Christian Parker's latest release, "Spirit of the Trees," is a pure and heartfelt adaptation of a poem written by a friend's wife before her passing.
Parker picks his way through the sombre, strolling epitaph, arranging the poem's words and adding his lyrics to create a message that, while in mourning, ultimately hails hope. The author envisions being embraced and immersed in a homecoming to mother nature, and through Parker's tender voice and shimmering guitar, her peace transcends her passing.
Parker's journey in music began with mourning, as the day before his first guitar lesson, news broke of John Lennon's passing. From there, the US-Canadian border-based bard has embarked on a constant and subtle journey in song, releasing seven studio albums that chart the path of his multifaceted life as an artist, husband, father, friend, and contemplative.
Each project has propelled his trajectory with new insights from collaborators across various musical genres, and disciplined studies of various songwriting styles have sharpened his skills to write with innate authenticity and heart and catchy, approachable melodies and cross-genre musicality. The "Spirit of the Trees" music video provides a gentle backdrop for the melancholic homage.
Amongst the trees, we find Parker strumming, picking, and singing to nature and those who have passed to become one with the forest. A kaleidoscopic filter gradually fades over the frames, suggesting a beautiful new perspective on life through death. As the ode whites out on its final harmonic, we take a last breath, collect ourselves, and move on in gratitude for life's beauty.
As we listen to "Spirit of the Trees," we are transported to introspection and reflection. Parker's emotive vocals draw us in, and his intricate guitar work weaves a rich tapestry of sound that complements the lyrics beautifully. The song's message is universal, reminding us of the cycles of life and death and the interconnectedness of all living things.
The lyrics are filled with vivid imagery that paints a picture of a peaceful, natural world. “Praising the sun, praising the sky,” sings Parker, and you can almost feel the sun's warmth on the rustling leaves swaying in the breeze…you are the leaves and all that is green while listening to "Spirit of the Trees." The song's chorus, "The spirit of the trees standing in the deep, branches reaching down upon our mother's feet,” evokes a sense of comfort and belonging that transcends life and death.
"Spirit of the Trees" is a beautiful and moving tribute to a life that has passed and a celebration of the enduring power of nature. Parker's skillful songwriting and soulful delivery create a music that is both emotionally resonant and musically satisfying, leaving us with a sense of hope and wonder. This latest release is a testament to Parker's continued growth as an artist and his ability to connect with his audience deeply and meaningfully.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Christian Parker. Glowing applause for releasing your new cosmic journey on “Spirit of the Trees." How did the poem that inspired "Spirit of the Trees" come into your life, and what drew you to adapt it into a song?
In the summer of 2022, a musician friend shared a poem his late wife had written before her passing. It was titled “The Spirits of the Trees. “As soon as I read it, it immediately drew me in. I could hear her voice and knew it was the last poem she had written. It was filled with imagery and beauty. For several months I considered turning it into a song but was uncertain if my friend would approve.
One day in late November, he asked me what I had thought of her poem. I told him it was beautiful and asked permission to write a song in which he gave his blessing. On a cold December weekend, I stared at the paper it was written on until its meaning was revealed. In three days, it was completely done, adding additional lyrical content and writing the melody. It was a special song, and I was honoured to be given the opportunity to create it.
In the "Spirit of the Trees" music video, you are shown singing and playing guitar in a serene forest setting. Where did the setting take you spiritually? And how did the natural surroundings influence your performance?
In the video, the trees offered a spiritual element that made me feel part of her story. I felt it needed to bring the listener to the scene. Playing in the forest setting helped me, as an artist, convey her beautiful poem and bring lyrical interpretation to the visual world. It also helped me feel spiritually connected to the song.
"Spirit of the Trees" features calming lyrics about finding solace in nature and a sense of homecoming after a long goodbye. How do you hope your music can provide comfort and perspective for listeners during difficult times?
We all silently hope that our loved ones are safe after we leave this world. The very last line of the song, ‘protect all I love across the great divide,’ is the final message of hope for our loved ones.
You mentioned that you are producing a two-volume tribute album to The Byrds. Can you describe how their music influenced your songwriting and approach to this project?
This Byrds Tribute album has been on my mind for a few years. I first heard the Byrds when I was 16, and they influenced my musical journey more than any other band. I was always drawn to the diversity in their music, starting as America's answer to the Beatles and then taking a left turn in 1968 on the classic cosmic country album ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo.’
Many artists, like Tom Petty and REM, and modern country have roots in these classic recordings. My approach to this tribute is to honour the songs in a real and organic way. We have been able to have some of the original session players contribute to this record. This will be very inspirational for other musicians who hear these songs done in a modern way but true to the original.