Didjeridu

Sleep Apnea/Snoring
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.

Contact Alan for lessons at at@theresonancecenter.com

 

Video of Alan Tower playing his Whale Song -
breakthrough on technique.
(pass mouse over video for controls)

Education & Instruction
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Alan Tower teaching a Didj composition workshop at JT didjfest 2007

Performance

Alan Tower and Stephen Kent onstage at JT Didjfest 2007

 

 

The Didjeridu
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. Yidaki’s 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 instrument itself.

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 www.Hickssticks.com. Ben is one of the most accomplished makers of split hardwood didj’s 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.

The other piece is titled "The Didjeridu From Arnhem Land to Internet" and is a review of a unique book about the instrument making its way from traditional uses to the rest of the world.

I will leave you with the following quote from James Cowan’s "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”