… And how there’s always more of didgeridoo to uncover
(by Danka)

During the years of dealing with didgeridoos I learned to listen to its sound and I learned to hear many more nuances of sound and layers that I am now able to perceive individually and at the same time. I can enjoy the differences of all the instruments and find more or less beauty in certain aspects of them. Sometimes it is like having a sound massage inside you and the feeling of warm fullness overwhelms you. But this whole depth is definitely changing as my own skills of listening are growing. Now I notice sometimes how I can hear some nuances better than other didgeridoo lovers. So I know it is not just about love for this instrument. Love is definitely the start, but the depth of didgeridoo is immense (and universe of sounds, in general) and we need  time and effort to dive deeper.

Fortunately for me, I have had The Big Motivator Du ;-) with me for some time now and so it was kind of unavoidable – this journey of sound. He was the one who had huge love for the sound of didgeridoo and so it drove him to explore more. And I would say that his mathematical ways helped him quite a lot with his own skills of listening. He approached it from the beginning with the wish to ‘prove’ for himself the ability to differentiate between two instruments or two microphones that recorded same instrument or some preamp sound etc. And the only proof for him was to make blind tests from dusk till dawn. So listening to two or more audio samples with his eyes closed, while I was playing one of them, was a regular daily routine.  He would say he can blind  A-B something if he can have at least 9 out of 10 blind guesses. Blind, but definitely not deaf.;-)

Now looking back, I have a feeling that there is a great secret power in blind listening. Just the simple act of closing ones eyes and listening deeply, trying to find some way of recognition. I feel that a subtle change of perception is happening when we start hearing the new aspect which was hidden just a moment ago. And blind listening of A-B tests is a kind of hidden tool to accelerate this shift.
And the shift of listening abilities of Du during the years was immense. Listening of didgeridoo. Just the other day he was able to positively recognize one kind of MP3 from another kind of MP3 from a sound sample of our newest Duende Didgeridoo while I was preparing them for upload on the website. I thought there could be a difference in the quality of sound and I was trying to grasp it, not being very sure yet. And there he was, already shouting at me from the kitchen while eating his dinner, which is which and what is the difference. Of course, we performed a series of blind AB test just for cherishing the habit of testing :-), and he definitely was at the place of hearing it well. Not a bit, but well. In the meanwhile I heard the difference in bass from the two files, but the difference in high frequencies that he was mentioning was vague. And I already know there is a serious step between hearing something vaguely and the precise knowledge of blind recognition. This searching in the dark, the moment of closing ones eyes and trying to recognize it in the darkness of sounds, that is actually the magic moment of real learning. I invite you to try it for yourself. I believe this ability to hear and recognize will make you both better didgeridoo player and/or maker.

In the end I owe you the two sound samples for your enjoyment and your own blind test (you will need a helper to execute it).

To the joy of sound!