Answers to Question 30, If you have had instruction with Djalu', how would you characterize the experience briefly, in terms of what you think he was trying to convey to you about yidaki? Just playing technique or something more?

He considers it his mission to have everyone learn yidaki. It'll bring peace. He wants to preserve his culture that he fears is getting lost here. He wants to share more than just yidaki.

My feeling is that he tries to get everybody to open their hearts to Yolngu culture and look inside themselves. The Yidaki is a tool that he uses to do this. Yidaki calls people together. Djalu has a big, generous heart and loves to share his culture with everybody, it is much bigger than just the Yidaki.

You realize very quickly how different their style and teaching techniques are Djalu teaches the whole song as a series of sounds that can be sung or played and are related to the culture, dance of the Galpu clan. We tend to learn not as part of the clans culture but as a drone then try to produce a series of sounds later.

He was saying "you have your sound; here is mine - put them together and we both know each other." Very specific playing technique but mostly about the energy of blending "his" and "mine".

Both. On playing: he does not teach how to make the various sounds, however it is seen more as teaching a language. This makes his (and yolngu teaching in general) more difficult for beginners, who need more basic teachings. Once you know the "sounds" you can start beginning the language.
Further the "spiritual" background and "sharing" is what struck me when I met Djalu.

More than just playing technique. He explained about different types of instruments, where his energy comes from that goes into the yidaki vs. the energy of the bilma player or songman, how a yidaki should be treated with proper respect, etc.

I took his workshop at Joshua Tree. He was teaching Yolgnu technique, but also a little background and how to properly and respectfully approach it. Also, he seemed to be trying to build a bridge between his culture and ours.

Both playing techniques as well as spiritual background and love of the instrument and its tradition.

More than just technique. Actually little explicit technique. More a general philosophy of playing, of communicating rhythms, of listening to rhythms (and their meaning when explained), and of imitating rhythms and playing styles.

I think he was sharing MUCH more than his playing technique... he seemed to be sharing his soul....

I think technique is something that followed 2nd behind the real teaching I believe he was trying to convey, which was more about the culture, and its stories, there was technique there, but I think the real lesson was a culture exchange using the Yidaki as a bit of a conduit. I learned a LOT from Djalu', and happy to say the least was about technique.

Djalu doesn't just teach you when to breathe, but he bistows his spirit, heart, and mind on you. He gives you his knowledge, he empowers you to follow the correct path in learning the mindset of a Yidaki Mi. He brings you the breathe of his totem (Witij) by playing the west wind (barra) rhythm. He literraly delivers his land, water, air, animals, history, ancestors streight to your heart.

Definetly more... I think it was about playing with your hart and soul...


That the instrument is used to convey many aspects of the ArnhemLand landscape to the people and learning the songs teaches the connection of all things in nature to the people.
He taught that in sharing his knowledge of Yidaki to me,he is conveying the uniqueness of his own culture and it is of high importance to share this importance of their culture to the people I pass this knowledge on to, to help preserve and protect the Yolngu culture.

I would be very pleased to meet Djalu in person someday, but I still didn't had that chance...

the didjeridu is a messenger, it's purpose is to bring the spirit of the earth and the status aboriginal people into light.

haven't had any formal instruction from Djalu'

He seems to draw breath from within. NO signs of stress. Very quiet, but with a great internal strength.

honestly I knew I would forget everything he told me to my mind but I felt like just being in his presence and having him play to me was like he was putting something inside me that didn't require intellectualization.

he is very warm and caring and wishes that thgose who play, only worry about playing from the heart.

I feel that Djalu tries to convey the importance and cultural significance of the yidaki as well as the playing techiques. I was lucky enough to have discussed regional variations in playing and singing style with him and was most impressed with his knowledge of these, including Groote Eylandt, and more western styles. I find his teaching (as far as playing technique is concerned) focusses more on the rhythms than on the techniques employed in the Yolngu styles. Quite an experience.

Never met him... Would like to though.

Something far deeper, connected to the Spirit and timelessness.

I have to like the division without judgement... full with love in the heart...

Djalu wants to pass to you the spirit of the Yidaki, and you can feel that.

Playing techniques, but more importantly, their rhythms and how those rhythms are important to them.

Only short encounter, but too long story... In general: something more...

I have his first instructional CD, it's hard to follow what he's doing on that one. I haven't had any personal time with him yet, or gotten any other of his instructional CDs yet.

He played the yidaki on my chest. i feel he was trying to express in someway that the vibration connects us all

To play slowly and not get too caught up in very fast playing. Also to try and combine some Yolgnu technique with contemporary style. I also feel he wanted me to have more of an understanding about Yidaki, rather than just seeing it as and using it as an instrument.

Djalu teaching was a complete run down of all aspect link to yirdaki, spiritual technical and material

truly an enlightning experience! blow me away!

Yes, I have had the privilege of spending some time with Djalu, and he definitely is trying to convey more than just playing technique. I think his real mission is creating cross-cultural understanding and friendship.