From a guest editor from UK, Mr David Chapman

Dear Reader,

If you have found your way here to Du’s mystical boutique you are already on the right path. If you are considering buying a Duende and balancing the pro’s and cons (your internal dialogue is saying should I? shouldn’t I? It sounds a lot of money etc etc), read on. I had the very same conversation in my head around 6 months ago, I considered the options and took the plunge. I have never been happier. I am the proud owner of Royal.

The fact that you are here and reading these words should suggest that you are already familiar with Dubravko’s music. I don’t think I would be blowing too much smoke to say that he is clearly one of the worlds top performers and that he is known particularly for the use of much longer instruments. As a further reassurance, the instruments used to make the music that we all love and admire that we have heard live at festivals (amplified by very expensive systems which absolutely would expose any flaws) and on his albums such as Kosmopterix, are made by him. Du could use any instrument but has complete confidence in his own Duende instruments.

I for one am utterly thrilled that Du and Da are selflessly opening up those same extraordinary instrumental possibilities to other enthusiasts. These instruments nor his ability have come about by chance. As you can determine from the level of technical detail provided by Du both for all the instruments available on this site AND on his website, regarding sound exploration, recording and technique, Du is utterly dedicated to his work and the instruments he makes. It would be inappropriate for me to mention by name any of the big name didj makers that charge far greater sums (up to 5 times) for their instruments, but I guarantee they offer far less technical information, the information you absolutely crave when making your decision. Moreover, Du spends many more hours a day with these instruments playing and perfecting than most of us could dream about. Somewhere between madness and obsession I know, but be assured, Du knows these instruments like you know yourself!

I started performing a couple of years ago with a gaggle of curious sticks, I’ve attended work shops with the same sticks and had until now, rarely felt totally confident that my chosen stick would do all that I needed. I kid you not, where ever I take Royal now, a small crowd gathers even before it is removed from its luxurious humidity controlled bag (see! No stone left unturned!). Every one then marvels at the exquisite instrument laid before them and then gush at it’s rich tones. The first toot especially, so close to the drone has sent folk running back to their own instruments to try and find their own toot that is so close to the drone. Alas, they do not have one!

A further note that should give you a great deal of comfort, when the Duende boutique was launched, virtually all of the instruments were sold immediately, and Du received orders for more, without a single advert being placed anywhere. Guess which instruments went first? The most ‘expensive’. Why? Because these instruments are incredible, because they are exceptional value, and I would argue, an investment. In the scheme of things, these are not expensive at all, Du could be justified in charging far greater prices.

Du and Da’s continued total immersion in the evolution of extraordinary instruments mean that the next generation can only be even more fantastic as they learn from what has gone before. You can have absolute confidence that Du and Da will be there to answer any questions and provide all the support you will need in the future.

Depending at what level you are at with your playing will likely determine which end of the range you are looking. Since I have been performing for a couple of years I was naturally inclined toward the higher end. That said, regardless of the level of experience you have, I assure you that ANY of the instruments will improve your playing very quickly as they are great teachers. They are not fussy or difficult to play, but, to get the right note i.e. on the toots, your input has to be ‘just so’. Simply put, your technique becomes tighter and far more reliable.

These instruments are fantastic amplifiers of what ever you do at the business end, so, you will learn to be much lighter with your lip movements and be astonished at the results.

So, if you are sincerely looking to invest in a very serious instrument that has the absolute backing and providence of the maker, look no further.

David Chapman, didgeridoo player