Making Meaning: The Long Hunt on “Cantiga 166 (Tower of Set)”

I’m excited because today we’re presenting the first post in our new Making Meaning series! If you want to know more about what to expect in this new series, check out Introducing Making Meaning. Already lots of great musicians have shared with us the meaning that they make about songs they love. You’ll see at least one a week going forward!

Today I’m thrilled to share the meaning that Trevor Richards of The Long Hunt makes of the song “Cantiga 166 (Tower of Set)” from All Paths Lead to Here which was released a week ago today!

Let’s make some meaning…

Making Meaning: The Background

The Long Hunt is a three-piece instrumental group from Pittsburgh, PA. The band’s sound relies heavily on minimalism, the use of musical space, slower tempos, quiet/loud dynamics, and non-linear song structures to create gritty and brooding music with moments of meditative repetition. The group released its five-song debut album Wilderness Tales on February 17, 2017 and just released their six-song full length followup All Paths Lead to Here on June 1, 2018.

The Long Hunt is: Mark Lyons (drums), Allison Kacmar Richards (bass), and Trevor Richards (guitar).

The Long HuntPhoto by Trevor Richards.

Important side note: Trevor is a photographer (including for this blog!), artist (did you know he did all of the artwork and design for both TLH albums?), and musical engineer (check out his recording and mixing credits on both TLH albums). You can check out and keep up with his photography, art, and music at Trevor Richards Music.

You can catch The Long Hunt at their next show on June 26th at Howler’s with Transit Method (Brutal Panda Records) from Austin, TX and Heavy Chest from Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about The Long Hunt, check out and stay up-to-date with upcoming shows, hear music, and check out videos. Follow The Long Hunt on Bandcamp, Facebook, and YouTube.

Making Meaning: The Song

Listen to the song “Cantiga 166 (Tower of Set)” from All Paths Lead to Here and learn what meaning Trevor makes:


Here’s a quick history lesson. Cantigas are medieval monophonic songs. Over 400 cantigas were written in praise of the Holy Virgin Mary. They comprise the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Cantiga 166 is also referred to as “Como Poden per Sas Culpas” (“The Lame Man Healed at Salas”). A version of the song (composed by Poledouris) can be heard on Conan the Barbarian (1982) as Conan, Subotai, and Valeria sneak up to the Tower of Set to steal the Eye of the Serpent as the cultists sing and prepare for sacrifice. For Trevor, this song has always been a highlight of the film!

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Conan, Subotai, and Valeria scoping it out.
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Cultist preparing for sacrifice to the Serpent.

Here’s a clip from the Start the Beat with Sikes podcast where The Long Hunt talked about the meaning of the song, why we chose to recreate it, and how it was produced.

“It’s a cover song in the sense that I didn’t write the main melody – it’s over 700 years old.” – Trevor on Cantiga 166 (Tower of Set)

Full disclosure: In this clip you’ll hear Trevor talking about these things. You’ll mostly just hear me giggling.


“…it seems like you have this…knowledge base of bizarre instruments in your head!” – Sikes

Check out Trevor playing this beautiful rendition of the main melody! (You can see the electronic tanpura Trevor refers to in the interview here.)


Thank you for making meaning with us! There’s more where that came from. If you like what we’re doing, please support us by subscribing to Of Music and Mind, following us on social media, and telling others about our work! Be well!