The Powerful Sounds of the Didgeridoo

We recently asked Owen McCall, who played didgeridoo on our song 'Sacred Earth' - (upcoming album 'Continuum'), to write a few words on his experience playing this powerful, ancestral instrument. Here is what he had to share:
 
"The didgeridoo, which originated some 1,000 or more years ago by indigenous Australians, and traditionally consists of a eucalyptus branch hollowed out by termites, is like no other instrument. Although it plays only one basic pitch, the drone note, it is capable of limitless timbres that are manipulated by shaping the inside of the mouth and tongue, and by adding voice. Complex rhythms are created by various means, such as by pulsing the diaphragm, tonguing, shaping the mouth, and various combinations, thereof. The length of one's breath during playing is overcome by a technique called circular breathing by which air is taken through the nose while a reservoir of air in the cheeks keeps the drone going. This allows for continuous playing that is only limited by the player's endurance. The deep, harmonics-rich sound is evocative and immediately induces a relaxed, trance-like state in the listener. For this reason, the instrument is often used in a spiritual context.
 
I was inspired to learn the didgeridoo when I watched a YouTube video of a Japanese performer, who goes by the stage name "Shibaten", busking in Toronto. His one-man show includes simultaneous hand drumming and a variety of other percussion instruments. I had never seen or heard anything like it! I just had to give it a go and proceeded to build myself a starter instrument out of PVC pipe. A most fascinating journey had begun.
 
What you can do with the didgeridoo is only limited by your imagination. Although players share various techniques, which has a valuable function within the community, my advice for a quality playing session is to set aside any "rules", dive in with a blank mind, and just let your heart interface directly with the instrument. Listen deeply and feel the grounding physical vibrations. This is the mechanism by which your unfettered spirit mind will transport you to one very special place indeed!"


Deepest gratitude to Owen McCall for writing this article, and blessings on your music medicine journey!


The remix of the song 'Sacred Earth' can be heard here

Listen & buy the new album 'Continuum' (includes the song "Sacred Earth")

MJ and Dean
www.sacredfiremusic

 

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