Artist:Brian Keane and Omar Faruk Tekbilek
Title:Beyond the Sky
Label: Celestial Harmonies
Musicians:Brian Keane-ovation acoustic nylon string, 12 string steel guitars, 6 string steel guitar, electric slide guitar, bottleneck acoustic guitar, synthesizers, all orchestrations, sound effects, bass, Omar Faruk Tekbilek- Ney (middle eastern flute), Kaval (middle eastern piccol), Zurna (double reed instrument), Bagiama (longnecked gourd guitar), Darbuka (middle eastern hand drum), Tambourine, vocals, Bandir (low drum), synth, Ara Dinkjian-Oud (middle eastern fretless lute), Arto Tuncboyaciyan- all percussion, Hassan Isikkut – Kanun (middle eastern harp).
Ok, time to start adding some world music album reviews. I really like world music, especially when it leans towards middle eastern or Indian influence. For me it started back in the sixties with the introduction of world instruments such as the Sitar and Tabla drums. Personally, I can’t get enough Sitar, Oud and Dumbek and other mid east percussion. as a percussionist or former percussionist as it were (I’m often not sure how to refer myself in that light), I cut my teeth, as it were, on playing middle east percussion.
Anyway, here is the first world music LP I am reviewing.
Omar Faruk Tekbilek is a popular artist and appears on many albums.
Starting off this disc on “Beyond The Sky”, which is the title track, is synth effects and traditional instruments (lute, strings, etc). It ‘s a nice ambient sound that kind of transport you to an ancient place.
Imaginary Traveler – Percussion starts this track and strings join in. This is basically just percussion and strings, with the strings being featured. The work of both is amazing on this track.
Kolaymi-This is a slower tempo song with a modern flavor.
Bridge– This is another stand out track. Wind instruments are featured here as it starts off with a solo for the first minute, then percussion joins in and it stays with just those two the entire song. To me this track gives the feel of being in the desert at night, in a big Bedouin tent or something at dinner time.
Chargah Sirto – This is a full orchestra number that is a short up tempo fun diddy.
Your Love Is My Cure – This is the longest song on the album, It starts with a lute solo for the first minute then wind instruments and percussion join in. It’s a slow tempo and rather sad sounding song that feels somewhat disjointed, not my favorite.
Selemet-Synth effects start off this track, joined by wind instruments and then percussion comes in and brings up the tempo in dramatic fashion. The track gives kind of a daytime in Arabia feel like one is at a beach having horse races or other games being played. A fun song.
Nighttime- Appropriately named in that this track kind of feels like twilight in a Moroccan suburban city.
Strange Little Corner – A fitting title given that this song sounds disjointed to me, Hard to listen to.
Siseler-I guess we are back to dancing with this up tempo dance-like tune
Sweet Trouble-This group’s version of the blues perhaps? Not one of my favorite tunes on the album.
Al Fatiha-This is the only time when vocals are used, not my favorite track either.