Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Máire Carroll writes for Culture about making her debut album, Roads, her own way - by crowd-funding the project.
It has always been a dream of mine to record my debut solo piano album and l couldn't be more excited to release my album, Roads.
Roads is an eclectic mix of classical piano pieces, film music and pulsating rhythmical and jazz-influenced tracks. It is a celebration of the various different paths l have traveled on my musical journey so far. I wanted to put together a selection of utterly different piano pieces that l hope will surprise and delight fans of piano music; while l love performing classic piano pieces by well-known composers like Bach and Rodgers and Hammerstein I also have a strong affinity for edgier contemporary compositions that speak to me as an Irish female pianist. I had a brilliant experience recording the album last August at the Cork School of Music.
The record was entirely funded through a crowdfunding campaign on fundit.ie. It was incredibly exciting being able to bring family, friends and fans on the journey of recording my first album; there were over 100 funders who contributed to my campaign, and it took just under one month to raise the funds to make the album a reality. Crowdfunding for the album was a unique way for me to reach new audiences - to have people supporting me in Canada, New Zealand and Norway (to name but a few) was incredible. l was very keen for my funders to get to see the behind the scenes aspect of the making of Roads. One of my favourite interactions included a weekly blog posted on my website which announced a track on the album, and included a Q&A interview about the composer and why l was including the piece.
This year I'm really looking forward to some exciting performances and collaborations, including a tour of Estonia in March, heading to The Homecoming Festival in Ohio, USA with Crash Ensemble, Ireland's leading contemporary ensemble, in April, performing in Aldeburgh, UK, the home of composer Benjamin Britten and travelling to Lismore Opera Festival in June to give a solo recital.
I hope this first selection of some of my favourite piano pieces will connect with listeners - and that it will offer them a unique listening experience!
Máire Carroll is an international concert pianist who has performed throughout Europe, Asia, North America and Canada, including performances in Wigmore Hall, the Barbican, Carnegie Hall and the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Máire was recently announced as the 2018 winner of the RDS Collins Memorial Prize. Her album Roads is available now - find out more here.