‘I need nothing:  all I want is where I am.’

Wild Goose Press have released an audio CD celebrating the beauty of the island of Iona. Poet Kenneth Steven has collaborated with musician Wendy Stewart and producer Mark Richards to create a soundscape that captures the island’s unique atmosphere, its spirituality, and its nature.


The Sound of Iona: Poems and Music Inspired by the Landscape
By Kenneth Steven, with music by Wendy Stewart
Published by Wild Goose Publications


Kenneth told BooksfromScotland:

‘It was Jane MacFadyen on Iona who first gave me the idea of recording an island soundscape. The best ideas are often the most obvious, and finally it has been made: a melding of the wind and the waves, the laughter of children, the sounds of birds, together with some of the poems I have written over the years. This soundscape is for those who know Iona as much as it’s for those who have always wanted to find a way of reaching Columba’s holy isle.’

Enjoy these audio extracts.



And God said:

Let there be a place made of stone

Out off the west of the world,

Roughed nine months by gale,

Rattled in Atlantic swell.


A place that rouses each Easter

With soft blessings of flowers

And shocks of white shell sand;

A place found only sometimes

By those who have lost their way.



The Hermit’s Cell

I had to listen for a silence

that was born inside.

It took a whole year to find

and now it does not fail.


I need nothing:

all I want is where I am.


I used to pray, and praying then

was struggle with myself.

Now I am made prayer, am hollowed out –

a song that needs no sound.


I pick the blow of flowers, bring them back

in blues and reds and golds,

and in the slow of winter dark

I watch for dawn and know

that I am growing into light

a little every day.

Both poems were originally published in Coracle, SPCK


The Sound of Iona, by Kenneth Steven with music by Wendy Stewart is released through Wild Goose Publications, and is £6.63.

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