Didgeridoo (didjeridu)

The Aborigines of Australia created the Didgeridoo from eucalyptus branches hollowed out by termites. They added beeswax around one end to make a more comfortable mouthpiece. Traditionally decorated with painted or carved designs, the didgeridoo is found along the Northern coastal areas of Australia from West to East. The average length is a meter and a half, the diameter at the mouth 3 centimeters - the diameter at the other end can be twice that size.

[Didgeridoo]Arguably the most advanced instrument from the Australian Aboriginal culture, the Didgeridoo is also known as Kanbi, Mago, Lhambilbilg, Yiraki, Yiraga, and Bambu. Modern versions of this instrument are also made from plastic and types of wood other than eucalyptus. [ At right is Russill Feingold, playing his Didgeridoo on Lake Melva. He is the didg player on RainForest Cave from the Yellow Bell CD Lake Melva Meditation ].

The player blows into the end covered with beeswax with completely relaxed lips, allowing them to vibrate. This creates a low bass tone. At the same time the fundamental bass tone is produced players will intermittently sing and shout through the instrument. Traditionally this instrument is played while circular breathing. This technique allows the tone to continue for extended periods of time. This function (as an accompanying drone in Aboriginal music) dictates that there is usually only one didgeridoo used at a time.

In addition, while playing the didgeridoo the aborigines imitated sounds of nature and indigenous animals such as rolling thunder, wind, bird-calls, kangaroos, and dingoes with their voices and by changing the size of the oral cavity. Rhythmic clapping of pairs of sticks often accompanies the Didgeridoo.

Hear the Didgeridoo on 'Lake Melva' from 'Lake Melva Meditation', and on 'Bell Peace' from 'Svadharma'.