In the summer of 2018 Richard, my songwriting partner, embarked on an incredibly demanding solo adventure (like me, he’s in his late 60s), walking the Camino de Santiago in the North West of Spain, where he covered over 600 miles. Sometimes called The Way of Saint James, the Camino is a network of Christian pilgrimage routes dating back to the Middle Ages and today many people from all over the world follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It’s also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups. On his return Richard wrote these lyrics which give an insight into his motives and experiences. I made some small additions and put the whole to music. Technical notes:
I based the drums, bass and rhythm guitar tracks on the type of patterns used by Nile Rogers in the hit track ‘Spacer’ which he wrote and produced for Sheila and B. Devotion in 1980. You can hear his interesting original demo for the song on YouTube here. For drums I used a kit from XLN Addictive Drums 2. Bass sounds came from IK Multimedia’s SampleTank 3. I programmed the MIDI parts for electric piano, organ and strings; the electric piano sounds then coming from AAS’s Lounge Lizard EP-4, the organ’s from SampleTank 3 and the strings from Steinberg’s Halion Sonic 3. The ‘funny blips’ in the choruses came from an arpeggiator pattern in the Z3TA synth included in my DAW, Cakewalk by BandLab.
I provided the guitar solo and tremolo chords in the middle eight using my Epiphone Flying V and Scuffham’s S-Gear 2 guitar processor plugin. Lead and three-part harmony vocals were done using my usual RØDE NT2 mic, with some sweetening (EQ, compression, reverb) done using Cakewalk’s Pro Channel tools. I used Celemony’s Melodyne to make pitch and timing adjustments as necessary. The project was engineered in Cakewalk by BandLab. Mastering was done there using IK Multimedia's excellent Lurssen Mastering Console.