel the layers of its creation.

As the song fills the airwaves, Chad transports us to the tranquil realm of nature, where every chord and lyric resonates with the beauty and resilience of the natural world. With vivid imagery drawn from his own nature journaling experiences atop Blueberry Mountain, Chad paints a poignant picture of scarlet tanagers singing amidst trembling aspen leaves and heavy mists rising through the countryside, combed by the pines.

Against the backdrop of these sensory observations, Chad reveals the subtle metaphors intertwined with the lyrics, reflecting the tumultuous times marked by the crisis of current news in the media (when the song was written). Through the lens of nature's tranquility and turmoil, the song captures the essence of loss, resilience, and the enduring power of love amidst adversity.

Venturing deeper into the creative process, Chad shares insights into the musical composition, exploring the evocative use of drop tuning and simple chord progressions to enhance the song's emotional resonance. With heartfelt anecdotes and reflections, he unveils the symbiotic relationship between music and nature, each amplifying the other's beauty and depth.

From the haunting harmonies of the harmonica to the breathtaking drone footage capturing the essence of fall, Chad's narrative immerses listeners in a symphony of sights and sounds, inviting them to embrace the magic of music in nature.

As the episode draws to a close, Chad offers a glimpse into the broader themes of music in nature that will unfold in future episodes of the podcast. With a heartfelt invitation to saunter forth and embrace nature's song, he leaves listeners inspired to cherish the whispers of the wilderness in their hearts.

Tune in to the Reverie Nature podcast and let the enchanting melodies of the theme song carry you on a journey of discovery and wonder amidst the beauty of the natural world.

#songwriting #lyrics #writing

Please consider leaving a rating and/or review wherever you listen to the podcast. Don't forget to share a good episode on social media too. The mid-roll ad on this podcast includes the song entitled House of Mirrors, by Chad Clifford (Pete Meyer on flute).

Support the Show.



Thank you for tuning in to the Reverie Nature Podcast! Your support keeps our adventures alive. Be certain to subscribe for more captivating episodes exploring the wonders of the natural world. Join us on this journey to embrace nature's song and preserve the beauty of our planet. Together, we can make a difference.

Chad Clifford

Please support the podcast through a donation or subscription at:
Buy me a coffee


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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Please support the podcast through a donation or subscription at Buy me a coffee
Join host Chad Clifford on a captivating journey through the intricate melodies and profound inspirations behind the theme song of the Revery Nature podcast. In this immersive episode, Chad delves into the soul-stirring essence of the song, inviting listeners to experience its full length and unravel the layers of its creation.

As the song fills the airwaves, Chad transports us to the tranquil realm of nature, where every chord and lyric resonates with the beauty and resilience of the natural world. With vivid imagery drawn from his own nature journaling experiences atop Blueberry Mountain, Chad paints a poignant picture of scarlet tanagers singing amidst trembling aspen leaves and heavy mists rising through the countryside, combed by the pines.

Against the backdrop of these sensory observations, Chad reveals the subtle metaphors intertwined with the lyrics, reflecting the tumultuous times marked by the crisis of current news in the media (when the song was written). Through the lens of nature's tranquility and turmoil, the song captures the essence of loss, resilience, and the enduring power of love amidst adversity.

Venturing deeper into the creative process, Chad shares insights into the musical composition, exploring the evocative use of drop tuning and simple chord progressions to enhance the song's emotional resonance. With heartfelt anecdotes and reflections, he unveils the symbiotic relationship between music and nature, each amplifying the other's beauty and depth.

From the haunting harmonies of the harmonica to the breathtaking drone footage capturing the essence of fall, Chad's narrative immerses listeners in a symphony of sights and sounds, inviting them to embrace the magic of music in nature.

As the episode draws to a close, Chad offers a glimpse into the broader themes of music in nature that will unfold in future episodes of the podcast. With a heartfelt invitation to saunter forth and embrace nature's song, he leaves listeners inspired to cherish the whispers of the wilderness in their hearts.

Tune in to the Reverie Nature podcast and let the enchanting melodies of the theme song carry you on a journey of discovery and wonder amidst the beauty of the natural world.

#songwriting #lyrics #writing

Please consider leaving a rating and/or review wherever you listen to the podcast. Don't forget to share a good episode on social media too. The mid-roll ad on this podcast includes the song entitled House of Mirrors, by Chad Clifford (Pete Meyer on flute).

Support the Show.



Thank you for tuning in to the Reverie Nature Podcast! Your support keeps our adventures alive. Be certain to subscribe for more captivating episodes exploring the wonders of the natural world. Join us on this journey to embrace nature's song and preserve the beauty of our planet. Together, we can make a difference.

Chad Clifford

Please support the podcast through a donation or subscription at:
Buy me a coffee



Transcribed by TurboScribe.ai. 

I'm Chad Clifford, your host. Today, we delve into the stories behind the intricacies of our theme song.

This isn't just any tune, of course, it's the heartbeat of the podcast. The melody that sets the tone for every episode, so sit back and relax, let the music carry you away as we play the full length of this song. Then we'll dive into its rich tapestry of its creation, exploring the inspiration, the emotion and the meaning woven into every chord and lyric.

Get ready to experience the magic of music as we uncover the story behind our theme song's creation. A scarlet, taneger sings as the tripling asp and leaves, for one by one to the ground. A hair name is cries and is through the countryside, climbs up in his combed by the past, and forth above the forest where camp he has turned upside down, where the tripling has been used again, and made no sound, travel to the hilltops, take me two miles, explore it, place it, land in searches and underpills the hearts, the sky's dark and out of control, and forth above the forest where a king is turned upside down, where the tripling has been used again, and made no sound, summery, amid his realm, his healing rays light hit the ground, he can take a hurricane to remember all the ways your love has yet to come around, and from above the forest where a king is turned upside down, where the tripling has been used again, and made no sound, where the tripling has been used again, amid no sound.

The Trembling Aspen Leaves, the theme song to the Revery Nature podcast, written and recorded a series on this podcast about music in nature, and the lyrics were about two years ago when I was doing regular hikes and doing some nature journaling in the middle of this hike, so I'd climb up to our local hilltop with a beautiful lookout, and I would spend about 10 minutes writing in a journal, and the context or behind the scenes that were going on in the world at that time I'll get into shortly, but what happened was I was just writing what I was sensing at the moment, the song opens up, Scarlet Tanninger sings as the Trembling Aspen Leaves fall one by one to the ground, and that's just the first thing I saw when I was up there, the Trembling Aspen Leaves were blowing in the wind, and a Scarlet Tanninger was just sitting on a branch singing, singing its song, so into the journal it goes. A heavy mist rises through the countryside, climbs up, and is combed by the pines, literally. I could see a heavy mist in the hills and in the valley, and a heavy mist so it was literally being combed by the pines.

I'm floating above the forest where the canopy has turned upside down. I was above the forest, I was up on high look at Blueberry Mountain, where the Trembling Aspen Leaves are gone and make no sound, and again Trembling Aspen Leaves, especially in the fall when they're dried out, they don't just shimmer and shake when the wind blows because of their flattened stem that holds the leaves on, they do make a noise with all that shimmering and hitting each other, and when they make no sound that's when they've fallen off. Traveling to the hilltops, taken to the clouds, this is reference to the mist that was being combed by the pines.

They would leave the pines, travel over the hills, and you could see it just kind of dissipating into the atmosphere. The story plays out one more time. I think that line is probably more related to the context of the things that were happening in the news, and I'll get into that later.

Lightning surges, thunder pounds the hearts, the sky's dark, and out of control. It was a breezy day, and that's why the mist was moving so fast and the leaves were being blown off the trees. In the distance, yes, the sky was dark, out of control, that might get in again to some other context that I'll dig into.

You know, I haven't really considered this song too much and the meanings behind it. I'm kind of exploring it somewhat right now. Summer of green, amid hills of brown, it was a dry summer, and it's fall time.

Hills of brown, so there's still some green left and whatnot. Resilient rays of light hit the ground. The sunlight that's poking through, in other words, poking through the dark sky, there's rays of sun that, you know, how that beautiful sunlight that hits the forest floor.

It can take a hurricane to remember all the ways where love has yet to come around. Yes, the more I read these lyrics, the more I realize how much influence the local news had on me at this point, because it wouldn't be written quite like that just by observing my surroundings as I first kind of thought it was. Except for reasons of this podcast, I wouldn't like to talk about the lyrics of lyrical content and meanings.

For me, I like vague songs. I like to make up my own imagery when I hear music and songs. The meaning that the artist might be trying to portray, I could kind of care less about.

It's more about what it means to me and let me go off on my own little trip on this, you know, and I think a lot of people listen to music that way. Regardless, in this case, it'll certainly change the meaning of the song as I read out what it kind of meant to me or the metaphors that were in the back of my mind when the song was being written. I guess it wasn't a song at this point either.

It was more about the nature journaling and some of those lines that came out weren't, I guess, exactly about sensing the moment. It was, I guess it was filtered through the remaining thoughts of the of the weekly news. And what was happening at this time in the news in Canada, there was a bunch of unmarked graves that were being found at residential schools and some of the provinces.

And I don't want to get into all the details, but you know, not. And as I was writing and sensing the moment, these images or metaphors would pop into my mind. And I wasn't writing for metaphors.

I wasn't trying to write about anything. I was trying to write about the moment. And that's what the song is about.

But there were metaphors in my mind. And I don't even a scarlet tanninger sings as the trembling aspen leaves fall one by one. You know, the trembling aspen leaves falling.

That's the loss. The heavy mist rises through the countryside and climbs up as combed by the pines. You know, the metaphors in my mind are our spirits leaving, you know, being being comforted by the pines.

Now floating above the forest, the canopy is upside down. And you know, these trembling leaves are now making no sound. They've left this world.

Traveling to the hilltops, taken to the clouds, like traveling to heaven or the afterlife. The story plays out one more time. History repeats itself.

Lightning surges, thunder pounds, the hearts, the skies dark and out of control. The metaphors that were popping into my mind was the turmoil of the times that what what it could have or must have been liked to go through. Summer of green, a mid hills of brown.

Resilient rays of light hit the ground. The resilient rays of light. A people making it through hardship, perhaps, is the metaphor that would have kind of come to me in the back of my mind.

Although I'm not, I wasn't writing about anything or thinking about this. I was writing about whatever came to mind. Thinking I was just sensing or seeing and writing, but what I was seeing right in front of me in my little spot where I was doing my nature journaling.

It can take a hurricane to remember all the ways where love has yet to come around. The metaphor that comes to me is changes hard. Old ways, right? Old ways by today's standards, you know, certainly outdated, brutal, right? Love, not, you know, all people not equal by, you know, considered by some.

Yeah, I don't like to be political and I don't like to get into this kind of stuff because it's such a hard topic to talk about. And this song wasn't written about this or for this. It was just this weird combination of nature journaling, a beautiful moment up on a beautiful hilltop writing whatever came to mind, mostly through my senses, seeing, hearing.

At the same time as I wrote those things, metaphors had popped into my mind and I didn't want to write it about those metaphors. It was, I wanted to keep it sensory. What was I seeing? Looking back at it now, I'm seeing these other things that were, you know, the outside influences of that sort of thing, the residential school thing and the unmarked graves that were going on.

You know, going to different song circles and what not. I never really, maybe once I explained kind of what was going on and how the song came about without going into much detail. But other people have mentioned just in general about the song, without knowing the details that it seems to do with loss and whatnot.

I kind of never looked at it that way from writing it, although the metaphors were in the back of my mind and I tried to keep those separate. To me, the music is an undercurrent of the mood or is more positive or not happy, but maybe joyful, resiliency, maybe, if I could connect the two. So I think as far as meanings and metaphors go, that's where I'm going to leave it.

I don't, the metaphor part, like I said, I just leave in the back of my mind is some things that popped into my mind when I was perhaps writing the song and later playing it. But there's a lot more to the song than that as well. Let me just talk briefly about the chords.

I was exploring some drop tuning, drop D tuning, I guess you call it, where you lower your larger string down by a full step so you can let it kind of chime in the background as a nice, almost like a bass note, I guess. And I think the chords would be called a D-sus-2, a C-sus-2, and a G-sus-2. It never changed, just simple chords over and over.

What's nice about the fingering of these chords, though, is that most of the strings remain the same. There's only a couple notes that change in the chord. So it gives it, the chords are very much related in that sense.

A lot of the individual notes don't change, so it's just kind of drones along, I guess. And I really like that sound. And the short, I guess, almost choppy lyrics fit into that somewhat quick change between these chords.

Later when I recorded it, I added a lot of background music and harmonica and whatnot. And the harmonica and background music, in some ways I could see how I could feel sort of somber. In other ways, to me it's sort of uplifting a little bit as well.

The chord structure to me feels happy. And later on, this video, I mean, sorry, this song at this point, I brought it to my local song circles and my friends and people in the song circle would make their comments and talk about improvements and this and that. And it wasn't until about a year and a half later when one of my friends in the song circle said, hey, you know what, in Ottawa, C.K.C.U. with Chris White, he hosts a show and they're doing a thing called the tree song campaign.

And that song you have, that would be great for it. And with his encouragement, I decided, yeah, oh, I guess so, yeah, it's about trees. It's called the, you know, trembling aspen leaves, but the leaves falling and beautiful surroundings and birds singing and what not.

So with that, I said, okay, yeah. And what I did, you know, my memory of exactly what happened here, which came first, the video or submitting this song, I don't remember. But regardless, I made a video about this song and that's not unusual.

Any song that I kind of like of my own, which maybe might be six or seven because I haven't really written many songs, I would make a video for and it just be a quick homemade video, nothing complicated. But this video, I really liked it because it had all these awesome elements. At one point in the video, my father and my kids grandfather were holding hands around this old cedar tree, a grandfather tree.

This tree has been estimated to be 250 to 500 years old. No core sample has been done in this tree to get a better idea of its age. It just seems so impolite, right, to tap a tree to get the core sample.

If you're not sure how that's done, it's basically screwing this hollow tube into the center of the tree, pulling it back out and counting the growth rings. And when you have an ancient tree like that, I could see after it's fallen and dead, yeah, I'd do a core sample, but yeah, not a living tree. Anyway, so they're holding hands around this tree and I videoed that and what else do we have on there.

I think I took that chunk of video of that aspect from another video I made on something to do with land trusts and nature. I don't remember what it was like in the video. Was my how old was she be at that time? Five or six year old daughter playing the harmonica with me.

If you notice, while the song is playing, when the harmonica comes in, there's two harmonica's. One harmonica's just kind of doing whatever it's doing. I had a, I think it was an F harmonica, a high F and a low F harmonica and I played one.

She played the other and her instructions were just blowing it out. Just listen and you'll do great and she did and she actually played that song with me playing harmonica on open stages at a smoke door festival. So that's pretty fun.

So that's another really positive memory I have about this song. Another thing that I loved about the video for this song and there's a link to that. I'll try to remember to put a link to the video so you can enjoy that, but it's called Trembling Aspen Leaves Chad Clifford.

Just search that on YouTube and you'll find it is drone footage. Maybe it was six or seven years ago. There was beautiful fall colors and it was it was a very dry year that year and what happened was I guess the sugars and the leaves were more concentrated and the colors just popped.

It was like once in a decade kind of colors. Really good. So up from the same area up Blueberry Mountain area, we sent a drone up just to record the beautiful fall colors.

It was amazing and the wind was quite strong that day too coincidentally. So that's another part of the video showing the drone footage of this beautiful area showing the generations enjoying this ancient cedar tree. My daughter you know so well some of the metaphors in the back of my mind are of one context.

The other metaphors are not. It's about protecting nature. It's about you know appreciating nature.

So you can see what I don't like to talk about the meanings of this song but you know so here I am doing it anyway. And getting back to C.K.C. tree songs. This was a campaign about protecting a green space in Ottawa.

Protecting a space that should never be developed and I think I don't know all the details. I don't remember exactly but it was a protected space in Ottawa. A hospital needed to be built.

The protected space was on the list of potential spots and despite local protests and you know the fact that it was a protected space yeah there weren't so but the tree songs was a grassroots effort trying to bring you know recognition and getting more people to understand what was actually happening this protected space was being used you know it's that's a tough argument to make isn't it. Oh we need a hospital but you want to save it for you know a green space within a city. There are other spaces obviously that this could have gone and a protected space.

No I don't agree with them building it there. It's a done deal now unfortunately but anyway these tree songs was a great way to get songwriters together and putting out their music writing but what they care about and the video that I made for this song I submitted that and it got some some play I guess some live radio play and whatnot during their campaign and that was another aspect of the song that you would not know about. If I was to get down in the weeds a little more it was produced on GarageBand which for you Mac users know it's a free application that is great for mixing music and recording music.

I also used a Canadian company called Band in a Box where it you can program some great background instruments like percussion bass and all kinds of stuff so I make use of that as well and I mix it in GarageBand. Otherwise this I could never come up with a song that sounded like that just playing the instruments myself obviously because I can play maybe three or four instruments but thank you Band in a Box. So this song I think was probably one of my better songs I liked it I liked the sound of it you know that it was vague enough to you know have different interpretations not that you need to interpretate lyrics I'm the one for that at all but you know like I like as I said what the images and metaphors that play out in the listeners mind wherever it goes.

So I would like to return to what I mentioned at the beginning of this episode is that I'm going to have a series of episodes on music in nature and I'm not fully sure how to go about that just yet that being said I have been very interested for a long time in the nature experience and just a little bit of background on that my undergrad was about the nature experience in bushcraft and I can I'll talk about that in another episode my master's or graduate thesis was about people who bring and play music in nature I'm not talking about bringing you know bringing a portable stereo player and blasting it at a campground I'm talking about people who sing in nature who bring an instrument into nature and I'm not just talking about sitting around the campfire here I'm talking about people who bring instruments into nature to enhance the experience experience to enhance their awareness to enhance the aesthetics of nature and I had a wonderful time interviewing people who did just that and that will I will get into those topics after but anyway this might be a good start on music in nature and how much it can add to the nature theme song one more time see if the metaphors change for you I hope they don't I like to think that everyone can experience music in their own way until next time a hand in his prize in the country side climbs up in his combed by the pines and i'm floating them up for as well camp he has turned upside down we're trembling as he's a god and he knows how traveling to the hilltops take two plows explore with plays out one more time lightning searches and depends the hearts the sky's dark and out of control and from the bottom forest where I came in it was turned upside down we're trembling as he's a god and he knows how summer and rain are near this ground this hill he'd raise light hit the ground you can take a hurricane to breathe them for all the ways your love has yet to come around and from the bottom forest where I came in it is turned upside down we're trembling as he leaves a god and he knows how we're trembling as he leaves a god and he knows how we're trembling as he leaves a god and he knows how thank you for joining us on the Reverie Nature podcast remember to subscribe for more captivating episodes exploring the wonders of the natural world until next time may you saunter forth embracing nature's song and be the whispers of the wilderness linger in your heart The rest black can't be as turned upside down

Transcribed by TurboScribe.ai. 

Introduction to episode
The theme song
The lyrics
Personal metaphors
Other meanings
The orchestration
The CKCU tree campaign
The song video positive meaning of the song
Mixing the song
Music in nature
Trembling Asepen Leaves