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Iona Woven Cord album cover
3.72 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (5:01)
2. Bi-Se I Mo Shuil, Pt. 1 (2:33)
3. Man (13:01)
4. White Sands (4:15)
5. Murlough Bay (4:17)
6. Dancing on the Wall (5:27)
7. Encircling (12:24)
8. Lindisfarne (7:52)
9. Revelation (7:00)
10. Woven Cord (9:25)
11. Beyond These Shores (6:53)

Total Time 78:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Joanne Hogg / vocals, keyboard, acoustic guitar
- Dave Bainbridge / electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, bouzouki
- Troy Donockley / uilleann pipes, whistles, cittern, electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Phil Barker / bass
- Frank Van Essen / drums, percussion, violin, vocals

- Nick Beggs / Chapman Stick (3,9)
- Tim Harris / double bass
- Marlou Van Essen / backing vocals (6,8,9)
- All Souls Orchestra conducted by Noel Tredinnick

Releases information

CD Alliance Music (1999)
CD Open Sky Records OPENVP6CD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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IONA Woven Cord ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

IONA Woven Cord reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars On May 29th, 1999 IONA performed a magical concert with the "All Souls Orchestra" at London's Royal Festival Hall marking a return not only to live concerts for IONA but the first time they combined a full orchestra with their spiritual progressive celtic rock. The end result is a highly uplifting live album which works exceptionally well from many perspectives. The sound quality on this CD is excellent with a nice micing job as the orchestra really fits in well and accents the music of IONA never outdoing or masking the talents of the band. Musically IONA are a mix of Celtic and progressive rock genres with highly compassionate music full of soul and inspriation. The music performed is a mix from their 4 studio albums and highlight for me is the 12 mins epic "Encircling" which is re- presented live here quite brilliantly. An excellent live album for sure and a unique way to hear IONA.
Review by Matti
4 stars This was my first encounter (if PA's mp3's are not counted) with this Celtic Prog Folk band that I'm very willing to hear some more! IONA have a lot of folk elements - Uillean pipes, tin whistles, violin... even Gaelic language here and there - and a clean female voice, so the natural comparison is CLANNAD. Their main difference is of course that Clannad is not progressive (instead it's whole lot poppier) and IONA is. They have a Christian attitude which honestly isn't very much heard in their music. This one is a concert with All Souls Orchestra in 1999. The orchestral arrangements are carefully done by the other leading figure besides Joanne Hogg, guitarist Dave Bainbridge. I presume I'd prefer IONA without the presence of an orchestra.

In other words, I got a bit bored with, for example, tender instrumental 'Overture' and other orchestral moments. I don't much remember the individual songs after three listenings; though some tracks have more rock elements than others, the whole of it may lack some extra spice. Maybe it gets better with further listenings. There were some excellent guitar solos and the music is good all the way, but I guess there was not a track that I was DEEPLY charmed by. But as I said, I'm hoping to hear their studio albums. My feelings of this sounding perhaps too mild, edgeless and clean is after all not a reason enough to rate it less than 4 stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I have never liked these combinations between rock music and an orchestra. IMO, these genre do not sit well together. My experience with such works started in 1972 when I was offered the cassette of "Concerto For Group And Orchestra by Deep Purple". I was thirteen.

In between, I have listened to several of these ("Yes", "Tull" etc). And my perception has not drastically changed since then. One of the very few album I really like in this genre is "El Dorado" ("ELO"); but this is an integrant part of their style since the band has always used some chords.

My worries with this album were that the orchestra would have a prominent and invading role here. And this is fully confirmed during the "Overture". A pure orchestral track (just like "White Sands").

As far as the track list is concerned, there are several songs from their first two albums which I didn't like very much (two stars) "Iona" ("White Sands", "Dancing On The Wall"), and "The Book Of Kells" ("Revelation").

There are a few unreleased tracks featured as well. The obvious "Woven chord" which is an instrumental featuring a good guitar solo. This song is more attractive than most of the other numbers played; even if the orchestra is very much present during several parts.

"Man" is the longest number from this live album. It effectively combines an upbeat tempo (compared to the rest of the album), good guitar work and tranquil passages. A good résumé of their work. Joanne being perfect as usual. Only the middle part is a little weaker; but since it is only for a few moments, it is not too bad.

The closing number "Beyond These Shores" is the third one of that kind. A very soft song featuring some excellent vocals (but this is one of their TM even if their songs do have lots of instrumental parts).

The global mood of this album is rather monochord. Pleasant while you are doing another activity but rather difficult to grab your full attention while listening to it attentively (as I have done for this review).

There is one album I really appreciated in their discography. It is "Open Sky" which was released after this live one. So, if ever you would like to discover this band I rather recommend this one. In terms of live offerings, I preferred "Heaven's Bright Sun".

This one is for die-hard fans only. Some pleasant folk music, yes. But this is rather dispensable. Two stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Iona has become one of the mst intersting bands I know. Their intricate combination of tranquil musical passages with outbursts of guitar and Uillean pipes are, in my opinion, very attractive. But sometimes the song writing seems to be a little unclear, as if melodies and chords come to a point ... (read more)

Report this review (#159025) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Saturday, January 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simply stated, one of the best "live" cds that I have ever heard! Sort of a greatest hits collection. I bought this based on numerous critical and fan reviews that I read. I had not even heard a single note of Iona's music before I acquired "Woven Cord"! I have purchased more of their releases, bas ... (read more)

Report this review (#16098) | Posted by | Thursday, January 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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