some elegant and tasteful piano magic on the 2013 CD release of Distant
Sun by Eamonn Karran. Based in Derry, Northern Ireland,
Eamonns CD was released on the Northern California-based Real
Music label. Judging by the meditative musical magic on Distant
Sun, subtitled Transcendental Piano, the CD should be yet
another one of Real Musics most popular titles well into 2014.
Throughout the 11 track, 56 minute Distant Sun CD, Eamonn tailors
his piano magic with an added light touch of synth keyboards which
expand upon the music at critical moments. Amid the Celtic style keyboard
instrumental tracks, theres even touches of Gregorian chanting
and Uilleann pipes which adds some haunting sonic imagery to the mix.
As far as influences go, Eamonn cites Jean Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield,
Yanni and Phil Coulter among the major ones. Eamonn has an interesting
story in that after 25 years playing keyboards for artists and bands,
in 2011, after surviving a serious car accident, he then decided to
dedicate his life to playing spiritual New Age instrumental music.
Eamonn describes his music as soothing music consisting
of soft piano compositions and relaxing rhythmic tracks backed up
by his trademark piano. Distant Sun has an element of healing
magic in the mix and to bolster the fact, theres also an abundance
of celestial, New Age sonics throughout the album. As far as enlightening
Celtic instrumental piano goes, it doesnt get much better than
Distant Sun by Eamonn Karran. www.EamonnKarran.co.uk
presents an interview with
Where are you from originally and where do you live now and what do
you like best about it? What other parts of the world to you like
Eamonn Karran: I was born in Derry City, Northern Ireland and
still live there with my wife and five kids. This is one of the most
beautiful corners of the world and has had a huge impact on my compositions.
Derry is known worldwide as a city of music... I never fail to be
impressed by the sheer talent of its generations of musicians. Although
I live in a city, it is quite small and we are fortunate to be surrounded
by stunning countryside, I only have to travel a few miles to reach
the unspoiled beaches and wilderness of Donegal.
Apart from Ireland, I have traveled to a few European countries and
love France, in particular Paris. Its an incredibly romantic
city with wonderful architecture. In the near future I hope to travel
to Iceland... I have long been fascinated by its volcanic terrain
and hope to witness the Northern Lights in all their glory.
mwe3: I read you had a life altering accident in April 2011
and that afterwards inspired you to dedicate your life to making healing
music. How do you feel that those harrowing episodes in someones
life can make them stronger? Also, how do you define healing music
and what would you like listeners to come away with after hearing
your Distant Sun album?
Eamonn Karran: I genuinely know that if it wasnt for
that time in my life I would never have started recording my own material.
Its very hard to explain but I know that I walked away from
that car crash for a reason; afterwards I had this voice constantly
running through my head that I needed to do something positive with
my life and for others. I was held safely by angels that day and they
have since guided me on my path and directed me to other souls who
have helped me on this incredible journey.
I believe that everything that happens in your life does so for a
reason and sometimes that is impossible to understand but when I look
back I wouldnt change a thing as these experiences have molded
who I am today.
music is very hard to define. I think that each of us draws healing
from different sources, for me its about connecting with your
innermost emotions, finding that music that creates peace from within.
Many people have contacted me and said that my music has helped them
through difficult times, that is the most incredible compliment I
could ever receive and makes everything I do worthwhile. I hope as
time goes by I can connect with many more people in this way.
mwe3: What was your musical background like? When did you start
playing music and how do you balance your piano playing and the practicing
music aspects with your compositional approach? What part do you mostly
devote yourself to?
Eamonn Karran: I began playing piano at the age of 7, firstly
through a tutor and then by ear. I didnt like the regimental
aspect of being taught to read music but just loved playing the instrument
so gradually I taught myself the basics. I have childhood memories
of listening intently to various types of music and trying to work
out the different structures within tracks, one vivid memory is of
being a young kid and being confused how a lone singer on stage could
do harmonies on their own. Of course over time I worked out they had
backing but when I look back that was the early stages of developing
my musical ear.
As I dont read music, I have to practice constantly, like any
skill it needs to be nourished and will go stale if you dont
rehearse. I spend most days listening to many genres of music from
new-age to pop, rock and country as I find that I draw inspiration
from many unlikely sources. I generally find that ideas for tracks
come suddenly and I need to be near to my piano to put down quick
At the moment I dont perform my own material live so its
a pretty even balance between practice and composing.
What are some of your favorite pianos and what pianos and other keyboards
and instruments do you play on the Distant Sun album? What
about advances in keyboard sounds, do you keep up with the fast changing
technology of all the musical gear these days?
Eamonn Karran: I would love to have access to a studio with
a Yamaha C7 grand but unfortunately that isnt possible right
now. I have played one briefly in a hotel lobby and fell in love with
its sound and feel, so maybe one day Ill get the chance record
an entire solo album on one of these.
The entire album Distant Sun was recorded using a Yamaha P105
stage piano, Yamaha MO6 synth and a Yamaha Tyros 4. Everything you
hear on this album was played and recorded live. I dont use
midi sequencing or quantizing for any of my music as I like to keep
that original feel within the track. As for advances in music technology
I am a little old fashioned. I come from a background of recording
with bands live onto reel to reel tape and always ensured that anything
I recorded could be duplicated in a live performance. I agree that
technology today is fantastic and allows musicians to be creative
in ways never possible 20 years ago but on the flip side it means
that basically anyone with access to software can create music
without actually being able to play an instrument, so I rarely use
any VST instruments and tend to program the keyboards I have to create
the sounds, textures and rhythms for each track.
I had the choice of upgrading my gear, I would go for a Mac and invest
in a few higher end synths so that I could broaden my sound library
and have a set up that could eventually be used in live performances.
mwe3: How did you become involved with Real Music and what
do you like best about working with them? It seems youre in
very good company on Real Music. What other Real Music artists do
you like to listen to?
Eamonn Karran: I am in fantastic company on Real Music, they
are a label that I have followed for quite a few years. When I first
started producing my own material I had my sights set on sending demos
to Real Music as I was already a fan of their artists such as Omar
Akram, Bernward Koch, Kevin Kern and Danny Wright to name a few. I
gradually worked on perfecting my compositions and sound and kept
in touch with them sending demo CDs each time I had a selection
of tracks ready. Early 2013 I got the exciting news that they would
sign me for a 5 album deal. I could never wish to work with any other
label as their passion for creating peace and harmony in peoples
lives through the medium of music is something I can instantly connect
with and it is a pleasure to be added to their roster of fine artists.
mwe3: What artists and/or recordings influenced you mostly
to become a musician and specifically a pianist and what musicians
do you feel are breaking new ground for the piano today?
Eamonn Karran: In my teens I discovered Jean Michel Jarre and
he changed my perspective of music forever. Back then I was a huge
fan of 1980s electronic music and loved the emotion that he
conveyed in his compositions, his ability to compose huge complex
tracks using keyboards inspired me to delve deep into the world of
analogue synth programming. I also loved listening to the music of
Bruce Hornsby, I always felt that there was a certain Celtic flavor
to many of his recordings and this certainly has had an influence
on my own style of playing. As for pianists I love the music of modern
players such as Ludovico Einaudi, Danny Wright, Yiruma, David Nevue
and Bernward Koch. Each of these composers has their own style, something
I always strive to do with each recording.
think in particular Ludovico Einaudi is one of the most influential
modern day pianists. His minimalistic style is incredibly beautiful
and the music he creates is straight from the soul. For me he is a
modern day master and will influence generations of future composers.
mwe3: Tell us about your working with the Spa Sound label and
what do they do with New Age and other forms of healing music?
Eamonn Karran: When I first started recording my own material
I approached a few companies with demos, one of these was Spa Sounds.
At that time I was seeking to get my material some exposure and they
certainly had an impressive list of fine musicians. I was offered
a publishing deal for a selection of tracks which was eventually released
through their label as part of a series of spa albums and was called
Spa Sounds have a vast selection of music that caters for every style
within the New Age genre, so I was delighted to be able to have a
link to a major company were people could purchase my music.
mwe3: What are you doing to further promote the Distant
Sun album and what have you planned for 2014?
Eamonn Karran: Its all systems go in 2014 and I will
be actively promoting the album through every medium possible. I have
already done a Skype interview with a station called Nutmeg TV in
America, it will be broadcast sometime in February and I will be approaching
many radio stations throughout Ireland and beyond regarding interviews
and promoting the album. Thankfully we live in a time when it is relatively
easy to promote music online so I will be busy working though many
social media sites to drum up as much interest as possible.
I havent planned any gigs as composing original material is
something I am fairly new to so that is an avenue I will have to explore.
Definitely get some support gigs, as my dream is to be able to take
my music to the stage. It going to be a very busy year and I look
forward to working through Real Music with this and future projects.
Thanks to Eamonn Karran @ www.EamonnKarran.co.uk