Didjin’Oz is held in a beautiful fortress in the centre of Forlimpopoli ( Emilia Romagnia) on a weekend in the heat of July. I have only been twice, invited to put on a stand with Australian products, and loved it. The fortress fills with young and old musicians from all over the world talking and breathing didgs and any other wind and percussion instrument.
So far I have not seen any Australian or Aboriginal play – we got close this year but it seems the band had problems with their flight and were cancelled at the last minute. But having sold didjs for many years I know that Europeans are fascinated by them, passionate about them and play them superbly.
The days are filled with musicians jamming, stand owners demonstrating instruments they have created, box drums, clapsticks, a range of wind and stringed, gongs and jews harps. For a non muso like me, it’s amazing. In the evenings we are spellbound by a mystical hum, swaying to a Spanish beat and left bopping to a rocky rhythm from Austrians.
This year I fell in love with two Japanese boys – Matsumoto Zoku _ playing a didj and hang drum with vocal percussion, just beautiful to listen to. It was not the first time I had heard a hang drum, but the combination with a didgeridoo and their personal style had me raving about them for days. Watch them here.
And would you believe, my next door neighbour has a hang drum, not a mean feat as they are very difficult to buy and many musicians are still on a waiting list. You don’t need to be a musician to play and I have been lucky enough to have a go!