The research is in from the British Medical Journal. Playing the Didge is
now a proven way for alleviating these sleep challenges. And you may find
the feeling of resonance in your body is something you want for yourself
anyway! Click on this link for a physicians explanation and study results.
teaching a Didj composition workshop at JT didjfest 2007
and Stephen Kent onstage at JT Didjfest 2007
by Alan Tower
The sound of this remarkable instrument has resonated through time
for up to 35,000 years. The creation of this sound and this instrument
comes from the aboriginal cultures of Australia. It was born out of
the Dream-Time and been used primarily in dance and ritual ceremonies.
There are many many different names for the instrument but the two
that we hear the most are Yidaki, one of the words used by the Yolgnu
people of Northeast Arnhem Land, and Didjeridu used by most of the
world to identify an instrument made from non-traditional materials
and by non-traditional makers. Instruments have been made from a wide
range of materials from oak and many other hardwoods to agave and
plastic PVC pipe. Each material has its own sound and qualities of
playability. Yidakis are most often hollowed out by termites
and then further crafted by an aboriginal maker. Common woods are
Eucalyptus hardwood and Bloodwood among many different varieties.
Anyone interested in this instrument should be aware that there are
cultural issues and controversy around this instrument finding its
way into popular culture.
The origin of the word 'didgeridu' or didgeridoo linguists
believe entered the language through the Irish sailors that ported
in Australia. Both Irish and Scots Gaelic have the word dudaire, a
tri-syllabic word roughly pronounced 'dooderreh' or 'doodjerra'. In
the English of Ireland today the word refers to a constant pipe smoker
or a nosey person, but in an Irish-English dictionary of 1904 it was
translated as "a trumpeter or horn blower, blowing of a horn,
or the act of crooning or humming". Irish and Scots Gaelic also
contain the word dubh meaning black, which is pronounced 'duv' or
'do', as well as the word duth, pronounced 'doo', meaning 'native
or hereditary'. So the word 'didgeridoo' or 'didjeridu' may have referred
to 'black native horn blower' which then became associated with the
Accompanying this introduction are two pieces that provide excellent
information and perspective on Yidaki and Didjeridu. The first is
an article that appears on Ben Hicks website
Ben is one of the most accomplished makers of split hardwood didjs
in the US while being an excellent didj player in the traditional
Yolgnu style of playing. Hickssticks also carries authentic aboriginal
instruments direct from the makers to the US.
I will leave you with the following quote from James Cowans
"The Mysteries of the Dream-Time."
The spiritual Life of Australian Aborigines
. . . This instrument is unique among traditional instruments.
Its mournful tones, deeply reverberative, appear to emanate from far
below the earth itself, as if the Rainbow Serpent (Pulsaiya) was ascending
to the surface. The instrument is truly chthonian (of the earth, dark,
primitive and mysterious) drawing its tones from a source that is
but an echo of the origin of all music. Its primal power and mystery
mirror, in sound, the profound spiritual reality of the Australian
Aboriginal culture. The interrelationship between human and earth,
between the need to wander through space in search of spiritual fulfillment
and the desire to give cultural form to the pilgrimage is at the very
heart of the Aboriginal religious perspective