Me, Dean McPhee and his trusty Fender telecaster have spent the past six months taking pilgrimages to a very special tree in order to get footage for his latest music video: ‘The Alder Tree’.
At the start of what ended up being a six-month shoot, I asked Dean McPhee why he chose the title.
As part of his day job Dean has been on the front line supporting young people in difficult situations all the way through the pandemic and he told me how he had got ill for several weeks at the very start of the first lockdown with a fever, cough and breathlessness. He wrote this piece of music as he recovered, and said he had been reflecting on how music has always helped give him the strength to get through difficult experiences. He had been thinking about breathing and the respiratory system, and how it resembles a tree, and how his guitar is made of Alder. Carl Jung coined the word ‘synchronicity’ to explain a very dream-like phenomenon that can occur to us all while we’re awake and with this, in mind, I wasn’t surprised to learn that within Celtic mythology that the Alder tree is connected to the qualities of resilience, support and protection. It’s used as firewood and its most distinctive quality is that it loves to grow by water. In our search for an Alder tree for the video, we located a very picturesque lone Alder tree growing by a reservoir many miles away, and yet, in another example of synchronicity despite this great distance they turned out to be the very reservoir waters that supply Dean’s hometown of Bradford.
The video premiers at 21:00 on Sunday 17th October.