Thursday, June 18, 2009

Didge 101

An email from YouTube Services arrived in my email box one hour ago. "ididjaustralia has invited you to become friends!" read the heading.

According to i DIDJ Australia website: "iDIDJ Australia is guided by the traditional Aboriginal owners and custodians of the didgeridoo in raising public awareness of the rich cultural traditions and significant heritage values of the didgeridoo."

Since acquiring my first didgeridoo (made from California yucca) more than two years ago, I have used this great website as a resource to learn more about the instrument and the Aboriginal culture that produced it. Its YouTube channel features nearly 400 videos showcasing great Aboriginal musicians and instrument-makers.

Last week, I acquired my first Aboriginal didgeridoo, and two days later uploaded a YouTube video, My Didgeridoo Experience, which I also embedded into a very recent blog post.

My musicianship leaves a lot to be desired, but I hoped to convey the benefits that even novices can derive from the instrument, as well as showing my appreciation for the oldest continuous culture on earth.

Accordingly, I was flattered to find the friend request in my email box.

Above are three videos from the i DIDJ Australia's YouTube channel. The first displays the virtuosity of Quincey Matjaki, a master of the "hard-tonguing" style that is a feature of the Yolngu people of Northeast Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory. "Yirdaki" or "yidaki" is the Yolngu word for didgeridoo.

The second shows the life cycle of the yirdaki, from tree to ceremonial use, and the third is a scene-stealer of two adorable kids - ages 3 and 5 - already playing the yirdaki far better than I will ever play it in my lifetime.

Enjoy ...

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