Aka's ney sound was ideal for dervish music. His breathy tone quality reminds me of the raspy breathing that dervishes make when they reach an advanced state of rapturous dancing and rhythmic breathing, or zikir ("La ilahe illallâh," Trk., [There is] no God but Allah).
Aka especially loved the lowest register of the ney and he had developed a powerful tone there. In those low tones, Aka's dark, resonant sound was at its most profound. He liked to linger there, working the lowest tones, even at times bending Kaba Rast (the lowest note) a half- or even a whole-step lower. Aka's low register has a lot in common with the dark, compelling voice of Kâni Karaca (right) (click for larger image), for decades the unquestioned leading singer of Sufi music.
Aka also made several recordings of the Mevlevi ritual music as soloist with Kâni, the best recording of which is the now out-of-print "Music of the Whirling Dervishes" CD on Atlantic label (left) (click for larger image).
last revised 21 September 2008