Omar Faruk Tekbilek, born in Turkey, has lived and worked in the New York area since 1976. He is a virtuoso on several Middle Eastern instruments and is a capable performer on dozens more. Tekbilek became familiar to many listeners through his work on Brian Keane’s soundtrack to Suleyman the Magnificent and subsequently through two additional collaborations, Fire Dance and Beyond the Sky, that combined the sounds of the Middle East with Western synthesizers and guitar. He has appeared at the Kool Jazz Festival and the New Sounds Live Concert Series, and has performed with Don Cherry, Ginger Baker, and many others.
Listen, O drop, give yourself up without regret,
and in exchange gain the Ocean.
Listen, O drop, bestow upon yourself this honor,
and in the arms of the Sea be secure.
Who indeed should be so fortunate?
An Ocean wooing a drop!
In God’s name, in God’s name, sell and buy at once!
Give a drop, and take this Sea full of pearls.
[Mathnawi IV, 2619-2622]
Rumi translations courtesy of Kabir Helminski.