2015 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Forgotten Road is the second album from pianist/composer Eamonn Karran following his 2014 Real Music debut, Distant Sun. Even more so than his first album, Forgotten Road evokes the ancient Celtic roots of Karran’s home in northern Ireland. The music is piano-based (electronic) and often richly orchestrated (synth), reflecting a variety of moods and colorful life experiences. A devoted family man (father to five and recently a grandfather for the first time), Karran often finds his musical inspiration comes from his daily life. His goal for his music is to bring light and happiness to those he meets and to make a positive difference in people’s lives. A self-taught pianist from the age of seven, Karran’s playing and composing styles are warm, accessible, and often very soothing.
Forgotten Road begins with “Fairy Dance,” a graceful piano solo that has a simple melody and comes from the heart - a lovely start! The title track is also solo piano - sweet, dreamy, and gently bittersweet. “Angel of Tullagh Strand” becomes much more ambient with keyboard washes of instrumental, vocal, and water sounds - blissfully peaceful and calming. “Beyond the Vale” takes a cinematic turn, with a gorgeous and very poignant piano melody over orchestral and atmospheric sounds. Reflective and nostalgic, it’s a favorite. I love “Kindred Souls,” which has some really interesting passages that sound more improvised and spontaneous than much of the music. Mostly a piano solo, there are a few additional sounds that add color and tone. Haunting and very deeply-felt, this is a real beauty. “Hold My Hand” is a sweet love song, pure and simple. “An Grainan” translates as “sunny place,” but there are a variety of places with that name in Ireland. The piece itself is one of the “bigger” pieces on the album featuring uilleann pipes, piano, lively percussion, synth, and a dramatic tale to tell - very descriptive and intriguing. I’d love to know the story behind it! “Ease My Mind” has a soulful piano melody with synth shadings of voices, strings, and other instrumentation - very touching and beautiful! “Fascination” returns to a somewhat freer, more improvised style, bringing the album to a rich and satisfying close.
Eamonn Karran is well on his way to becoming a mainstay of the Real Music label! Forgotten Road is wonderful music for relaxation, driving, studying, and any number of quiet activities, so be sure to check it out! It is available from RealMusic.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Recommended!
February 16, 2015