Member Since: 7/1/2005
Total Mixes: 104
Total Feedback: 228

Other Mixes By abangaku

CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock
CD | Theme - Narrative
CD | Mixed Genre
CD | Rock - Prog-Rock/Art Rock

To Ramble & To Rome

Artist Song
The Long Valley  Our Adventure  
They Might Be Giants  Cowtown  
Van Morrison  The Way Young Lovers Do  
Tom Petty  Wildflowers  
Fairport Convention  Over The Next Hill  
Miley Cyrus  The Climb  
Paul & Linda McCartney  Heart Of The Country 
Sting  Fields Of Gold  
The Cottars  Fare Thee Well, Northumberland & The Purple Wave  
Busker  Home Newcastle  
Margarette Ashton  The Cliffs Of Old Tynemouth 
Norah Jones  Toes  


In August 2019, a group of four Americans, including me and my wife Connie, set out to walk Hadrian's Wall Path, a National Trail in England that stretches from Bowness-on-Solway on the Irish Sea in the west to the site of the ancient Roman fort of Segedunum on the outskirts of Newcastle in the east. It took us nine days to walk the trail's 84 miles, and then Connie and I alone tacked on a tenth, six-mile bonus day and walked from Segedunum to Tynemouth on the North Sea.

Even while we were walking the trail, we were talking about making a mix out of it. We would pick a song for each of the ten days, and string them together in order; our final mix ended up including an introductory song as track 1 and a concluding song as track 12, but we basically stuck to the plan all the way through to this September, when we finally completed the thing. Some of the songs were easy to think of as we walked along: "Fields Of Gold" for day 7, for example, was a natural (even though we'd already included an alternate, live version of the same song on our wedding mix, MixID = 129530 here), as well as "The Way Young Lovers Do" for day 2, with its "We strolled through fields all wet with rain" opening line. Some of the songs, though, took a lot more work to find.

This mix ended up taking a great deal of work from both Connie and me to complete, what with having to include our songs in a fixed order and make sure the transitions still worked out right; six out of the twelve final songs were ones we hadn't even heard of before starting to work on it: "Our Adventure", "Wildflowers" (chosen for a day on which the path featured, according to our guidebook, "a proliferation of wildflowers"), "The Climb" (for an up-and-down hilly day in the Pennines), "Fare Thee Well, Northumberland", "Home Newcastle" and "The Cliffs Of Old Tynemouth". Since I'm a stickler for using lossless files in my mixes, we had to go all out and try to pick up source CDs for these from anywhere we could find them, culminating in spending over $30, once we got back to the United States, to buy a used copy of the out-of-print Newcastle United-themed compilation Toon Army Tunes from the UK.

This is arguably more Connie's mix than mine: in addition to coming up with the idea in the first place, she ended up selecting all the songs in the final tracklist but "Cowtown", "Over The Next Hill" and "Heart Of The Country". She also designed the cover image, based on a photo she took from Green Slack, the highest point on the trail, on that hilly fifth day. I volume-equalized the songs and worked on the transitions, but, after the fact, we even created a Spotify playlist for this mix, a service we just started getting into this fall, so maybe that wasn't even as necessary as it had been (or still is, for mixes with more obscure tracks on them). We still intend, though, to carefully craft more mixes together, as fast as these things go, which is maybe at the rate of one a year or so.


(TT: 41:04)
image for mix