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IONA - OPEN SKY Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 4 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: eOne Music
  • ASIN: B0009GUSY8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #90,243 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Woven Cord
2. Wave After Wave
3. Open Sky
4. Castlerigg
5. A Million Stars
6. Light Reflected
7. Hinba
8. Songs Of Ascent (Part 1)
9. Songs Of Ascent (Part 2)
10. Songs Of Ascent (Part 3)
11. Friendship's Door

Product Description

Re-issue from the 2001 release, 'Open Sky' contains a good mix of the progressive and ambient music that Iona has become well known for. Comes remastered and is available for the first time in years. Open Sky. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Le rock progressif à saveur Folk est bien représenté par ce groupe irlandais. Dans la foulée de Mostly Autumn, mais aussi d'Enya, la musique est à la fois d'inspiration traditionnelle, avec quelques flirts occasionnels du côté du New Age, et plus contemporaine. Non seulement la qualité de la production est-elle irréprochable musicalement parlant, mais le timbre et la pureté des voix planent littéralement à des hauteurs vertigineuses. Il n'y a rien dans ce disque qui ébranle les fondements du genre ou qui propulse celui-ci dans une nouvelle direction : c'est plutôt l'exploration d'un territoire déjà délimité, mais dont on est néanmoins très loin d'avoir découvert toutes les richesses qu'il recèle. Enfin, la seule chose qui me retienne de lui accorder la cinquième étoile, c'est que, parfois, il aurait été bienvenu de monter le tempo à un régime un peu plus vif. Tout fan de Folk Prog appréciera Open Sky d'Iona et ceux qui ne connaissent pas le genre pourraient fort bien tomber sous le charme aussi...
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Format: Audio CD
This is my first experience with Iona and while I love Celtic music and have a few other selections in my music collection, I wasn't sure I liked this CD when I first bought it. From the other reviews on this site I see that perhaps this CD is a new sound??
In any regard, the first song starts out with a delicate, ethereal almost ghost melody that is outstanding but quickly builds to a very frenetic and heavy 70's type drum bit (and later a guitar solo) that throws your senses into complete opposition. My first bias was that this band is a bunch of old hippies who needed to move forward...but, it's grown on me. I am beginning to see the artistic value.
On a bad day I skip the first track entirely, on a good day it's palatable. As I skipped through the tracks I was also disappointed by the flat melodies that never seemed to resolve well-they always leave the listener grasping. Not an entirely disagreeable thing, but rather inconsistent with some of the musical phrasing. The overall clash of light and heavy elements is a stylistic eccentricity that takes some getting used to. (It's like a painting with a scattered/fractured "focal point")
Subtle tensions and variations that inculcate later songs on the album (that are not so heavily assaulted with the 70's infusion) are refreshing and spiritually uplifting. Tracks 4-9 are good, and 5 is awesome (simple with perfect tension/inflection). Joanne's vocals have also become more soothing and have a calming effect, generally.
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Format: Audio CD
To find music like this is a revelation. I don't ordinarily listen to "Christian contemporary" music and can't tell you why I wandered down that aisle of the store, or why this CD caught my eye. But what I found blew me away! The music is awesome -- similar maybe to Clannad and Capercaillie in their more pop-oriented incarnations, but with a heavier prog-rock side as well. And the lyrics -- I've heard nothing like them. Deeply Christian, but not at all in the shallow, sloganeering, sophomoric way that's typical of music that shares the bins where I found this. Deeply Christian, and so beautiful, so positive, so uplifting, so worshipful, so reverent, so filled with love for God and gratitude for the goodness of His creation and His people... It's music that will make your hair stand on end and put tears in your eyes. What grace to find something so precious -- yes, in this cynical, faithless world, where unbelievers and facile fundamentalists spar, there are still Christian arists whose faith just makes the beauty of truth flow out of their hearts! Iona, I love you -- thank you!
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Format: Audio CD
Iona is a band that demands attention and concentration. Sure, their striking mixture of Celtic melodies, progressive rock, and (in older releases) jazz sometimes produces serene pieces that serve as soothing, calming background music (as in Open Sky's denouement, "Friendship's Door"). But if you only let Iona play in the background you'll miss the richness and careful craft evidenced in each of their albums.
Each of Iona's studio albums (Iona, The Book of Kells, Beyond These Shores, Journey Into the Morn, and now Open Sky) deals with a different theme relating to Celtic Christian history. This time around, the band draws its inspiration from Columba's mystical experience with God on the isle of Hinba:"This is where you prayed and Heaven's light shone down/This is where you sang the angel song ... Here you came to make your fast/Prayed for mercy, 'til at last/You heard the word you waited for" (from "Hinba"). A liner note on the inside of the CD jacket provides the listener with additional information on this event. Listening to and reflecting on Iona's albums can be an educational experience!
But Iona is never satisfied to write just one song about such an event. Whatever they choose as the theme of their album becomes the inspiration for several tracks or even the entire album, with a mixture of songs both directly related to the subject matter and ones that indirectly draw contemporary applications from it. "Hinba," not surprisingly to long-time Iona listeners, is followed by the 3-part "Songs of Ascent," a musical exploration of Columba's prayers and, by extension, any prayers that draw us closer to God.
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