S P E C I F I C A T I O N S

SHAPE - LENGTH CLASS : Volcano Yeti
INTEGRITY CLASS: Monodidge
LENGTH: 201,5cm
KEY (DRONE/TOOTS): D+20/C#+20,A,D.F#,Bb,C#,Eb
WOOD: Ironbark Eucalyptus
MOUTHPIECE: inner – 30mm, outer – 35mm
RIM WIDTH: 2,5mm
BELL: inner – 161x175mm, outer – 187x196mm
LOUDNESS@10CM: avg-117dB, max-124dB
MASS: cca. 6kg
FINISH: inner – oilwax, outer – oil +wax
INLAYING: Fuchsite + Hematite + Jasper

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Flying Tree Dragon is an example of such an extreme in classical conicaly shaped didgeridoo that it is very hard to describe without letting you try it. What does it mean extreme classical conical shaped didgeridoo? It means that FTD follows the logic of relatively well known didgeridoos that have flare. But flare of FTD is so deep inside and so large outside that it breaks certain laws of playing. The most peculiar characteristic of this didgeridoo is extreme loudness while not being harsh and having enough “juice” at the same time.

As usual, we start from the sound. It is a bit bright D, but pitch measuring is probably not very accurate with sounds like this, because of the relationship between bass and other frequencies. But this is an assumption. If I could change one thing about the sound, that would be to add more of the first harmonic into the basic drone, around 150Hz, to make it perfect. The second harmonic and so forth are healthy and strong. When I was playing FTD, I was compensating that by percussive playing or by voice. Didge has nice harmonics, and shines around 8 kHz and 16(!)kHz – so high probably due to very hard wood (ironbark). This didgeridoo was the loudest we have made up to June 2010 by subjective listening. However, SPL meter was not showing such loudness. It is probably due to bad bass response of the not very high quality SPL meter.

From the playability side, we could say it is an easy-to-play didgeridoo but difficult to control perfectly. I had it for a short while to experiment. My favourite way of using it was in fact for the percussive small sounds. Small lips movement, small tongue movements, small voices. Flying Tree Dragon makes these sounds actually hearable in the acoustic performance. Everything normal can be played on it. I did not have enough time to adjust to impedances and therefore using precise cascades of toots in fast articulation manners. I believe it takes time to get used to this didgeridoo, and it takes effort to find its perfect purpose, but FTD is rewarding with a new kind of sound.

The characteristic appearance of The Dragon starts low, at the big bell where green fuchsite and red jasper form a “tree circle”. Up in the middle, there is a flying tree made of jasper and hematite, and two birds resting on it made of fuchsite.

I would recommend somebody to buy didgeridoo like this if he/she is looking for an adventure, for exploration, for acoustic playing, for learning basic principles of parallel playing, or a collector of long very flared eucalyptus didgeridoos. I would probably not recommend it as the only didgeridoo as it is very specific.

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