Main content


Episode 2 of 5

Poet Kenneth Steven discusses Hoy, the only place of cliffs and mountains in the archipelago of the Orkney islands, focusing on its greenness and lushness.

Poet Kenneth Steven writes on Hoy, the only place of cliffs and mountains in the archipelago of the Orkney islands. Kenneth describes the beauty of the Orkney islands as seen in their greenness and lushness, in contrast to the harsher landscape of the north-east corner of Scotland just to their south. 'These islands seem almost cut out of some richly endowed agricultural shore far to the south and planted in the sea just to the top right of Scotland'. But Hoy is different, the island has a wildness not found elsewhere in the islands.

Kenneth reflects on the relationship between writer George Mackay Brown and the composer Peter Maxwell Davies, who died in 2016. They had met and Peter Maxwell Davies made the decision to live on Hoy in its rugged yet peaceful landscape. 'His falling in love with Hoy was not just a passing whim. He had to win his right to the place in almost fairy-tale like terms. But the peace he had so craved was all about him and his was able to compose; the music that flowed through him could be released at last.'.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 20 Sep 2016 22:45


Featured in...

The Book that Changed Me

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

Download The Essay

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.