“Beyond the Sky” features the return collaboration and stunning musicianship of music producer, composer, synthesist, and virtuoso guitarist, Brian Keane, and the middle eastern master musician and multi-instrumentalist, Omar Faruk Tekbilek. The project is a follow-up to their critically acclaimed earlier recordings “Suleyman the Magnificent” and “Fire Dance”.
They are joined for this recording by three musicians who are all masters on their instruments. Ara Dinkjian is one of the foremost “oud” players in the world. Son of popular Armenian singer Onnik Dinkjian, Ara began performing professionally as a boy and earned a degree from Hartt School of Music in the U.S. In 1976, he formed the group Night Ark and recorded two releases with his composition “Sarasin” becoming a #1 hit in Turkey. Ara was invited to join Brian and Faruk in a 1991 concert for John Schaefer’s New Sounds Concert series at Merkin Hall in New York City. The results were so exciting that he was invited back to participate in this recording. Ara brought to the recording fellow Night Ark member, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, a native Armenian percussionist whose professional career started at age 11 and whose extensive credits include performing and recording with Al Dimeola, Chet Baker, Arthur Blythe, and many others.
Also joining the project in his debut recording appearance is the bright new talent, Hassan Isikkut. Growing up in a family of musicians in Turkey, Hassan has developed a unique and dazzling style of playing the kanun, a traditional middle eastern harp-like instrument. “Beyond the Sky” takes the original concept begun in 1987 with “Suleyman The Magnificent” then continued with “Fire Dance” a step further. The music is truly cross cultural, both abandoning and embracing musical traditions. The music is characterized by energy, feelings of immense spirituality, and impeccable musicianship.