Posted in Productions

The Most Fascinating Human Musical Instrument

The Austrian-Australian film Didgeridoo is the first extensive documenary film about one of the the most fascinating human instruments.
This film was organized in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of Education and displays the extraordinary contrast between the didgeridoo and Austria.
The Australian original residents (aborigines) developed this fascinatng instrument, which is made from wood hollowed out by termites, and which for thousands of years has produced tones in different rhythmical combinations.  Although originally developed by aborigines for use in rituals, the didgeridoo is now used by people all over the world for many different types of music.
In Austria many groups of people have taken up playing the didgeridoo, almost perfecting a style similar to the music of the original aborigines.  One of these people is the former ski-jumper Alex Mayer, who plays this ancient instrument high over the Tyrolian Alps, accompanied by the singing of his wife.

The film Didgeridoo

With great feeling, Ahmed Radwan projects musicians and their didgeridoos in traditional Austrian countryside scenes and  in this way composes a documentary metaphor to the Australian home of the intrument.
The exceptional sounds of this instrument come from an unusual breathing technique, known as circular breathing.  This film  fully demonstrates how this works.  But cultural aspects are not neglected.  For instance, a Viennese “Gymnasium” school initiated a few years ago, with great enthusiasm of teachers and students alike, the first didgeridoo lessons.  Didgeridoos are also available here in Austria, for example at “Musikhaus BERG.”

Didgeridoo is a trip through the sounds of this exceptional instrument, from its origins in Australia to its spreading popularity in Europe.  The film shows that traditional musical instruments can find justification beyond their original musical forms, and indeed in any time, in every place, and in every musical direction.  This is one more reason why Didgeridoo should have a place in every video archive.