For Voice, Woodwind & String

by Kenneth Steven & Hilary de Vries


On sale at Boarstone Publishing


Writer and poet Kenneth Steven's sequence of poems tell the story of early Christian hermits who made the journey in the 6th Century from Iona to Iceland. Known as the papar, they built stone chapels and cross-slabs, evidence of which was found by Norse settlers centuries later.


On reading the poems Hilary was inspired to write music in response to them, music that could be played as an accompaniment to the poems in a reading or performance, but that could also be played as pieces in their own right.


The music was composed on harp and recorder, with any decoration left simple and clear, making them easier to play and transpose onto any instrument that is sympathetic to it. Occassionally there are suggestions as to how to approach each tune, but in general minimal guidance is given so that the musician is free to intepret the music in the way they respond to it.


In total there are 30 poems and 30 corresponding pieces of music. In the book they are presented with the tune side by side with the poem that inspired it and in the order that the poems were designed to be read. The poems are untitled, but each tune is titled, reflecting the imagery or emotion that inspired it.

'The Silver Darling'


The Dear Green Place, In My Own Country, The Tower, I Had a Dream, The Silken Thread, Sea Green, Night Dreams, The Honey Thief,  A Gleam of Gold, Blue Haze, Songbird, Moving Cloud, Untitled, On Troubled Waters, Green Willow, Rock Sea Stone, Firefly, The Dove, On a Red Sea Sailed, Into the Cave, The Harbour, When We Come to the Sea, Sanctuary, Skylark, The Irish Duet, A Silent Prayer, A Fond Farewell, The Gift, The Silver Darling, Blessed

A Song Among the Stones

'Night Dreams'

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A Song Among the Stones music book cover
© Hilary de Vries 2020                   
Hilary de Vries