The Didgeridoo and The Future

When I find myself in discussion with friends about how we choose to use technology while playing didgeridoo, it often comes down to progressive vs idealist points of view.

Progressive Point of View

Progressives are always looking for new ways to create didgeridoo music. They may not have a cultural connection to the didgeridoo and only see it as a musical instrument with a very unique sound. Some progressives see the didgeridoo as a great undiscovered world of untapped musical possibilities. Sampling, digital effects, synthesizer enhancements, drum machines, and more are all possible ways to explore this new world. They often try their hand at making didgeridoos out of different materials to explore the acoustic differences. Some progressive didge makers even use Computer Assisted Design to create acoustically precise harmonics.

Idealist Point of View

Idealists usually take the position that didgeridoo music is organic and ancient. Idealists often express that only through acoustic performance can the truest sense of didgeridoo can be experienced. Enhancements such as digital effects as well as synthesizer accompanied playing are considered an adulteration. Some fervent idealists also contend that contemporary didgeridoo playing is disrespectful, and may hold the position that didgeridoos should only be made and played in the traditional way.

Who Are You?

These two separate and very different points of view are both valid.

There should always be an unwavering respect for the traditional origins of the instrument we now call the didge. The aboriginal custodians of the rhythms, songs, playing techniques, and instrument creation methods need to be deeply respected by all. They have shared this amazing instrument with us and we need to keep this gift in good faith.

Progressives however are also important. Imagine if the very first aboriginal didge player was stifled by the fact that the traditional use for cut tree trunks was only for the fire pit. It was never used for music. So you shouldn’t try it. No, the first didgeridoo player was a progressive. He found a new way to produce intrancing vibrations.

Oscillations are Oscillations

As a progressive didge player and synthesizer artist, I see music is a way to use many methods to create new sounds. If I play a drone, once the sound passes my lips, the frequency modulation is altered by the harmonics and different physical characteristics of the instrument.

Then I run the wave produced through an effects processor to further alter/control the waveform. Finally the amplification and room shape may further alter the waveform. In my live concert playing, I have been using DidgIt as accompaniment to my live performance. It is an additional didge player who knows my songs by heart. We play off each others rhythms. But in the end it is all about creating organized sound to express an emotional state. Those waves belong to all with a sense of appreciation for them

The Future of the Didgeridoo

DidgIt is a new way to think about didgeridoo. It offers a progressive method of learning the language of the didgeridoo. But DidgIt is becoming more than a way to create new didge rhythms and share them. It is also a way for the thousands of solitary didge players to become closer. At DidgIt we are working on new ways to collaborate musically over large distances as if you are playing together in the same room. Stay tuned for new updates to DidgIt and feel the waves like never before.