Auf Anregung von Labelchef Eckart Rahn reiste Tekbilek von New York nach Sydney, um mit dem australischen Meisterperkussionisten Askill etwas nie Dagewesenes aufzunehmen. Wie ein Flimmerbild scheinen Faruks türkische Schlangenlinien (Gesang, Ney, Zurna, Oud u.a.) über dem Grund der Schlaginstrumente zu schweben. Spontanes Musizieren, starke, bleibende Eindrücke.

the project

Musical inspiration is a tricky thing. It is hard to plan for; sometimes, it just happens. It certainly happened when percussionist Michael Askill met the Turkish multi–instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek for the first time in an Australian broadcasting studio. Askill is one of the finest percussionists in Australia; Tekbilek plays flutes, reeds, lutes, and percussion. With a trio of additional percussionists, these two musicians created an exhilarating romp through the musical cultures of the Near East, the Pacific Rim, West Africa, and Western jazz or classical music. Fata Morgana captures the spontaneity and joy of the music–making process—something usually missing from studio recordings.

Askill and Tekbilek collaborated on most of the compositions. Some, like Under Desert Stars, evoke the nocturnal music rituals of the desert; others, like The Goldsmiths or the clever Sufi House, recall Tekbilek's colorful and popular collaborations with Brian Keane. The inspiration for these works developed from simple images and stories shared by the two musicians; more conventional musical decisions—instrumentation, for example, or the tempo of a piece—were left for the actual recording sessions. As a result, Fata Morgana has a strong improvisatory quality, while at the same time creating a sound world that is clearly mapped out. Fata Morgana is both exotic and accessible; even more to the point, it captures the enthusiasm of two talented musicians from opposite parts of the globe, sharing their musical explorations with each other and with the listener.

the artists

Producer and composer Michael Askill is regarded by many as Australia's finest percussionist. He is a founding member and the Artistic Director of Australia's premier contemporary ensemble Synergy, a composer, producer, the Head of the Percussion Department at the Canberra School of Music, and finds time for collaborations and a solo career.

By his teenage years, Omar Faruk Tekbilek was one of Turkey’s most sought after session musicians. A virtuoso performer on the Near Eastern cane flute (ney) and the Turkish lute, (baglama) Tekbilek was in demand in both jazz and traditional Turkish/Arab music circles. Along the way, he has mastered several kinds of reed instruments, a variety of strings (bowed and plucked), synthesizer, hand drums, and even the accordion. In 1976, he settled in upstate New York. Since then, his music has appeared regularly on concert stages, recordings, and films in the United States, Europe, and Australia. In addition to a thriving solo career, he has played with a wide range of other musicians, from the late Don Cherry to pianist Michael Harrison’s Mandala Jones, a band that draws on the poetry of the great 13th century Sufi poet Rumi.

biography - askill

discography - askill

biography - tekbilek

discography - tekbilek


1 Desert Wind 1'39"
2 Aman 3'43"
3 Distant Call and March of the Janissaries 5'27"
4 Cool Water 4'25"
5 The Goldsmiths 3'14"
6 Ocean Dream 1 2'45"
7 Sufi House 3'44"
8 Boiling Water 4'17"
9 Fata Morgana 2'22"
10 Ba-la-ma 4'06"
11 Little Janissary March 2'55"
12 Ocean Dream 2 2'11"
13 Under Desert Stars 5'29"
14 From Emptiness 12'40"
15 Desert Winds 1'39"
  Total Time: 60'49"