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Real Music Corporate LogoVisionary new age music for nourishing and rejuvenating body, mind and spirit

Distant Sun

Distant Sun by Eamonn Karran

Delightfully enchanting throughout, this is a fine example of a very special kind of mostly solo work that doesn't need anything but your ears and attention to complete it.” —Midwest Record

There’s a tender Celtic touch to Northern Irishman Eamonn Karran’s fine piano artistry. In listening, you’ll also discover something more. The influence of worlds beyond is perceptible, adding a unique mystery to the appropriately titled Distant Sun, as well as a glimpse into the heart of its composer. Featuring piano, synthesizer and uilleann pipes.

Watch the video for “Celtic Storm” from this album.

Tracks

1. Autumn Fall 5:23
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
2. Derry Waltz 5:16
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Average: 4 (1 vote)
3. Ascension 5:45
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Average: 4 (1 vote)
4. Our Journey 4:43
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5. Dance of the Orca 4:51
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Average: 5 (1 vote)
6. Celtic Storm 5:00
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7. Distant Sun 5:08
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8. Journey of My Father 4:49
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9. The Traveler 4:46
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10. Season of Light 5:41
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11. Aura of Life 4:49
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More Music By This Artist

Celtic Skies by Eamonn Karran
Forgotten Road by Eamonn Karran

Press Acclaim

Michael Foster

Eamonn Karran is a self-taught composer and pianist/keyboardist based in Derry City Northern Ireland. Even though Eamonn has been playing keyboards with a variety of artists and bands over the past 25 years, it was not until the release of Distant Sun on the Real Music label that he finally put his music out in a tangible form for all of us to enjoy. Although Eamonn is a self-taught musician, the music contained on his debut release speaks volumes about the skill and the sensitivity that Eamonn shows in the music that he has composed and the way in which he delivers it on this album. Eamonn not only composed and performed the songs you will hear on this wonderful album, he also produced and recorded the tracks as well. Other than the uilleann pipes you will hear on track 2 and on track 7 played by Fin Drumm, the entire album was recorded on a Yamaha MO6 workstation. At times it may sound like a piano you are hearing on some of the tracks, but believe me that unless you knew that to be a fact it would be hard to tell the difference.

The album consists of eleven compositions that run just under an hour and during that time Eamonn is able to weave his magic on the keyboards and touch you with the emotions that are right on the surface of each of the songs he has chosen to include. Distant Sun is a comforting album that has a soothing effect on the listener almost as if the music was warm waves thatwere lapping at you as you lay on a beach without a care in the world. While many of the songs are what I would consider warm in nature, the last song which closes out this album reminds me more of a thoughtful and reflective ambient song that leaves you drifting in the void of the cosmos between where you are and the distant sun that this album is named after. This song, called “Aura of Life,” is one of my favorite tracks on this album and is a wonderful way to end the journey that Eamonn has been the guide for during the last fifty-seven minutes.

The album is decidedly not an ambient album, but it does have some elements that lend themselves to be described as ambient in nature. A couple of my other favorite songs from this album are the songs that feature Fin Drumm on uilleann pipes simply because I do so love the sound they produce when they are done right and blended into the overall fabric of the music. “DerryWaltz” is a wonderful song that brings to mind the Celtic roots from which the song springs and fills your mind and heart with the images associated with that part of the world. We have all been exposed to enough information about other countries and their history that music such as what Eamonn gives us with "Derry Waltz" strikes chords within us even though we have never setfoot in that part of the world. "Derry Waltz" is a beautiful song that intertwines Eamonn's gentle touch on the keyboards with the uilleann pipes to create an impressive piece of music that touches both the heart and the mind with images of places far away. The uilleann pipes makes their second appearance on the title song of the album called “Distant Sun” and again the song is a delicate balance between the synthesizer sounds, the keyboards and the pipes themselves, without any one of them taking over the whole of the song and overshadowing the other elements. Eamonn once again shows his skill in allowing each element to occupy just enough space within the song to bring out the feelings of longing that seem to characterize this song. The song seemed to focus on the longing for home perhaps, or for something less tangible in a person's life such as love or understanding. The sound recording was impeccable throughout the album which allows the listener to not be distracted by imperfections, but rather focus only on the music and the emotions contained within each song. “Ascension” was also an interesting song that had elements of chants and a wonderfully ethereal feel to the whole track. Perhaps this is the spirituality that Eamonn spoke of after his serious car accident in 2011. It certainly shows in this song which most assuredly brings to mind the peace and tranquility of walking a spiritual path. All in all this is a wonderful debut from Eamonn Karran and bodes well for his future releases in the years to come. Although I only spotlighted a few of the songs in this review, the album as a whole is filled with great music and there are no songs that I would consider to be lesser than the others. I’m sure that you will find your own favorites just as I have done. Eamonnseems to have found his stride with this album and I'm sure that we will hear more of Eamonn's music in the years to come. Recommended!

Stephen Cairns

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 inspire.

And so Distant Sun was born.

This wonderful 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.

“Derry Waltz” would not be out of place on fellow Irishman Phil Coulter's Lake of 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 composer's homeland.

“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.

“Celtic Storm” 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.

The uilleann 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 its best.

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.

Distant Sun's penultimate track is “Season of Light.” This is music to chill to! This excellent 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.

Real Music 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 Real Music. I give Distant Sun my highest recommendation.

S.C.

Kathy Parsons

Distant Sun is the debut of Irish composer/pianist/keyboardist Eamonn Karran on the Real Music label. Introduced to the piano at the age of seven, Karran taught himself to play by listening to music on the radio and finding the keys for the notes he was hearing.  With excursions into electronic and ambient space music, a chance hearing of a beautiful piano solo in a restaurant in 1994 brought him back to the piano. Most of the original compositions on Distant Sun are a combination of piano and synthesizers plus the inclusion of uilleann pipes on two of the eleven tracks. For those who can hear the difference, the piano on this album is electronic.
 
Karran was involved in a terrible car accident in 2011 and lost everything. During the healing process, he and his wife decided that he should dedicate his life to composing the music that he dearly loves, and this is his first album.  Karran says: “My goal is to produce recordings that will help heal and enhance the physical and spiritual wellbeing of others, and the ultimate compliment is to be told that my music has helped someone through a difficult phase in life. I sincerely hope that many around the world will draw inspiration and hope from my music.”
 
Distant Sun begins with “Autumn Fall,” a gorgeous piano solo that expresses deeply personal emotions. Lyrical and gently flowing it’s a wonderful start!  “Derry Waltz” is a Celtic piece that evokes images of a bright green countryside and gentle breezes blowing wildflowers and grasses. This is one of the two tracks that features Fin Drumm on uilleann pipes. “Ascension” goes to a much more religious style with chanting voices and ethereal ambient sounds. “Our Journey” returns to melodic solo piano with a haunting and breathtaking piece that goes right to the heart. “Dance of the Orca” is magical and very dreamy with floating ambient sounds over calls of the orca. “Celtic Storm” again demonstrates why the piano is such a great instrument for describing rain, this time with a gentle touch and free structure. The title track brings back the uilleann pipes along with piano and synth washes to create a beautiful soundscape that would be perfect in a movie. “Journey of My Father” is a tender and loving tribute played with great emotional depth, and “Season of Light” glows with ambient washes of sound, a simple piano melody, and an easy rhythm track that gives it life.
 
Distant Sun is a very promising start for Eamonn Karran!

Chris Spector

Guys like Karran are nothing but trouble. They make playing impressionistic, solo piano look and sound so easy that everyone wants to do it. And they can't. Karran is one of those piano players that feels the music. Bringing his native Irish shadings to the session, he doesn't make this a Celtic session but he does take you to all those places filled with people whose names are pronounced nothing like the way they are spelled. Delightfully enchanting throughout, this is a fine example of a very special kind of mostly solo work that doesn't need anything but your ears and attention to complete it. Most certainly a rising star in the genre.

NeuFutur Magazine

“Autumn Fall” begins Distant Sun, and the sheer amount of emotion that is showcased in this piano composition is impressive. There are no vocals here, but Karran is able to imbue this introduction (and the subsequent works on Distant Sun) with a nuanced and alluring sound. The four minute-plus run times that are commonplace on Distant Sun provide Karran with more than enough time to properly express himself.

“Dance of the Orca” is a bold step forward for Karran. The haunting instrumentation will bring listeners to a wholly different space. The echoing, dreamy feel of this track will calm listeners while providing them with a rich story line. As the different elements of “Dance of the Orca” interact, listeners are provided with a cogent and expansive effort.

“Journey of My Father” sets the stage for the last third of the album. During this composition, Karran creates a close and extremely intimate sound that is built off of a classical foundation. The great care that Karran takes in the creation of this track ensures that listeners will maintain their interest through “The Traveler,” “Season of Light,” and Distant Sun’s final effort, “Aura of Life.”  “Aura of Life” is a track that provides a pensive close to this album, all while leaving the possibility open for Karran to visit some of the same themes and approaches on a follow-up.  The eleven tracks present here run about 56 minutes, and the density of Karran’s compositions make this an album with serious staying power.

Top Tracks: “Autumn Fall,” “Dance of the Orca,” “Journey of My Father”

Rating: 9.0/10