Late in 2013, I
followed a link on YouTube more in hope than
expectation. An invitation to listen to 'beautiful
piano music' is one I come across on a daily basis
and inevitably can often end in disappointment. However,
from the opening bars, on this occasion I was
hooked. I listened to the piece in its entirety
somewhat in awe that not only was the music new to
me, but so was the composer. That man was Eamonn
Karran. Another piece caught my eye, and having
listened to a second equally appealing melody, I was
left in no doubt that this composer deserved a wider
audience. I was thinking, "He should be signed up by
a major record label!" Imagine my surprise then
when, upon doing a little detective work, I
discovered that Eamonn had indeed recently been
signed to Real Music, and was due to release his
debut CD, 'Distant Sun' under their name just a few
months later. Those folks at Real Music in the USA
have great taste...
So, just who is
this Eamonn Karran? A married father of five from Derry in
Northern Ireland, Eamonn has been playing the piano
since he was seven. He would listen to music on the
radio as a child and taught himself to play, developing his own
unique style in the process. After going through a
phase of listening to and playing electronic music,
it was whilst he was on holiday in 1994 that he
heard a piece of piano music that was so
inspirational and powerful to Eamonn, that a change
of musical direction ensued, and the love-affair
with the piano was reignited with absolute passion.
To this day, Eamonn is clueless as to the identity
of the music. However, its impact was immense.
A true family
man, Eamonn regards his wife and children as
intrinsic to the creative process. The piano is
almost part of the family: "I simply love the
instrument. Its tone can uplift or sadden in a
moment." But it was a life-changing incident in 2011
that prompted him to dedicate his life to creating
spiritual, healing music. A serious car crash ended
his job as a taxi-driver in an instant, and after
much anguish, Eamonn together with his wife Joanne,
came to the realisation that he should dedicate his
life to composing music that can heal, offer comfort
And so Distant
Sun was born.
album commences with a lovely piano solo. Autumn Fall's opening evokes
images of leaves gently falling to the ground.
Shortly past the 2:00 mark comes a melody that
lovers of Ludovico Einaudi will simply adore. This track is as delicate as
the fluttering leaves swaying from side to side that
descend gracefully from the Autumn-tinted trees.
would not be out of place on fellow Irishman Phil Coulter's
Shadows album. It has a real Celtic feel from start
to finish. The piece features Fin Drumm on uilleann
pipes in addition to Eamonn's Yamaha P105B piano and
MO6 Workstation. I love the bridge and the simple
melody which certainly captures the heart of the
Ascension has a
Gregorian chant sound to its opening, and is a
deeply spiritual piece. Largely electronic, it has a
floating in the air feel about it. The piano does
make an appearance at the four minute mark and
closes out the piece in style.
One of my
favourite tracks is Our Journey. This is a
piece to savour, like life itself. It is solo piano,
and its beauty lies in its simplicity.
It was news to
me that Ireland is regarded as one of the best
places in Europe to see whales. I know Eamonn holds
nature dear to his heart, and I would not be
surprised if a whale-spotting experience inspired
him to write the album's fifth track- Dance of
the Orca. Featuring whale sounds at various
points, this piece captures the majestic wonder of
these amazing creatures, but it also has an air of
mystery about it too.
starts with the pitter-patter of rain that the piano
is so suited to playing. As the piece grows, so the
storm grows in its intensity, but only slightly,
with even the darkest clouds, coastal mist and
plunging temperatures not diminishing the raw beauty
of the country of Ireland.
pipes make a second appearance on the CD, featuring
on the album's title-track Distant Sun.
Featuring a gentle beat, this is easy-listening at
Track eight is a
beautiful piece; a tribute to the composer's
deceased father. Journey of My Father is such
a heart-felt and melodic track that I am sure the
late Mr. Karran will be looking down from heaven
nodding his approval.
It is difficult
selecting a favourite piece on an album full of
terrific music, but if push came to shove, it would
be track nine that would get the nudge. The
Traveller is an outstanding piece showcasing
Eamonn at his very best. It features a wonderful
melody, and has a Celtic feel to it. This is the
piece I heard on YouTube that stimulated my interest
in the music of Eamonn Karran. I could listen to
this piece all day and never tire of it. Readers can
listen to this track in its entirety by clicking the
piano in the right panel.
penultimate track is Season of Light. This is
music to chill to!
album closes with Aura of Life. If Real Music
albums are designed to relax, it certainly does
that. A lovely way to close the CD.
albums are synonymous with beautiful, relaxing and
inspiring instrumental recordings. With the
acquisition of Eamonn Karran to their roster, they
continue the very high calibre of their output, and
demonstrate further why they are leaders in the
field of contemporary instrumental music.
Eamonn may have
been playing the piano for well over thirty years,
but he is a fresh face in the world music scene. An
exciting and incredibly talented composer, Eamonn
can only go from strength to strength, and I look
forward to his future solo piano recordings with
Distant Sun my highest recommendation.