Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and composer Celeste Friedman delivers an eclectic journey of originals in tribute to the countless pilgrims who have crossed the five-hundred mile trek to the Cathedral de Compostela. For over one thousand years, it has been believed to be the final resting place of the apostle Saint James.
Friedman closes her eyes and imagines, sensing the angels everywhere. The Holy Spirit is her guide along the winding, rocky path, where she reveals in the title track that she carries all of her dreams and sins, a heavy load.
Haunting, mesmerizing and hypnotic best describes Friedman's compositions, lifting a veil on struggles with faith.
In search of strength and guidance, Friedman features singles such as, "Searching"; "Forgiveness"; "White Butterfly" and "The Meaning of Life". Challenged by a crippling disease since her mid-thirties, Celeste tells the story of tolerance of pain and tests of patience and acceptance in "Running with Scissors". Reflecting on the snowy descent in the mountains, she includes her ballad, "The Trees are Bare" and a traditional Irish piece, "The Snows They Melt the Soonest". In "Oranges", she unravels the desire for happiness and simplicity, while still passionately feeding the fire in her soul.
Instrumental compositions include works which have been featured in television and film, such as "Secret Land"; "The Alchemist"; "La Rose Rouge" and "O Dominus". The entire collection is a tapestry weaving jazz, Latin, Celtic, contemporary pop and orchestral styles.
"The Road to Santiago" title track refers to the scallop shell in the lyrics. Metaphorically, the shell, often found on the shores of Galicia, has long been a symbol of the pilgrimage routes, where the grooves in the shell come together at one single point. The journey to Santiago de Compostela was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in medieval times. Today, common starting points are Paris, France or the town of Le Puy. Some claim to experience a holy transformation of the soul and believe to discover a new understanding of life, death and one's relationship with God.
The Road to Santiago de Compostela
Countless individuals have made the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. A five-hundred mile trek across Spain over the Pyrenees Mountains and rugged terrain. The trail is fickle, from smooth sand or grass to rocks and ridges. Many believe it to be a spiritual transformation and powerful challenge of faith.
Having not yet taken the journey myself, I close my eyes and imagine. I can feel the angels all around me. The meseta beckons, as the mountains slowly rise behind. The endless vineyards along the way are an elixir for the soul. As I near my celestial destination, I descend through a forest in the snow. Peering through a veil of sweet persuasion, the moon lights my way, the way of Saint James.
Espiritu Santo mi guia . . . Celeste