When you only have one short glimpse of Duende didgeridoos, one characteristic is obvious.

They are long.

Longer than vast majority of other didgeridoos. On average, they are quite probably the longest didgeridoos in the world. Why is this place a kind of long didgeridoo shrine, when short instruments are more practical, easier to carry and play, easier to make?

Duende didgeridoos are so long because of The Sound. After the experience of trying literally thousands of didgeridoos and spending more than ten thousand hours playing didgeridoos, we could clearly notice there is something special in the long didgeridoo family. The sound we looked for dwelled in long tubes, it could not fit in a shorter vessel.

The inspiration to go search for The Sound comes from the vast wonderings of playing didgeridoo. Inspirations come from live energies of playing – songs. And we feel that because of this strong relationship between playing and making, these instruments come with something we could call inbuilt inspiration.

These magical tubes are so strongly rooted in their wooden (windy) nature, so firmly in their place of airbending, windforming that they will take you places the moment you choose to bond with them through your breath.

This fact is so true and so emphasized that a way to express it would be: each didgeridoo will fulfill its purpose if it manages to help you awake, recall, summon your duende.

What is Duende?

Duende is a difficult-to-define phrase used in the Spanish arts, including performing arts. From the original meaning (a fairy- or goblin-like creature in Spanish and Latin American mythology), the artistic and especially musical term was derived.

The meaning as in tener duende (having duende) is a rarely-explained concept in Spanish art, particularly flamenco, having to do with emotion, expression and authenticity. In fact, tener duende can be loosely translated as having soul.

El duende is the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as physical/emotional response to music. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive.

According to Christopher Maurer, at least four elements can be isolated in Lorca’s vision of duende: irrationality, earthiness, a heightened awareness of death, and a dash of the diabolical. The duende is a demonic earth spirit who helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, reminding him that ‘ants could eat him or that a great arsenic lobster could fall suddenly on his head’; who brings the artist face-to-face with death, and who helps him create and communicate memorable, spine-chilling art. It is seen, in Lorca’s lecture, as an alternative to style, to mere virtuosity, to God-given grace and charm (what Spaniards call ‘angel’), and to the classical, artistic norms dictated by the muse. Not that the artist simply surrenders to it; he or she has to battle it skillfully, ‘on the rim of the well,’ in ‘hand-to-hand combat.’ To a higher degree than the muse or the angel, the duende seizes not only the performer but also the audience, creating conditions where art can be understood spontaneously with little, if any, conscious effort. It is, in Lorca’s words, ‘a sort of corkscrew that can get art into the sensibility of an audience… the very dearest thing that life can offer the intellectual.’. The critic Brook Zern has written, of a performance of someone with duende, ‘it dilates the mind’s eye, so that the intensity becomes almost unendurable… There is a quality of first-timeness, of reality so heightened and exaggerated that it becomes unreal…’” (Maurer, In Search of Du ende, pp. ix-xx).

Lorca writes:

The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, ‘It is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ Meaning this: it is not a question of ability, but of true, living style, of blood, of the most ancient culture, of spontaneous creation.”

“Everything that has black sounds in it, has duende.” (ie emotional ‘blackness’).

“This mysterious power which everyone senses and no philosopher explains’ is, in sum, the spirit of the earth, the same duende that scorched the heart of Nietzsche, who searched in vain for its external forms on the Rialto Bridge and in the music of Bizet, without knowing that the duende he was pursuing had leaped straight from the Greek mysteries to the dancers of Cadiz or the beheaded, Dionysian scream of Silverio’s siguiriya.”

“The duende’s arrival always means a radical change in forms. It brings to old planes unknown feelings of freshness, with the quality of something newly created, like a miracle, and it produces an almost religious enthusiasm.”

“All arts are capable of duende, but where it finds greatest range, naturally, is in music, dance, and spoken poetry, for these arts require a living body to interpret them, being forms that are born, die, and open their contours against an exact present.”

Garcia Lorca, Play and Theory of the Duende

[Taken from Wikipedia – Thank you Wikipedia!]

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