I’ll Be With You is the fourth release on the Real Music label from Irish pianist/composer/keyboardist Eamonn Karran. I have reviewed all four albums, but this one seems to be his most personal and expressive work to date. More than two years in the making, the album represents the journey Karran and his family have taken over the past six years. Quoting Karran: “It’s an album of colors, textures and emotions, a portrait of our lives.” In addition to Karran on piano and keyboards (synths), Erin Kelly provides vocals and Gabby Fitzgerald plays Uilleann pipes on some of the tracks.
Pieces of music and even entire albums often tell of a journey—be it internal or external—but Kevin Wood’s Eternal is an exceptionally personal musical journey of healing and emergence from a spiritual crisis that began when he lost his mother when he was in college. This is Wood’s fourth album, and his first release with Real Music, a label known for their music for healing, relaxation and meditation—a perfect fit for Eternal.
German composer and multi-instrumentalist Bernward Koch is one of the most enduring artists in the New Age genre. A classically-trained musician, he signed his first deal for an instrumental project under his own name in 1989. His debut album, Flowing, was released in the US in 1990, and several albums of a jazzier nature followed. In 1997, Koch signed with the San Francisco Bay Area based record label, Real Music, and they re-released Flowing that same year.
This classically trained pianist from Germany has been creating music for several decades. A good portion of his recordings are well represented by Real Music dating back to 1998 with a total of six recordings with the label. While there have been other recordings predating 1998, Touched by Love is an effort to give you a good overview of the six released on the Real Music label, plus there are two new, previously unreleased tracks, “Memories of a Cherry Tree” and “Hope,” both consistent with Koch's inconspicuous, pastoral and uncluttered nature of music.
Over the years, Real Music has assembled some stunning compilation albums, and Forest Bathing can now be added to the list. Compiled from albums dating from 1988 up through 2016, twelve artists are represented on fourteen tracks (Kenio Fuke and the late Hillary Stagg have two tracks each). The album title comes from the Japanese practice called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates as “forest bathing” and involves spending time in the forest and natural areas as good preventative medicine.