Ciara Rooney is the creator of the DIY instrumental solo project CENTRE/LEFT/RIGHT. Ciara has been a guitarist for about 11 years and started composing and recording music in 2017, releasing her first album Sketch in October 2019. Ciara spoke to The Jumble about her biggest inspirations, experimenting with different kinds of music, and working on the album 1997 during the unusual circumstances of the past year.
I think Instrumental rock music would be the clearest description for what I make, but I’ve personally and endearingly nicknamed it “guitar fuckery”. The urge to compose was mostly inspired by the band ‘And So I Watch You From Afar.’ Growing up as a guitarist, but not a singer, I thought I would have to rely on a band with a vocalist to be deemed a “useful” musician, but hearing it being done with only guitars, bass and drums helped me understand that wasn’t always the case, and so it encouraged me to give it a go myself.
Picking a favourite piece of music is difficult… It’s a close tie between Paradigm (Sketch) and Pixel System (1997), but I think I’d have to go for Paradigm. It was composed about 2 years ago and released last year and yet I still really enjoy listening to it. I think it’s held up well so I’d mark it as a favourite for sure.
My synthwave album 1997 got a lot of great feedback from everyone who checked it out, so I’d say new listeners should start with that one. Pixel system, Ghosts Under Siege and Hold Back the Machine are my personal favourites, but I’ve found that there’s a different favourite for everyone so they’re all worth a listen.
I’m currently finishing up my next album Bikes & Bridges Lead to Broken Bones. No release date has been set yet, however if you’re interested in checking it out keep an eye out on my social media accounts as I’ll be sharing updates there.
As for 2020- there’s been a few sides to it for me. As I’m a solo musician recording and producing music in my house and had no plans on gigging I wasn’t affected so much in that way. However, I moved to England in late 2019, returning to Northern Ireland in 2020 due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and (at the time) a potential lock-down. Only expecting it to last 2 weeks I didn’t bring my recording equipment with me, so I was left in Northern Ireland for 6 months with all the time in the world to work on recording music but couldn’t until I returned to England. That’s how my album 1997 came about, it only required my laptop and the audio software on it as it was all MIDI based so it kind of felt like my “limitations breed creativity” moment. Though now being back in England I was wanting to join a band but it’s not looking possible at the moment.