What goes into a didge and how to choose the right one?
Each one of our didges is a unique, hand-crafted instrument, consequently, no two didges are alike and no two didges will sound alike. The craftsman will spend hours, days or even weeks looking for the right log – one that has already been worked on by termites to start the hallowing process. The right log could be dead wood or alternatively harvested from a living tree which if done correctly will cause no harm to the tree. Consequently, the harvesting of the right log is a critical component in the process.
How to Pick a Didge
Next comes the magic created by the maker who refines the hallowing of the log, establishes the key, hones the mouthpiece, and treats the wood. In some cases, he may add decorative art. The end result is a magnificent instrument that is both aesthetically pleasing and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) sounding.
In the guitar world, a decent player can play the same song on a $200 Yamaha or a $4000 Taylor and both will sound good. The higher end guitars will resonate in a way the lower end guitars cannot. Similarly, playability will be different between the higher and lower end guitars. Finally, for recording or playing live in front of an audience, the higher end guitar will deliver in ways that the lower end guitar cannot match. And so it is in the didge world.
Higher end didges will be easier to play, better sounding, and more aesthetically pleasing. They will also be more conducive to live performances for the same reasons. But given that all of our didges are from three of Australia’s most respected craftsmen, their quality is guaranteed. We suggest that you listen to the samples and pick the didge that resonates with you – you will know it when you hear it!
Meet Our Master Craftsmen
Tynon Bradford –Alaom
Tynon’s journey with the didge began in the late 1980s when he was introduced to the wonders of this instrument by master player and maker, Greg McCormack Watching an experienced didge maker choose the perfect stem was an epiphany for Tynon and sparked his interest in making the didge. In 1993 Tynon entered the didge making scene and Heartland Didgeridoos was born. The quest for perfection and the process of transforming the log into a didge was a part of a spiritual journey exploring connection to land, culture and self. He is now renowned throughout the world didge community as one of Australia’s most prominent didge makers. With a passion for Australia’s indigenous cultural roots and a deep respect for nature, the didge for Tynon has served as a means of finding a balance in life – a bridge between the old ways and the new. A teacher, maker, and player, Tynon has played at home births, weddings, funerals and festivals and spent weeks at a time in the bush. Tynon goes to great lengths to harvest logs responsibly – searching far and wide for just the right wood, bringing out the best in each log and highlighting its musical and aesthetic features along with art that reflects its spirit, energy and sound quality. Tynon’s instruments are sought after throughout the globe and beyond – as demonstrated by one of his instruments making it’s debut on the Mir Space Station. At RamDam, it’s our great honour to introduce Tynon’s extraordinary instruments – and his respect for the craft and traditions — to the Continental United States.
Adam Henwood of Crookedstixz
Adam Henwood (aka: Swaami) of CrookedStixz has been making and playing didgeridoos since the early-1990s. In 2005, CrookedStixz was born when Adam teamed up with Beswick Elder Eddy Ryan and they operated out of a small gallery in the Northern Territory. Aside from being an absolutely superb player, Adam is relentless in his pursuit for technical perfection. The result is his instruments are finely crafted to maximize playability. Recently, he has been delving into new methods of mouthpiece design to enhance both the aesthetic value and the playability of his instruments.
Check out his Youtube presence for insights on playing and explanations as to how didges are made and you will understand why his instruments are in demand the world over. Adam embodies the true spirit of the didge craftsman and player and we are honored to introduce his fine instruments to the Continental United States.
Earl was born and raised in New South Wales, Australia. Earl’s mother was born in Longreach and is from the Iningai Tribe. His journey as a didgeridoo craftsman started in the 1990s under the tutelage of Tommy Teece and they worked together for a number of years until life took a twist and Earl started a new life journey – he started a family in the Northern Territory some 400 km away. This set Earl on the path to making didges independently and also this marked the start of his study of Aboriginal art.
Earl derives extreme satisfaction from the entire process of harvesting the timber in the bush, to cleaning and making the didge; painting it; and finally, delivering an instrument that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is resonant to the ear.
His strong cultural ties and heritage are reflected in his craft and feature strong attention to detail and instruments that resonate to the soul. The result is that Earl’s didges are highly prized in the world didge community. My own journey on the didge started with an Earl Clements in the key of C that I purchased on a trip to Western Australia. It commands a place of honor in my collection and I use it extensively in recording and live performances.