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

Forgotten Road

Forgotten Road by Eamonn Karran

Karran’s piano work here is delicate, strong, and always interesting” —NeuFutur Magazine

The hauntingly beautiful “Fairy Dance” sets the mystical tone that permeates Karran’s second album, which evokes the ancient Celtic roots of his Northern Ireland homeland. Tempo and spirit liven as uilleann pipes, drums and synthesizer embellish “An Grainan,” while the penultimate “Ease My Mind” will surely awaken the oft’ times elusive art of letting go that we all crave.

Watch the video for “Forgotten Road”
“Best of 2015” by Michael Debbage of Mainly Piano


1. Fairy Dance 4:08
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2. Forgotten Road 5:03
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3. Angel of Tullagh Strand 5:16
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4. Beyond the Vale 5:21
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5. Crest of Life 5:48
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6. Kindred Souls 4:50
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7. Hold My Hand 4:58
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8. The Last Dance 4:33
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9. An Grainan 4:34
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10. As the Foyle Gently Flows 4:49
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11. Ease My Mind 4:31
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12. Fascination 5:19
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More Music By This Artist

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Celtic Skies by Eamonn Karran
Distant Sun by Eamonn Karran

Press Acclaim

RJ Lannan

I am a musical traveler of sorts, so when I read the title of Eamonn Karran’s latest release, Forgotten Road, I was intrigued. The cover art suggests that if I walk through the trees, down this dusty road, letting the afternoon sun be my guide, adventure will be waiting around the corner. I could not resist and I made the journey. I am glad I did. In deference to Robert Frost and the Road Less Traveled, adventure was there!
Eamonn Karran is an Irish self-taught pianist hailing from Derry City in Northern Ireland. He is a very busy man as Father, husband, composer and believer in angels. I do not find the last item ironic in any way, for I am a believer, too. Forgotten Road is twelve tracks of captivating contemporary music. There are many solo piano works, but there are some that have traditional Irish accompaniment. Karran has achieved a sense of balance as he explores the world of the known versus the world of the unknown, with a quality of respect, warmth and humor.
“Fairy Dance” begins the adventure with a medium tempo and suggests to me that the fairy just woke and feels the warmth of the sun. She decided to dance in the air. The sun sparkles on the morning dew as my little fairy friend swirls and glides. It is a celebration of warmth.
There is spit of land to the north, just west of Ballylifin in County Donegal. The road narrows considerably, but just three clicks of travel will get you to Tullagh Strand. Eamonn testifies to the wonder of the land in his song the “Angel of Tullagh Strand.” There are unexplained encounters in life that make you a believer. Sometimes it is just a presence, maybe a hand on your shoulder. Other times it is an answer to a prayer or a saving grace, but they can all attributed to one thing … angels. Eamonn’s flowing tune has that mystical energy about it.
“Beyond the Vale” has some synthesized washes in the background, but the piano lead is strong and inviting.  Perhaps this is one of the places I ended up when I took that road.  It was over a green hill that had a path I could barely make out, but it was there. The music allowed me to forget that beleaguered world and explore my own daydreams.
The solo piano number “Hold My Hand” sounds like an old Irish ballad that is played in the parlor when the sun sets and it is time for a pipe and a cup, what the old folk called a scoraíocht, or an evening visit.   It brings back the memory of the warm day, the dusty road and the journey from one village to another. When your greatest riches are fashioned from love, you cling tightly to it whether it be child and parent, dear old friends, or lovers.
Eamonn pays reverent tribute to a sacred place known as the stone palace with the sunny view in the song “An Grainan.” The mystical fort is 4000 years old and one of the highest points of County Donegal and it is bursting with magic. The music contains seraphic voices, flawless piano, and delightful flute. Like the stones, each note in the melody has a story to tell of saints and sun gods and heroes and legends. It is one of my many favorites on the album.
The most placid song on Forgotten Road has to be “As the Folye Gently Flows.”  Marking the divide between Derry and Donegal the An Feabhal, the Foyle River is the fastest flowing river in the North. It is fed not by a single source, but by many tributaries, making it the web that holds the land together, whether it be in nature or in song.  Karran’s crystalline melody sparkles not only like the sun on the Foyle during the day, but like the city lights that reflect off its waters in the night sky.
This is the first time I have heard Eamonn Karan’s music, but I immediately put him on the same shelf as Phil Coulter and that is a mighty high shelf. There is s spirituality to Karran’s music that is a rare find, giving peace to body and soul. After hearing this inspired album, it would be my pleasure to share another journey with the talented pianist and composer.  Highly recommended.
Rating: Very Good+

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. Recommended!

Stephen Cairns

After achieving much critical acclaim for his debut Real Music release, listeners might have been wondering if Eamonn Karran could reach such dizzy heights again with his eagerly anticipated follow-up album — Forgotten Road. Fans of the genre need not have worried; from the opening bars of this outstanding album, it is clear that Eamonn has not just matched the high standard set with Distant Sun, he has surpassed it in every way.

Forgotten Road features twelve original compositions from the magical hands of this Irish composer, with the album clocking in at just shy of an hour in duration.

A lot has happened for better and worse in Eamonn's life over the past year or two, and this is reflected in the compositions that feature on this masterpiece of an album. Eamonn lost his beloved mother during the recording process, the very lady who nurtured his interest in piano from the tender age of seven. Much happier news came with the arrival of Eamonn's first grandson, Olly, in August 2014. There are, perhaps not surprisingly, contrasting moods featuring on this album, and this certainly helps to keep the listener's attention throughout.

Both the opening and closing tracks capture the intrigue and sense of mystery the composer feels to this day with the paranormal and spiritual forces. The first track, “Fairy Dance” is quite upbeat and features solo piano. The opening electronic touches give the closing piece, “Fascination” a sense of mystery and intrigue, also illustrated by the atmospheric cover art of the album. The deliberate positioning of these two tracks to open and close the album give it its shape, and demonstrates the significance of the supernatural in Eamonn's life. The composer himself explains, "I am a big kid when it comes to all things paranormal and spiritual; I'm completely fascinated by it and always have been. There are legends of fairytales that say that a lone tree in a field must never be harmed as it belongs to the little people who dance around them. These tracks are dedicated to those stories that I often heard as a kid. There was one of these trees close to Tullagh Strand, and on holidays I would be a little creeped out passing it especially late in the evening, thinking I might come across some little people dancing!" Whilst the opening seconds could not be more different, the two compositions are both equally as beautiful and set the tone for the album.

Forgotten Road is a glorious, sentimental piece which reflects on events and journeys of the past — significant events of others, perhaps long forgotten, but immortalized forever through photographs and other documents. People can be taken away from us, but never the memories of them. Eamonn explains, "Whilst clearing out my mother's house after her passing, we came across many sentimental things that she and her sister, Jean, had kept. Upon reading many of the little notes and looking at the photos, it dawned on me how many adventures the most important people in my life had taken, and how at that moment I was probably the only person who knew the details of those forgotten paths. It was almost like the story of their life was being mapped out in front of me, and it was beautiful but also sad to see and read of the journeys they had taken, the people they met and how all this is now long forgotten. I'm glad this is the title track to my album as it represents so much about our life's path over the last number of years." With its Celtic opening hinting at the composer's roots, I am particularly fond of a section at around the 2:00 minute mark — a playful interlude. Happy memories here, I feel.

The third track of this wonderful album is entitled “Angel of Tullagh Strand”. It has a mysterious feel to its opening and again illustrates Eamonn's fascination of the unknown. The piano makes an appearance after 48 seconds, and the tone immediately softens. Best described as hauntingly beautiful with angelic voices singing wordless vocals, we are taken back to Eamonn's childhood. “Tullagh Bay is a beautiful beach in Donegal where I spent many childhood holidays. We had a mobile home there. It's a fantastic place, and I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time close to nature and the sea. My deep belief in angels has led me to believe that we are all guided though life, and places like this are part of what makes our spiritual journey so amazing," explains Eamonn.

“Beyond the Vale” is one of my three favourite tracks from the album. With subtle synthesizer embellishments, the melody here is simply gorgeous. Here, Eamonn is looking beyond life, and with his own brush with death some years ago, it is perhaps only natural that he might be pondering this. "Beyond what we know as our physical existence, is a mystery to many of us and something that I have begun to question over the last few years. The Vale actually means the Veil of life, that curtain which is removed once we awaken and realise what is beyond. This track is dedicated to my journey of discovering what happens to our soul after this life ends and why we travel a certain path to reach this destination." Such is the beauty of this track, the composer certainly creates the feeling that there is nothing to be feared about the unknown journey ahead of each and every one of us.

It is ironic that a near-fatal car accident was the turning-point in Eamonn's career. Along with his wife, Eamonn made the decision to focus on his music. This gamble has certainly paid dividends, and it is only really now that he has the opportunity to develop ideas from years ago and be as one with the piano and creative process. This opportunity to devote his life to the piano has led to the creation of some outstanding music, such as the track “Crest of Life” and this is not lost on Eamonn who says, "Through the many dark days, I have come to realise that there are also good times especially regarding my music. This is the crest of my life, a time when I can finally get the chance to be creative and do what I have longed to do for many years. If I had been told five years ago that I would be composing and releasing my own pieces though an incredible label such as Real Music, I would never ever have believed it. I spent many days sitting playing melodies and ideas for tunes but never had the courage or knowledge to record, so most of them remained in my own head until recently. Now it's like a tidal wave of creativeness — hence two albums so close together — but I think album three may be a quite a bit in the future!" This is another lovely track which I can listen to over and over again. It is timeless.

Few albums are as consistently beautiful as Forgotten Road, and it is with tracks such as “Kindred Souls” that the listener comes to realise what a natural talent Eamonn Karran is, and his ability to create melodic, heart-felt compositions time and time again. Never overly-complicated, it is the perfect tonic for relaxation.

“Hold My Hand” has an emotional story attached to it. It is about his mother's final days. The opening is mournful, but the piece develops into a very Celtic-sounding track suggesting the reminiscing of happy moments that will never be forgotten. Eamonn explains to the reader, "In October 2013, after taking ill, my mother suddenly passed away and this had a huge impact on what I was producing. This has been a dark time for us all and that is reflected in quite a few of my tracks on this album. I didn't intentionally mean for these tracks to seem dark or even depressing but as I don't read music everything I produce is affected by my emotions at that time. I hear certain phrases being spoken and this will stick with me as I compose, hence "Hold My Hand". This was something my mother said to my wife as she lay seriously ill in hospital, and was a very emotional moment for both my wife and myself as this was just before she was operated on and never recovered." Clearly written with his dear mother at the forefront of his mind, it is worthy of note that having listened to the album several times and with no knowledge of the origins of the tracks, this is also my own mother's favourite piece, and she feels a certain 'connection' with it. I am quite sure that Eamonn's late mother will be smiling with approval, as the beauty of this track is beyond words I can create.

“The Last Dance” is also influenced by the above events. A tender, slow opening opens like a delicate flower to reveal another sublime composition — always gentle and loving. This is a very reflective piece, and one cannot help but be moved by it.

“An Grianan”, as the Real Music notes on the cover state, sees the tempo and spirit liven as uilleann pipes, drums and synthesizer embellish the piece. This is certainly one on its own on this album. Quite avant-garde in fact! This is Eamonn at his most playful and creative. I suspect he had a lot of fun during the composition process for this piece. It is another track which showcases his love of things shrouded in mystery. "An Grianan” or Grianan of Aileach to give it it’s proper title is a mysterious ring fort close to where I live. It has been linked to Irish Clans and Druids throughout history. I always enjoy travelling there as the views are spectacular and its past is literally shouting from the stones. I have been intrigued by its history since I was a child and hope someday to be able to perform live in its grounds as it would make an incredible backdrop for a concert!" Consider the boat-trip across the Irish Sea booked, Eamonn, if this becomes reality.

My second favourite piece is “As the Foyle Gently Flows”. The word ‘exquisite’ immediately springs to mind, and this is sure to become a very popular choice with listeners. It is such a melodic piece, and a joy to listen to from start to finish. The unobtrusive guitar complements the piano perfectly. The track captures the beauty of the landmark it symbolically represents. In the words of Eamonn, “This track is named after the river that flows though my home town Derry City and beyond. It's an incredibly scenic river that I have been exploring since childhood. It's a beautiful place to spend time with my family and explore nature at its best.”

In an album full of stand-out tracks, it seems almost churlish to pick an outright favourite. However, if push came to shove, it would have to be “Ease My Mind.” This piece is of special significance to me as it was through accidentally discovering this track on YouTube before Eamonn's debut album was released, that I was introduced to this composer's music. From the opening bars, I was hooked. The beauty here lies in its simplicity. If the reader listens to just one track on this album to get a flavour of it, choose this one. Amazingly, it nearly never saw the light of day. "I was persuaded to release this track which was actually recorded a few years ago, and I'm so glad I did as it's now a favourite of mine. Like many of my early pieces, this was influenced by my weak state of mind after losing employment and not knowing which direction to turn. It was a cry for help to ease my state of panic and worry about the future. One of the reasons I think I turned away originally from this track is that it represented a bad time, but I now realise that these times were simply the foundations for what is happening now, and this piece is all part of that journey."

As is synonymous with all Real Music albums, the recording quality is top-notch throughout, and I love Stephen Emerson's cover photo. The album was recorded at River City Studios, in Derry City (Northern Ireland), and Eamonn used a Yamaha P105 piano and a Yamaha M06.

Real Music, a hugely respected label, might have thought they were taking a risk in signing Eamonn to their impressive roster of musicians, but this release from this incredible pianist not only justifies their bold decision, it propels the composer into the same league as other new-age greats such as George Winston and Kevin Kern. The Forgotten Road will not pass from memory. Take the journey, and its outstanding beauty will stay with the listener for many years to come.

Michael Foster

Forgotten Road is the second album by Eamonn Karran for Real Music and it was quite evident from the first song that he is raising the bar on what we as listeners can expect from each new album that he releases on this label. Forgotten Road consists of twelve tracks that clock in at a few seconds shy of sixty minutes, but Eamonn manages to use each second of these sixty minutes to bring us some very beautiful and emotional piano music that will surely touch one’s soul before the album is finished.
Forgotten Road is an amazingly well-crafted album that fills the listener with a sense of peace and serenity. While the music might also be tinged with a touch of sadness or melancholy in a few sections, for the most part the music simply immerses the listener in a calming atmosphere that is very conducive to reflection and meditation.
“Crest of Life,” “Fascination,” “An Grainan,” and “As the Foyle Gently Flows” and are some of my favorites from this collection, but there are others that also could just as well have been placed in this grouping of memorable songs from this release. “As the Foyle Gently Flows” is a track that I simply lost myself in. To me this song speaks of contentment and acceptance at the point in life when a person realizes that they are exactly where they should be, doing exactly what they should be doing with their lives. Eamonn’s playing is filled with an intimate and inviting energy that captivates with its nuance and delicacy. The song has a gentle beauty to it that is filled with warm and positive feelings that seem to melt away worries. It is certainly a song that listeners should pay attention to as they move through this collection for the first time.
I found the concluding song, entitled “Fascination,” to be a very hopeful way of bringing to a close the time that we spent with Eamonn as he shared with us his feelings encased in the touching music contained on this album. “Fascination” was an uplifting song to me and I found it to embody a delicate innocence that was made even more so by the effortless playing that Eamonn exhibited as his fingers drifted gently over the keys. “Fascination” is an enchanting piece of music and a perfect way to end this album.
All in all this album is an exceptional achievement for Karran and a great gift to his growing fan following who are just beginning to understand the passion that Eamonn pours into each and every song that he writes. Forgotten Road overflows with warmth and tenderness as Eamonn’s songs are made complete through his heartfelt and sensitive playing. It is good to see this kind of dedication exhibited on Eamonn’s second album because it speaks volumes as to what we can expect in the future from this talented performer. Recommended by Ambient Visions.

James McQuiston

“Fairy Dance” is a twinkling composition that is able to tell more of a story than a vocal-heavy composition. Karran’s piano work here is delicate, strong, and always interesting — listeners will be set adrift on the compositions that begin his latest release, Forgotten Road. “Angel of Tullagh Strand” is much more introspective than precedent tracks on Forgotten Road, showcasing a wholly different set of sounds and approaches taken by Karran. The track taps out at a fraction above five minutes, but the deft hand of Karran makes it seem as if no time has passed, utilizing a large amount of open space to create something that will resound loudly with listeners long after the composition has ceased.

Two mid-album cuts, “Beyond the Vale” and “Crest of Life,” are a high-water mark for Karran.  “Beyond the Vale” is a somber reflection that rises and falls in a fashion that will tattoo itself deep into the psyche of listeners, while “Crest of Life” showcases a composition that bridges the gap between past and present.   “As the Foyle Gently Flows” may be on the shorter side of tracks on Forgotten Road, but the sheer density of the arrangement means that fans will have to play the effort multiple times to hear the entirety of what Karran has laid down. Upshot is, Forgotten Road is a bright spot during this cold winter season.
Top Tracks:  “Angel of Tullagh Strand,” “As the Foyle Gently Flows”
Rating:  8.3/10

Chris Spector

This Celt piano man’s special secret sauce is that he plays his melodies on a real piano rather than relying on voltage to get his message across. Sounding like a Jim Brickman that never doubled in commercials, Karran delivers lovely music that takes you away and feels like it frees your mind from the traumas of the day. Real music, as opposed to noodling, this well constructed, well played and well written session takes you back to the days when the bedrock new age labels were right in the sweet spot between noodling and selling out, when they were creating the mass market for new age. Some simply gorgeous contemporary instrumental music from a cat that has the gift. Check it out.