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"The Meaning of a Tree" is an upcoming album of original music by the progressive bluegrass quartet, The Field Hymnal.
77 backers pledged $2,501 to help bring this project to life.


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Hello friends!

We're beyond excited to share this music with you.  Recorded in May 2016, this progressive bluegrass project was one of the first recording projects completed in Hope College's new recording facility at the Jack H. Miller Center. The album contains 13 original tracks written by mandolinist Nate Roberts, including original lyrics and musical setting of poems by Robert Burns, William Cullen Bryant and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Inspired by bluegrass and American roots music, as well as the counterpoint of  classical chamber music and the dense harmonic structures of jazz, we hope to have stumbled upon a sound that is both unique and authentic, as well as engaging and catchy.  

track listing:

1. lawbreaker

2. thorns

3. upon the mountain's distant head

4. a fond kiss and then we sever

5. cinnamon

6. don't take too long

7. helpless then

8. if we walk slowly

9. songbirds

10. a day of rain

11. when the year grows old

12. forest hymn

13. slow down our breath

album credits:

nate roberts - mandolin, guitar, banjo, vocals 

jared demeester - bass, vocals 

angelee berrian - vocals 

luke panning - fiddle

recorded by drew elliot at hope college studio on may 11, 2016 mixed by drew elliot mastered by karl fleck album artwork by hope olson

all music by nate roberts all words by nate roberts except:

upon the mountain’s distant head (poem by william cullen bryant) a fond kiss, and then we sever (poem by robert burns) when the year grows old (poem by edna st. vincent millay)


Risks and challenges

We have completed all recording and post-production, and are simply waiting on pre-orders to help fund the manufacturing costs of CDs! Please consider snagging a copy for yourself and/or your friends/family/co-workers, etc!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Digital Download

    A digital download of the full album with PDF liner notes.

    Estimated delivery
    21 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18


    A CD copy of the album, as well as the digital download.

    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    52 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)