UNC alumnus Nate Trappe’s most recent venture, Adventure Nerds, is making strides to make the outdoors more accessible through “inspiration and resources.” Part of this project has included creating a podcast called the Adventure Almanac that features a diverse array of adventure stories that have worked to shape our society today. Trappe reached out to current students in the Department of Music to create soundtracks for the second season of his podcast, and so far has enlisted the help of students Drew Ellis and Christopher Esther.
Nate Trappe attended UNC 2010 to 2013 for his master’s degree in educational psychology, but noted that he “ was always into the outdoors, it was a big passion of mine.” With his love for the outdoors and after having some impactful experiences studying abroad, Trappe got into the field of study of international education and study abroad.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the company that Nate Trappe works for had to stop running all of their international programs and shut down. Trappe explained, “I started thinking about what I would want to do next, and I came up with the idea to start a business to help people get outside and have adventures. There’s tools that exist out there right now, but they either imply that you have a certain base level of understanding about the outdoors or they’re very rudimentary.”
From this idea, Trappe started Adventure Nerds, which provides guidebooks on how to do a very specific, unique quest outdoors with detailed steps that anyone can follow, regardless of experience, and the Adventure Almanac podcast in order to get people more excited about and engaged in the outdoors, while also adding an educational element to his project.
“My specific angle is looking at adventures from history to try and capture diverse character’s stories, so highlighting people who you may have heard of with people who are really famous.” Trappe decided to tap into the talents of the music students at UNC, and so far has worked with two students to make soundtracks for episodes of the second season of his podcast. “I really value the educational component of what I’m doing, which is why I wanted to work with students,” Trappe elaborated.
One of the students working with Trappe, Christopher Esther, is currently a first-year biology major and music minor. Christopher explained some reasons he was excited about the opportunity, “Podcasts are particularly unique because they don’t have any visuals like a film or stage production would, so the score plays a very important role in telling the story, and I enjoy writing music for that purpose.” He draws inspiration from Philip Glass and Michael Giacchino for their simple, yet effective composition styles which encouraged him to take a minimalistic and piano-driven route in his compositions for the podcast.
“The score for a piece of media should tell a story of its own, so most of what I write falls into that type of narrative music often attributed to the style of film scores and soundtracks. On an individual level, different episodes call for different styles, and I’ve included everything from jazz to contemporary classical all while keeping it in the general style of a minimalistic film score.”
This unique outlet for creation that Nate Trappe has brought to UNC music students is not only providing a new opportunity for students, but is taking steps to make the outdoors and nature accessible to anyone regardless of background.
Check out the podcast here or anywhere you listen to podcasts.