Introduction


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Introduction
What Is a Didgeridoo?
Origins and Use
Decoration
How To Play Didgeridoo
Buying A Didgeridoo
Make A Didgeridoo
Current Chapter: Didgeridoo Discography

All text & photographs
Copyright © 2002-2013 by Matthew Harris

Didjiman Home

This is a list of CDs that, in my opinion, provide good examples of didgeridoo in contemporary and traditional music.  CDs are listed in four categories:  Contemporary compositions by non-Aboriginal players, contemporary compositions by Aboriginal players, traditional didgeridoo music & songs, and "one-track wonders".

To add your favorite didgeridoo CD to this list, send a message with the the CD title, performing artist or group, and the name of the label publishing the CD.

Contemporary Didgeridoo

These artists & groups feature didgeridoo in a virtuoso contemporary style, combined with contemporary instruments.

CD Title Artist/Group Label Released Catalog #
A Day Out of Time Trance Mission City of Tribes Records 1999 COTCD-022
Dance the Devil Away Outback Rykodisc 1991 HNCD 1369
Didgeridoo Meditations Inlakesh Bula Music    
Family Tree Stephen Kent City of Tribes Records 1997 COTCD-016
Head Light Trance Mission City of Tribes Records 1996 COTCD-011
Landing Stephen Kent City of Tribes Records 1994 COTCD-003
Meanwhile Trance Mission City of Tribes Records 1994 COTCD-005
Ranarop: Call of the Sea Witch Gjallerhorn Finlandia Records, Warner Music Finland 1997 FINLANDIA 0630-19627-2
Trance Mission Trance Mission City of Tribes Records   COTCD-002

Contemporary Didgeridoo, Aboriginal artists

These are Australian indigenous artists playing virtuoso didgeridoo; the music on these CDs mixes contemporary instruments and styles with traditional.

CD Title Artist/Group Label Released Catalog #
Bloodwood: Art of the Didjeridu Alan Dargin and Michael Atherton Natural Symphonies (Small World Music, Inc.) 1993 NS 331
Dawn Until Dusk: Tribal Song and Didgeridoo Adam Plack, Johnny (White Ant) Soames, William Brady & Luke Cummins Australian Music International 1992 AMI 3003-2
Winds of Warning Adam Plack and Johnny (White Ant) Soames Australian Music International 1993 AMI 2002-2

Traditional Didgeridoo

These CDs feature traditional didgeridoo and vocal music performed by indigenous Australian artists and clan groups.

CD Title Artist/Group Label Released Catalog #
Authentic Aboriginal Music The Wandjina People ARC Music Int. 1995 EUCD 1341
Bunggridj-bunggridj: Wangga Songs Alan Maralung Smithsonian Folkways 1993 CD SF 40430

Contemporary Didgeridoo, One-track wonders

These CDs don't feature didgeridoo, but have at least one track that represents the didgeridoo's flexibility when applied to a variety of musical styles.

CD Title Didgeridoo Track(s) Artist/Group Label Released Catalog #
Freedom Sound 4: Freedom Sound Poncho Sanchez Concord Records 1997 CCD 4778-2
New Beginning 2: New Beginning Tracy Chapman Elektra Records 1995 61850-2
One Way 13: In My Time of Dying Isaiah Singer & The 7th Word Worm's Eye Music 2000  
Spiritchaser 2: Song of the Stars Dead Can Dance 4 A D 1996 9 46230-2

CD Reviews

(All reviews by Matthew Harris.)

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All Trance Mission and Stephen Kent CDs

Stephen Kent is absolutely the best non-aboriginal didgeridoo player I've ever heard.  Mr. Kent sets the bar for my own playing aspirations.  The other musicians of the Trance Mission ensemble - Beth Custer (clarinets), Eda Maxym (vocals), Kenneth Newby (winds, digital atmospherics), John Loose (percussion), and Peter Valsamis (percussion) - are also extremely good at what they do.  I highly recommend any of these CDs, but especially Meanwhile and A Day Out of Time.

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Dance the Devil Away, Outback

Graham Wiggins is the didgeridoo player for Outback.  In this CD, Outback combines the didgeridoo with a variety of West African and Moroccan drums, as well as European melody instruments (guitar, mandolin, melodica).  The Outback music is energetic and tasty, and makes good use of the didgeridoo's potential.

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Didgeridoo Meditations, Inlakesh

This CD is best listened to as its title suggests: as background music for meditation or just to supply soothing background sound.  Although solidly played, this CD doesn't have much in the way of fireworks.

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Ranarop: Call of the Sea Witch, Gjallerhorn

This music is one of the most interesting and successful uses of the didgeridoo mingled with European melody instruments that I have ever heard, but seems one of the most unlikely.  Gjallerhorn is a Finnish group that uses instruments from around the globe to perform traditional Finnish folk songs.  There's didgeridoo, hand drums, fiddle, mandolin, and soprano vocals.  The group's didgeridoo player and percussionist, Jakob Frankenhaeuser, manages to play both the didgeridoo and hand drums simultaneously.

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Bloodwood: Art of the Didjeridu, Alan Dargin and Michael Atherton

Alan Dargin is an energetic and extremely skilled Australian didgeridoo player; Michael Atherton is an American guitarist and composer.  The guy who first taught me how to play didgeridoo initially recommended this CD to me as an example of utterly the best didgeridoo playing, and I recommend it with similar enthusiasm.

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Dawn Until Dusk: Tribal Song and Didgeridoo, Adam Plack, Johnny (White Ant) Soames, William Brady & Luke Cummins

This is one of my favorites.  Exclusively didgeridoo, clapsticks, and voice, this is a collection of contemporary didgeridoo nature studies (totems), plus several traditional songs.

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Winds of Warning, Adam Plack and Johnny (White Ant) Soames

Adam Plack and Johnny Soames have appeared on NPR and are a couple of the better-known Aboriginal Australian didgeridoo players, for good reason.  This CD is another one of my favorites.  The didgeridoo totems on this CD are lightly flavored with keyboards, guitar, and voice.

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Authentic Aboriginal Music, The Wandjina People

I like this recording a lot.  A collection of clan songs from several categories, performed by the Wandjina clan's own singers and performers.  This CD includes several women's songs, and a couple of songs sung by both men and women; both of these song categories are rare in the collections of traditional Aboriginal Australian music which I have been able to find so far.

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Bunggridj-bunggridj: Wangga Songs, Alan Maralung

I like this recording, but the sound quality isn't really great - apparently a lot of it was recorded outdoors with portable equipment.  Alan Maralung is a singer, and is the primary focus of this recording.  The recording and liner notes are part of an academic study of the songs and music style.  Wangga is a type of personally-owned song which may be sung in public.  Wangga songs are given to a singer by spirit beings; this CD contains a few of the songs given to Alan Maralung by Bunggridj-bunggridj.

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Freedom Sound, Poncho Sanchez

Track 4 of this CD, Freedom Sound (the title track) is one of the better inclusions of didgeridoo in a sound not usually associated with didgeridoo -- Latin salsa/jazz.  This track uses the didgeridoo's potential better than most.

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New Beginning, Tracy Chapman

Track 2 of this CD, New Beginning (the title track), uses the didgeridoo to provide a rhythm line for the song's intro, and then blends in to become part of the song's rhythmic texture.  No fancy work, just a good basic drone.

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One Way, Isaiah Singer & The 7th Word

Track 13 of this folk music CD, In My Time of Dying, mixes a didgeridoo in to support a harmonica and vocals.  If you've ever wondered what blues didgeridoo sounds like, grab a copy of this CD and tune in to Track 13.  Matthew Harris, this site's author, is the didgeridoo player on this cut.

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Spiritchaser, Dead Can Dance

In general, I like Dead Can Dance, and this CD is one of my favorites.  There's no credit on the CD notes for didgeridoo playing, but I'm utterly convinced that Track 2, Song of the Stars, on this CD starts out with a didgeridoo.  The didgeridoo doesn't do anything fancy here, just a low steady drone, but the song is skillfully textured around the drone.

Record Label Contact Information

All mailing address and telephone information presented here was obtained from the printed material accompanying the CDs listed on this page.  Most of the listed web addresses were not provided on the CD, but were researched by the author.  All of the web addresses listed here were valid at the time this page was last reviewed (7/25/2013).

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4 A D www.4ad.com

P.O. Box 461599
Los Angeles  CA  90046-9599

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ARC Music Intl. www.arcmusic.co.uk

P. O. Box 111
East Grinstead
West Sussex RH19 4FZ
Great Britain

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Australian Music International [no web address found]

In Australia:
AMI
29 Queens Road, Suite 4A
Melbourne, Australia 3004

In the United States:
AMI
253 West 18th Street, Ground Suite
New York  NY  10011
USA

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Bula Music www.inlakesh.com

Inlakesh/Bula Music
P.O. Box 8237
Santa Fe  NM  81504

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City of Tribes Records [no currently known web address]

3025 17th Street
San Francisco  CA  94110

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Concord Records [no currently known web address]

P.O. Box 845
Concord  CA  94522

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Elektra Records www.elektra.com

Elektra Entertainment Group, a division of Warner Communications, Inc.
75 Rockefeller Plaza
New York  NY  10019

Elektra Entertainment Group, a division of Warner Communications, Inc.
345 North Maple Drive
Beverly Hills  CA  90210

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Finlandia Records, Warner Music Finland www.warnerclassics.com

Note: This link goes to the Warner Bros. web site that lists all of the classic/folk-oriented foreign labels owned by Warner Bros. The Ranarop CD is part of the Innovator Series on the Finlandia Records label.

Distributed worldwide by Warner Music affiliates; or order direct from:
Institute of Finland-Swedish Traditional Music
Handelsesplanaden 23 A
FIN-65100 Vasa

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Rykodisc www.rykodisc.com

Note: Rykodisc was purchased by Warner Music Group in May of 2006.

Rykodisc USA
Pickering Wharf, Bldg. C
Salem  MA  01970

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Small World Music, Inc. [no web address found]

Small World Music, Inc.
117 30th Avenue South
Nashville  TN  37212-2507

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Smithsonian Folkways www.folkways.si.edu and www.si.edu

Note:  The first link goes directly to the Smithsonian Folkways recording pages where you can order the CD.  The second link goes to the general Smithsonian Institute web page.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Center for Folklife Programs & Cultural Studies
955 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 2600
Smithsonian Institution
Washington  DC  20560

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Worm's Eye Music www.seventhword.com

All text & photographs Copyright © 2002-2013 by Matthew Harris