The Soloists

(in order of appearance)

Omar Faruk Tekbilek - Instruments: Ney and Zurna

Omar Faruk Tekbilek is a Turkish musician and composer, who plays a wide range of wind, string, percussion and electronic instruments. He has developed a style that builds on traditional Sufi music, but includes inspiration from ambient electronic musicians.  He is best known for his performances with the flute-like ney, but also plays the piccolo-like kaval and the double-reed zurna. Among stringed instruments, he plays the oud and the baglama. He also sings in many of his recorded works.

William Barton - Instrument: Didgeridoo

Taught to play the didgeridoo from an early age by aboriginal elders, by the age of 12 Barton was working in Sydney, playing for Aboriginal dance troupes. At the age of 15 he toured America, after which he decided to become a soloist and started to study different kinds of music. In 1998, he made his classical debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and became Australia's first didgeridoo artist-in-residence with a symphony orchestra.

Horomona Horo – Instrument: Taonga Pūoro

Horomona Horo is a renowned New Zealand Maori composer, practitioner and cross-genre collaborator. Horomona Horo has fused the traditional instruments of the Maori taonga pūoro within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms. Mentored by tohunga (experts) of taonga pūoro, the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns, in 2001, Horo won the inaugural Dynasty Heritage Concerto Competition and in the intervening years has become the international Maori face of taonga pūoro.

Michael Askill - Instrument: Percussion

Michael Askill is a percussionist, composer, musical director, musical ambassador and educator known and admired for his enduring contribution to the Australian contemporary music landscape and his original blending of Asian and Western sounds. Before embarking on a successful independent career, he was Principal Timpanist with the Melbourne Symphony and then Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has composed for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2006 Asian Games and the 2011 CHOGM.

Julian Jackson - Instrument: Chromatic Harmonica

Julian was raised in a musically oriented family in Liverpool, England, Julian's gravitation towards a career in music was no surprise. Whilst studying simultaneously at Sandown Music College in Liverpool and with world renowned harmonica player Jim Hughes, Julian captured the Hohner British Harmonica Championships from 1988 to 1991.  He continued his studies with Hughes after moving to London, where he became the only harmonica player to ever gain admission to both the Guildhall School of Music Post-Graduate course and the Royal Academy of Music Bachelor of Music course.  His unique style and ability at both jazz and classical harmonica playing has won him the recognition of many musicians and composers.

Bahadir Sener - Instrument: Kanun

Bahadir Sener undertook a long and in-depth study of the kanun (often referred to in English as a zither) with the great masters of the Turkish classical music tradition in Istanbul. Since 1996, Sener has been a member of the groundbreaking German and Turkish ensemble, Saraband, which has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, and has toured to Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, France, Greece, Great Britain and America.

Ozan Arslan - Instrument: Baglama

Ozan Arslan studied baglama and Turkish Folk Music at the Department of Music in the State Conservatory of İstanbul Technical University. He is well known as a teacher of baglama and has performed with many of Turkey most famous singers.