Saturday, February 04, 2006

Didj day afternoon

Robert and Steve, shown here with their didjes, showed up at the Austin Didj Group get-together this afternoon. Obviously, I was there as well. From left to right, you can see Robert's Y-shaped didj (aka "the Lady"), Steve's agave didj (no known nickname), Robert's agave didj, (aka "the Madman"), and Steve's heavy eucalyptus stick (again, no known nickname). Apologies for the low quality of the picture- I forgot my camera and had to use my now-famous ravetastic phone. My three didjes are out of frame.

Steve made this particular agave didj from a stalk he found around town, and has made several more over the years. So now, all I have to do in order to make one for myself is find someone with a dead agave stalk in their yard. Has anyone out there in Austin-land seen one?

The didjeridoo is a wonderfully unique instrument- almost by definition, no two are exactly alike. Thanks to genetics and the shape of the head, neck, skull, throat, lungs, mouth, and lips, no two players are exactly alike. Every didj player I've ever talked to has always enjoyed hearing someone else play their didj. You may not realize it, but unlike most other instruments, a didj player can't easily listen to their own music. After all, the sound is some four feet away from your ears and moving in the other direction. (This is why my Mindbower didjbox rocks. I can actually hear myself play!) Something about the nature of the drone sound itself prevents it from traveling well or being mic'ed easily. So having another player play your didj is one of the few ways to hear what your instrument sounds like.

This marks the third time I've gotten together with Austin didj players. Each time one of these meets go down, I feel both energized and humbled for pretty much the rest of the day.

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