Do you know what a didgeridoo is? There are so many things in this life that are unknown to us. I bet you could find out about something outside your normal sphere of vision and experience everyday for the rest of your life and still not get close to knowing about everything out there. Not to mention the number of things we don't know about our own internal selves-physical, emotional, spiritual and mental realities that are still unaware to us. That's another story however, let's stick to the external in this article.
I play the didgeridoo. It's a sacred Australian Aborigine instrument, arguably one of the oldest instruments in humankind's long history. If you type didgeridoo into your search engine you will see hundreds of sites about this thing that you've never even heard of. You don't know how many people I've mentioned it to around the world that never have even heard the word.
One site I found to be quite thorough and useful was: http://www.echotree.com.au/index.htm
This retail site explains in detail how a didgeridoo is made (it is a termite-hollowed branch or tree trunk), how to choose the right one for you, and of course instruction on how to play. It explains how to recognize a quality piece and they say that they can even custom make one to your desires. Each didj has a key or root note, and they can be made of several types of wood, some better than others. Placed on the mouthpiece is bee's wax which makes for an airtight seal against the face as well as protecting one's mouth from getting cut by sharp edges.
To give you an idea of the incredible feat it was for the first Aborigines to make this music 40-60,000 years ago I'll give you a perspective on how it is played. You place your mouth in the whole at the top of the hollowed wood upon the bees wax coating. Then you vibrate your lips against the edge of the wood, filling your cheeks with air at the same time to keep the sound constant. The sound never stops and this is because you circular breathe-in through the nose and out through your mouth at the same time. Sounds difficult, and it is for some like myself, it took me 9 months to get my mind around it. A friend of mine however did it in a couple of days, and babies breathe this way naturally! Pretty cool.
On this site as others you can look at a gallery of instruments, clicking on the ones that interest you. They are all individual (like snowflakes and humans) and characteristics such as key, wood type, length and artist are given. Echo Tree specifically mentions that all their artwork is individually hand-painted by Aborigine artists and no two are alike. So unlike many Western musical instruments that are ubiquitously constructed, you can have one that is different to all others.
The didgeridoo is just another example of how the Internet or World Wide Web can be the medium of discovery in our lives. It is a collective source for all the ideas, creations and beliefs in our world. Anyone that connects can add to the rich melting pot of consciousness. This 'virtual' space that we all feed and digest from is truly the next step in the evolution of humanity. Do you want to do or learn something different? You know where to go.
Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a sacred didgeridoo player learning more about life everyday.