Omar Faruk is the recipient of the "Best Artist of the Turkish Music Award 2003 "from the "Turkish Writers Association" - He is a nominee for the BBC World Music Award 2003 in the category of the Middle East - Honored as a peacemaker and virtuoso, OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK is now one of the most sought-after musicians, whose work transcends political boundaries while maintaining traditional sensibilities in a way few artists can manage. - Omar Faruk was a musical prodigy. He was born in Adana, Turkey to a musical family who nurtured his precocious talents. At the age of eight, he began his musical career by developing proficiency on the kaval, a small diatonic flute. At the same time he studied religion with thoughts of becoming a cleric, or Imam. His musical interests were being nurtured by his older brother and by a sympathetic uncle who owned a music store and who provided lessons. “He had a music store, and he also had another job during the day. So he told me to come after school, open the store, and - in exchange - he gave me lessons.” While working in the store, Omar Faruk learned the intricate rhythms of Turkish music, how to read scales, and other rudiments. He was trained on and eventually mastered several instruments; ney (bamboo flute), zurna (double-reed oboe like instrument with buzzing tone), the baglama (long-necked lute), the oud (the classic lute), as well as percussion. REFERENCE: http://www.omarfaruktekbilek.com/Omar Faruk Tekbilek - Whirling Dervish!
Omar Faruk Tekbilek - Gawazi
The famous waltz dance has been derived from Sema, a ritual of whirling dervishes. “Waltz is a worldly dance while Sema is a mystic practice,” says Sheik Nail Kesova, the head of Turkey’s Galata Mevlevi Music and Sema Ensemble. “The west claims they developed waltz some 150 years ago in which a man and a woman turn around themselves while the Mevlevi ritual of Sema, as we know it today, goes back to the 13th century,” the Sheik told this reporter on the concluding night of the first International Mystic Music Sufi Festival on Sunday. Terming the Mevlevi ritual of Sema an ‘extra prayer’ or a practice to feel God, he said: “It is very much like the solar system. Every planet revolves not only around itself but also the sun.” The Sheik, who bowed his head in respect every time he referred to Maulana Jalaluddin Romi, said: “The ritual begins with na’atia kalam of Hazrat (Romi), followed by a solo improvisation of an open longitudinal bamboo flute ‘ney.’ The whirling dervish or Semazen, while standing with his arms crossed, depict the apparent figure ‘one’, signifying unity with God. The dervish stretches out his arms as he starts whirling. His right hand is extended to the sky as if praying and ready to receive Karam-i-Elahi while his left hand at which he looks is turned so that his palm faces the ground.” “The movement signifies the forwarding of the Semazen to the people of the spiritual knowledge he receives from God. Rotating counter-clockwise around his heart, the Semazen symbolically embraces all the human beings and other creatures with love,” said the Sheik. “The Mevlevi ritual is Zikr as the Semazen says Allah in his heart while turning every time. It is an attempt to make a believer more stronger spiritually as it takes its origin from the Holy Quran,” he emphasised. REFERENCE: ‘Waltz dance derived from Sema’ April 18, 2006 Tuesday Rabi-ul-Awwal 19, 1427 http://www.dawn.com/2006/04/18/nat40.htm