Period: 2004-2005

History: 2004-2005

January '04   /  Other News Midway through the year, the band manage to secure the rights back to their four most recent albums ('Journey Into The Morn', 'Heaven's Bright Sun', 'Woven Cord' and 'Open Sky'). These are to be relaunched in 2005 on the bands 'Open Sky' label and will include brand new artwork for 'Journey Into The Morn'. Meanwhile a distribution deal is secured with ICC records for distribution into Christian retail outlets.

Another in Kingsway's 'New Irish Hymns' series of albums is released. 'New Irish Hymns - Christmas' again has Joanne as one of the featured singers.

Jo sings several songs on the 'Songs of Praise' programme on BBC TV.

A very busy year for Troy includes production work and co-writing on Barbara Dixon's excellent new album 'Full Circle', concerts with Barbara and opera diva Lesley Garrett and songwriting with Midge Ure. As if that's not enough, Troy also finds time to write the music for several BBC TV programmes, including Timewatch, and play on a number of other albums, artists include Moya Brennan and US folk artist Jennifer Cutting.

BOSE, the well respected Hi-Fi company use a track from Troy's first album, 'The Unseen Stream', as part of their new advertising campaign. The piece, 'Sights' has been re-mixed in 5.1 Surround and is heard as part of the BOSE multi-media show in their plush 'in-store' theatres.

Former members Nick Beggs, David Fitzgerald and Terl Bryant are all busy releasing excellent solo projects. Bass player and Chapman Stick virtuoso Nick has an album of solo Stick recitals out, titled 'The Mavrick Helmsman'.

co-founder Dave Fitzgerald latest solo release is titled 'God is Love' and former drummer Terl Bryant releases his first 'Psalm Drummers' cd/dvd and also a collaboration with his wife Jules.

'Over the Waters' from Dave's solo album also features on another compilation, titled 'Got Prog? The Music Street Journal Sampler CD Number 1'. Also featuring tracks by Echolyn, Erik Norlander, Lana Lane, Orphan Project and many others, this is available from or

Leeds based Pointed Arrow Theatre Company use the band's music in their first project Pilgrimage in which they travel along the Great North Road performing a play about the stories connected with the road, and explore British national identity as they go. A 45 min documentary film about the journey is available on DVD. See for further details.

January '04   /  Interviews Although it is a quiet year as far as the band are concerned, due to Joanne's maternity leave, behind the scenes requests for interviews continue to come in from various sources - mainly music web sites that are often only just discovering Iona's music and want to know more. Promotional cds are frequently sent out to radio shows across the world from the office - an increasing number of these shows being streamed on the web.
February '04   /  Troy & Dave Performance Troy and Dave play a duo gig in front on an enthusiastic 'home crowd' at Fibbers in York.

Released this month on the 'Sanctuary' Label, is a compilation CD of British Composers with a Celtic feel. Called 'Celtic Classics', the album includes 'Overture: Journey North'. This orchestral piece, written by Troy, opened the concert at the Royal Festival Hall in May 1999 and has since been performed twice at Moya Brennan concerts. The piece is part of Troy's as yet unfinished 'Rheged Symphony'. The album is to have a major TV campaign (featuring the music!) and is very novel in that Troy and Sir Paul McCartney are the only living composers featured!

March '04   /  'Veil of Gosamer' Released Dave completes work on 'Veil of Gosamer' with mix engineer Calum Malcolm up in Scotland June Veil of Gossamer, Dave's first solo album is released and immediately begins to receive some excellent reviews.

Following on from their gigs together, work begins on Troy and Dave's first duo album. The recording will feature a mixture of tracks recorded live and in the studio, and will include material as well as tracks from Troy's solo albums, some traditional pieces and a few 'solo spots'.

July '04   /  New Songs Dave, Frank and Jo get together in Ireland early in July to work on new song ideas, the result is four new songs, including two ('Strength' and 'Factory of Magnificent Souls') that will be featured on the forthcoming concerts.
September '04   /  Live Shows Resume After almost a two year break, are performing live again! After rehearsals in a secluded rural location in Yorkshire in the north of England, September sees the band's first ever gig in Belgium (at the Spirit of '66 club), along with a welcome return to Holland for two concerts. Three new tracks are featured in the set and are well received. The band open up the concerts with an acoustic set, before coming back with the full monty.

'Celtic Circle 3' released by BMG features 'Until the Tide Turns' from Dave's solo album and the track 'Divine Presence'. Other artists included in this impressive 2 cd release include; Sarah McLachlan, Clannad, Rory Gallagher, Maire Brennan, Christy Moore, The Corrs, Annie Lennox, Van Morrison & The Cheiftains, Paul Brady, Runrig, Altan, Sharon Shannon & Steve Earle, Sinead O'Connor, Altan, Waterson: Carthy, Capercaillie , Eva Cassidy, Davy Spillane, Lorenna McKennitt and Kate Rusby.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, BMG release a compilation called 'Keltische Muziek' as part of their 'Sfeer & Romantiek' series. Dave's 'Until the Tide Turns' is also on this album which also includes tracks by Capercaillie, Chieftains & Sinead O'Conno, Clannad, Eddi Reader, Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning, Loreena McKennitt, Maire Brennan, Sarah McLachlan, Adiemus, Kate Bush, Eleanor McEvoy & Mary Black, Celtus, Dan Ar Braz et L'Heritage des Celtes, David Spillane, Eleanor McEvoy, All About Eve, Michael Flatly, Enya, The Corrs and others.

Dave and Debbie report that so far over £9,000 has been raised from sales of the 'Songs for Luca' album. This enables them to put down a deposite on the week long Son-Rise Intensive course (as featured on a BBC1 QED programme a few years ago) at the Autism Treatment Centre USA for February 2005, which they are really excited about.

October '04   /  'From Silence' Recorded On the evening of 27th October Troy and Dave set up their gear in the cavernous surroundings of Lincoln Cathedral and improvised together for over an hour, taking their inspiration from their surroundings and the wonderful acoustic properties of the building. The session is recorded and filmed and will later become their first duo release 'From Silence'.
November '04   /  Return to Germany A welcome return for the band to Germany sees them perform three gigs, then returning to the UK a few days later (along with nasty flu type infections for Troy and Dave) for a very special concert at ULU (University of London Union) on the 18th, which will be filmed for the band's first full length concert DVD. The London DVD concert is the band's first UK date in almost 2 years. The opportunity comes up at very short notice, but despite less than 2 months to publicise the event the band are very please to see 350 or so very enthusiastic diehards turn out on a very wet and miserable evening. The concert, arranged by Voiceprint, turns out to be a truly great event and, despite the illnesses contracted the week before in Germany by Troy and Dave, the band play a storming set. With superb lighting from Paul Kell, a full 5 camera film crew and multi track recording set up backstage, the band feel that this will really be a fantastic document of Iona's powerful live performances. The DVD will also be the bandıs first 5.1 surround sound mix, which will be done by 5.1 expert John Kellogg in Los Angeles.
December '04   /  Concerts in Tokyo Troy and Dave head off to the unseasonably warm climes of Tokyo for three concerts hosted by The Music Plant. The sets includes two improvised tracks based on music on the 'From Silence' album - a nice contrast to the more tightly arranged pieces - and a new acoustic guitar piece from Dave (one for the next solo album!). On the last night, support is provided by the fantastic Tokyo band 'Es', fronted by keyboard virtuoso Kenichi. Dave joins the band on guitar for one of their tracks, then Troy returned for 'Heavenıs Bright Sun' and 'Jigs' - accompanied brilliantly by 'Es'. Another surprise guest is Yoshishi, founder and guitarist of popular progressive band 'Kenso', who surprises Troy and Dave with a wonderful solo electric guitar rendition of 'Irish Day'. The evening ends with all the musicians jamming on the Free track 'All Right Now' - with Troy handling lead vocal duties!
January '05   /  From Silence & Iona DVD Released Virtually no live work for the band this year but 2005 turns out to be a bumper year for cd and especially dvd releases! The band focus their attention on recording especially in the latter part of the year with work on their first new studio album since 2000's 'Open Sky' as well as completing mixing and editing on the "Live In London' DVD and recording additional material for a proposed 'History of Iona' DVD that Voiceprint are putting together.

'From Silence' - Troy and Dave's first duo album (from the Lincoln Cathedral improvised performance) is released on Iona's Open Sky label. Recorded in 'binaural' - a technique which gives a fantastic sense of movement and involvement (particularly when listened to on headphones), the resultant sound is very dynamic, with Dave's keyboards and electric guitar and bouzouki loops swirling around and sounding much more organic and alive than on a conventional recording. And as the persective shifts around, Troy's pipes and whistles at once sound close and intimate, and then far away and distant, as though becoming part of the cathedral itself. The material on the album is presented exactly as it was played, with no overdubs and only a couple of edits for technical reasons.

January also sees Iona's first DVD release. An documentary originally filmed for a Dutch TV series back at the end of 1990 and subsequently released on video (but deleted many years ago) is now re-released on DVD. The half hour programme, which was filmed largely on the islands of Mull and Iona, catches the band soon after the release of the first album and includes rare interview and rehearsal footage as well as some live film from one of the band's first ever concerts - a TV festival in Holland.

Work continues on Troy and Dave's next duo album 'When Worlds Collide'.

Dave continues to prepare tracks from his 'Veil of Gossamer' album for release on 'dual disk' - a new cd/dvd format. The release, planned for later in the year, will be through a new US company called Jhana Music and will feature the album mixed in 5.1 surround sound and also film footage of Dave discussing the making of the album and playing a few extracts. Meanwhile 'Veil' continues to receive some tremendous reviews during 2005.
Jo and Frank get together in Ireland putting initial ideas together for the album that will eventually become 'Rafael's Journey'.

History by Album:
Iona  ('90)
The Book Of Kells  ('92)
Beyond These Shores  ('93)
Journey Into The Morn  ('96)
Heaven's Bright Sun  ('97)
Woven Cord  ('99)
Open Sky  ('00)
The River Flows: Anthology Vol. 1  ('02)
Songs for Luca  ('03)
Veil of Gossamer  ('04)
Iona  ('04)
The Circling Hour  ('06)
Live In London  ('06)
Songs for Luca 2  ('07)
Live In London  ('08)
Life Journey  ('09)
Raphael's Journey  ('10)
Another Realm  ('11)