My common workday starts at 8. Finishes at 23. Vast majority of the time between those limits is devoted to didgeridoo.
Seven days a week. 51.5 week per year.
Still, with all this time I managed to write one blog on duendedidgeridoo.com in last year. This is quite fantastic!  Seems like I have nothing to say! And this is what happens when I can direct my own time.

Since so much has happened, I  would now  like to briefly present what has happening with didgeridoos that are finished and have found their new or old owner. The next blog here (hopefully not next year) is planned to be about the didgeridoos I am making at the moment.

Presence Lords and Beasts
I would start with Double Snake Spirals… This was my attempt to top Zmayek in presence. I understood that total volume of the didgeridoo has a lot to do with how much and how directly I can push the air inside, so DSS is a tighter version of Zmayek. Also in Ironbark. And this sound is one that went into my personal “didgeridoo sound hall of fame”. (Every piece of recording that is in some way spectacular and revolutional for the time I put into this small hall.)
DSS is also the first didgeridoo that we fumigated to speed up oxidation which makes Ironbark  Eucalyptus  very dark.. almost black.

The didgeridoo I did to top Double Snake Spirals then had another logic, bigger bore, more open in order to have louder drone and more air code. This one was a lot of work and I was doing it almost through all 2011… The name of this extraordinary Lord is Lord of the Waves. I remember in studio when Nixho – the sound engineer – heard it, for the first time ever he said: “Wow, this didge has absolutely no problems. Absolutely no holes in low mids…”. This was great success for me, as I like this didgeridoo a lot and I know holes in low mids are enemies to a round sound. So I celebrated with making another one with not so hard eucalyptus, Bloodwood,  and almost no carving at all… The result is Protozoa, the only didgeridoo on this page that is still available to buy. Surprisingly, it has even more of top end of the spectrum. I don’t really understand how this is possible, but I know psychoacoustics is a very strange thing. For example if you hear 3 Khz very strongly, it might be possible that you don’t notice an octave higher,  6kHz so strongly as you focus on the 3kHz. Whereas if you don’t have the 3 kHz so strong, you will notice 6kHz. Maybe this is the reason. Anyway, both didges I like a lot and I did not have to burn them!

Old revived…
For some friends I agreed to revive some old drilled wood that I wasn’t considering anymore as “serious” didgeridoo material. It was a bit unusual to track off some previous work, but after some struggling I managed my way through. This was a nice chance to try milk paint, home made. Lots of work. Like always… ;-)

The Great Spirit Series…
Then we come to The Great Spirit series. The Great Spirit Series starts with The Spirit. These past two years when you saw me on stage with three didges, Spirit was the one closest to you. I find it to be a very nicely balanced tight top, big bell kind of didge. Very nice backpressure, can play 7 toots with circular breathing. But also, very ergonomic, which comes from the feeling of backpressure and low mids. With high action, this didge has a lot of reaction possibility for power and control. Using always the same shape for the first top meter of Spirit I constructed a series of didgeridoos, which I would always chisel from scratch.
The first one was a bit bigger, called Phoenix. Phoenix has a very deep bell, it is a grotto and therefore ties together the shape of The Spirit and Extreme Dream E. Huge air code. D#. I had it a short time, I didn’t really learn how to play it.
The next is Kratos. It is a more brutal version of Spirit. One key lower, which makes it D. This is the loudest didgeridoo I ever made. I think. As I made many very loud. But for a D.. I have never heard  anything as loud. Still it is relatively well balanced.
The next one got quite bigger, almost 240cm. But still D, thanks to the huge resonating box. This one is the famous Bosska. The didgeridoo under 250cm that has a record breaking air code. The musicality of this instrument is enormous. From my point of view. So nice toot relations, so nice harmonies with air code. I was seriously considering to keep this one.
But I didn’t. As I knew I would keep the last one from the series…

The last one is 269. Named after its length. I had a fantastic vision of these numbers… Their colours were speaking to me in such a way that I had to try it in a didgeridoo. Every time I say its name I remember why I made it.
269…not really like this, but approximately. With this didgeridoo I wanted to surpass what was possible for me in terms of toots and opulence of drone. After making the initial hole with the drill I had to stop chiseling much sooner than I expected. For a reason that 269 sounded so good, so big, and so nice tune. Played in A, first three toots A, E, A. With only roughly finished didge I was able to play 9 (I think) toots with circular breathing. The problem was to control it, so I had spent long time in mouthpiece adjustment. This year was a lot about mouthpieces… Anyway, you will read more about this didgeridoo later as I plan to devote a video blog to it!

Iglica 3.14
The last little bit of this year I was doing my final attempt to improve Iglica shape. I named it Iglica 3.14… Iglica (Needle) is a quite well known didgeridoo in the didgeridoo world. And I have seen many clones. Which is very nice for me, to see people are getting interested in such “non playable” shapes. Iglica 3.14 was an order, and what I wanted to do with it is to increase the backpressure and low mids. I thought it should be easy as I know this shape “well” as I have played it thousands of hours and had hundreds of concerts with it. Recorded one whole album just with this one didgeridoo and I play it more than half the time on a concert. However. Life proved to be a mystery and I could not match my expectations with expectation of the person for whom I was making I3.14.  I had to redrill the instrument twice! And I thought I finally made it. I finished the inside, the outside and realized I cannot play Prorok oblaka on it! I had to go back to our workshop and adjust the mouthpiece (this includes first few centimeters on the inside) a tiny bit by tiny bit. After 1.5h and roughly 1.5mm taken off I could finally play it! My logic this year was to make the mouthpiece as small as possible. But not smaller! There are pros and cons for each approach, but more about that some other time…

With I3.14 I feel I have concluded the chapter of F# iglicas that are about 2.3 meters long. There was something magical about this shape. But it is time to move on, and Iglica IV, inspired by events of I3.14 is in the making, but this is another story.

All in all, as always, we haven’t made many didgeridoos. In total it took us more than two years for all these. As always, I tried to experiment, improve and often found myself struggling to pull out the kind of sound and playability I envisioned. Nothing is ever simple. But we enjoyed and learned a lot. I hope after the end of the world, we can expect some better didges ;-)

Thank you for reading this very didgeridooistic text!

- Du