11th Oct 2011 Chris performed to Earlsmead Primary School and led a morning of didgeridoo workshops and an afternoon of Aboriginal tales storytelling and re-telling.

Chris has just teamed up with party planners green ant to provide some antipodean flavour for parties, teambuilding and events…. in honour of the white ants that make didgeridoos… here is a link to their website! Version:1.0 www.greenantevents.com/

 

HI Folks, in the spirit of engaging with the smartphone world, I have posted a few videos of myself playing didgeridoo in various places…here are some links to them

youtu.be/1sk2x6ubSNo

youtu.be/_6DrsMfI6UE

youtu.be/Y0_YJ_EgLa8

 

11. May 2009 · Write a comment · Categories: News

Press release

Devon’s Didgeridooman plays didge to Eric Clapton and some of England’s finest sports personalities at Charity Ashes Bash in London

Chris Holland, Devon based didgeridoo and bushcraft teacher, opened the Bunbery Bashes in Europes’ largest ball room at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Saturday night, with a solo didgeridoo performance.

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This year’s Bunbery Bashes had an Ashes theme and raised thousands of pounds for the England U17 cricket team, The world cup winning England Women’s Cricket Team and Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Antigua Foundation.
 
Hosted by Rory Bremner, the evening’s entertainment included the comedian Peter Kay, The RPJ Rock Band and Eric Clapton and his band. The audience was over 1100 strong and included the likes of Freddie Flintoff and Sir Ian Botham.

Chris said “I had a very enjoyable night and even managed to get one of my favourite didges signed by Eric Clapton just before I started to play to the assembled stars!”
 

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Chris is playing didgeridoo in the Firestone pub in Exeter for Australia Day, 2009.

As part of a promotion in association with Fosters, chris will be performing some of his own music, telling some dreamtime stories, and playing along to some drovers songs performed by the Otterton Bush Band.

Come along and sing along, have a cold one or two, and enjoy the sound of the didgeridoo, musical instument of the first peoples of Australia.

9-11, 26th January 2009.

Free entry.

Didgeridoo Music ??? some thought from Chris Holland

The sound of the didgeridoo music is unlike any other music. It is so rich in harmonics, both high and low, that the whole body seems to fill with the sound, and when the didge stops playing, it seems like the whole world begins anew in the ripples of silence flowing out into space.

A few years after I started playing didge I took an interest in the healing qualities of didgeridoo music, along with other native instruments like singing bowls flutes. A physicist will tell you that we are mostly made of sound??? simply vibrating atoms moving around in space in such away as to appear like a solid being. As such, the whole of creation is mostly sound; ???in the beginning was the word??? and all that! Every sound we make, every breath we make playing the didgeridoo created a sound that has effects through time and space, affects the dreaming that makes up the world we share with all other beings. From the little research I have been done over the years it seems it???s the intention behind the sounds made that ultimately makes the difference ??? however, I find that a little hard to believe that thrash metal could be made to have healing vibes if done with loving intentions behind every note!

If you want read a detailed article in the healing power of sound, by an amazing woman who healed herself from breast cancer with sound, try this link http://www.healingmusic.org/Main/What_Is_Healing.htm

Live didgeridoo music really does something for me, especially if I am in a dancing mood??? my feet and lower body have to just get moving! Music from a stereo has a similar, but not quite so strong effect. However, that pales into insignificance when compared to the effect didge music had on a lady I used to play for every week. The lady in question was incredibly sensitive to airborne chemicals and pollutants, so much so that she couldn???t live in a house painted with anything except the most inert paints, had to live away from farmers who sprayed insecticides, and would have breathing problems when certain glues were used. She was so sensitive that she could taste the metal of the cutlery she used! Anyway, she asked me to play didgeridoo music for her because it enabled her to breathe properly, deeply, without the aid of oxygen. Infact, she said didgeridoo music was more effective at helping her relax and breathe than oxygen out of a bottle. I wish I know what was going on at a cellular or atomic level to facilitate this enhanced breathing, and I know that it was more than simply my intention as a healer!

My didgeridoo music in Fundijeri is very light hearted, but the intention is also for earth healing, and that includes everything on and in the earth, simply a little prayer from me to you and all you relations.

May all be well and groovy!

 

didgeridoo workshop with Chris Holland at Devon Schools Mix 2009

Zone – 9

 

Times Events

Didgeridoo Workshop ???Chris takes participants through the basics of playing and gets the whole group telling a simple story by creating sound effects on the didgeridoo.(90 participants/120 audience)

Woodwind ???pupils who can already play the clarinet will learn to extend their musical reach(30 participants/90 audience)

Back to Devon Schools Mix page

Devon Music Services and the Didgeridoo Man raise £200 for Australian Aboriginal Land Rights with The Big Didgeridoo Adventure

Devon Music Services have employed Chris Holland The Didgeridoo Man to deliver a music and musical story-making project to 6 schools in the Exeter area. The Big Didgeridoo Adventure project aims to encourage children to learn to play one of the worlds oldest instruments, raise awareness of ‘The Dreamtime’, Australian Aboriginal Culture, and work together to make musical ‘journey songs’. The project will culminate with more workshops at this years Devon Music Mix at Westpoint on Wednesday the 25th June.

Leanne Sims, Class teacher at Wynstream School said Chris "Engaged our children – including the challenging ones – on all levels making the whole session a thoroughly enjoyable, beneficial and educational experience. I would highly recommend Chris to any school, any age group and any one wanting a brilliant time!"

Chris Holland, known as ‘the didgeridoo man’ by hundreds of school children across Devon. Chris, who delivers didgeridoo workshops for schools, teambuilding and private tuition, will be donating £200 to Survival International, the worldwide organisation supporting tribal peoples and their human rights.
“I earn some of my income from playing and teaching didgeridoo. Giving something back is the least I can do to help Aboriginal Australians have the right to live on the land of their ancestors! ” Said Chris.
If you want to hear some of Chris’s didgeridoo music you can at www.thedidgeridooman.co.uk

Devon Music Service (DMS) seeks to enable young musicians to reach their full potential.  We offer a range of inspirational opportunities to deepen and broaden experience of music.  DMS works with schools and learning communities across the county, supporting four Devon music centres and seven county ensembles.  We also offer an instrumental hire service for schools and pupils. DMS also organize the fantastic Devon Music Mix event help at Westpoint.
 

Woodroffe rocked this week with the reverberating throb of 15 didgeridoos played in unison during a workshop given by Chris Holland to Woodroffe’s trumpet and horn players, and then an hour long concert for year 7. Chris taught the group circular breathing techniques which somehow involved lots of water, choking, spluttering and spitting. The group put together a narrative piece which they then performed with Chris to year 7.

His concert covered everything anyone ever wanted to know about didgeridoos and the amazing versatility of the sounds that they can produce. The students are now being offered the opportunity to take part in further workshops run by Chris and it is hoped that students who at present don’t play an instrument may be attracted to this alternative sound.

Chris Holland runs an organisation called ‘Wholeland’, the advertising strap line of which is which is ‘learn to play and play to learn’. As part of Woodroffe’s Specialist Arts status this philosophy fits its ethos of trying to encourage as wide a range of student participation across the arts as is possible. Dot Wood Director of Arts

 

To see the pictures, and see the video please follow this link:

http://www.woodroffe.dorset.sch.uk/ART.COLLEGE/new%20project%20pages/Didgeridoo%202008/index.htm

The Didgeridoo, Australian Aboriginal Myths and potential links with your curriculum and education for sustainability.

Intro
The didgeridoo is a musical instrument that comes from the North Eastern parts of Australia. It is most often made from a hollow eucalyptus log, with no side holes. Didgeridoo is a western, onomatopoeic word name for what is known by many names in aboriginal languages (of which there are many), such as yidaki or thambaljig.

Some Aboriginal folks say that every yidaki has a spirit inside, which wakes up when someone who ‘lives on the land and breathes the air’ breathes into the dij in the right way, resulting in the characteristic drone sound.

Yidakis have been played by Aboriginal men for at least 2000 years. Some would have it that the yidaki has been played for 40,000 years, yet this suggestion has not been proven by scholars. Nonetheless yidakis have been very much part of social and ritual gatherings in aboriginal society for hundreds of years. Didgeridoos are ‘men’s business’ and so have not been traditionally played by women, though things are changing and some aboriginal societies are not so strict about this now.


Non-sustainable Didgeridoo production

Since the mid 1990’s dijes have become the ‘must have’ souvenir to bring back from Australia, being symbolic of Aboriginal Culture. Traditional Australian aboriginal culture is inherently part of the natural systems of the land, and in its way dynamically sustainable in its impact on that land. Sadly, recent demand for authentic didgeridoos has brought the sustainability of production of didgeridoos into question, as their harvest is now out of balance with the natural systems where the wood grows. Many souvenir didgeridoos are now being produced outside Australia from woods other than eucalyptus!

Dreamtime Myths and Sustainability
The Dreamtime is the Aboriginal understanding of the world, of its creation, and it’s great stories. The Dreamtime is the beginning of knowledge, from which came the laws of existence. For survival these laws must be observed. The Dreamtime is the time before time when things came to be and it is also right now. Dreamtime Myths work on many different levels, sometimes within the same story, giving the listeners a physical and moral/spiritual landscape to exist within. Yidakis have been around long enough for yidaki creation myths to be told. One dreamtime story tells us that when the first hollow log was played as a yidaki, the termites that were hollowing out the log were blown up into the night sky and became the milky-way.
 
So how does this story relate to sustainability and what can we learn from it?

Well, for a start, stories such as this one impart a sense of wonder and awe at features of the natural world. Anyone who finds the world wonderful and awesome, in an innocent or intellectual way (or both!), is more likely to want to live in a way that is sensitive to ecological systems. We also learn that termites are the creatures that hollow out the logs. Termites are of crucial importance in the natural systems they are ‘meant’ to live in. One of their jobs is to convert plant matter into nutrients that go back into the soil directly, via the compost heaps they grow their food on, or indirectly through food webs. Termites are tasty! The termites show us that even small, seemingly insignificant creatures are of equal importance to all others in the web of life – a vital perspective to have in the vision of sustainability.

The characters within aboriginal myths are often creator spirits. These spirits are everywhere and in everything, though now not necessarily in the same form they were way back then, in the time before time, when the stories were first told and the events occurred. Many of the characters in the Dreamtime stories are seen as our ancestors and if not our direct ancestors then certainly our relations. We see that all kinds of natural phenomena have come about through the actions of creator spirits. The Dreamtime is still going on now, and so we also learn that we humans are changing the world around us through our actions, in all kinds of ways, often unforeseen at the time. The stories show us that one of the only unchanging laws is that everything changes! They also instil a connection with the landscape that is so personal, so intrinsic, that traditional aboriginal societies see themselves as part of natural systems, part of the landscape, part of the ongoing mythical landscape in the same way that a rock formation, billabong, kangaroo or honey ant would be.

Another story, Why the rocks are red, tells us that the rocks are red in the centre of Australia because the blood of a human dreamtime creator spirit, murdered by his jealous sibling, seeped into the earth, turning the rocks red. Stories such this one show us that the bodies of the ancestors come to rest all over the landscape, and thus pretty much everywhere is sacred. If all living things have a counterpart creator spirit, then the physical landscape is also a spiritual landscape. When almost every landscape feature has some kind of ecological, spiritual or sacred significance it hard to justify any large-scale architectural development or ‘progress’ because of the impact on the interrelated dreamtime and ‘presentime’ ecological landscape.

The story of Tidalik the frog, who drinks all the water on earth and wont share it,  shows us that greed affects all creatures, all our relations and that laughter is the solution to many of our problems! Human greed, seemingly unquenchable thirst for resources is causing an unprecedented shift in the balance of nature, with the resulting catastrophic loss of biodiversity. What people may need, more than things, is fellowship and laughter and light heartedness to achieve a balance more in balance with rest of nature. It also points to the future, where precious resources may be fought over as they become scarce. We are already seeing this with oil, and prices are rising steadily. The practice didges I use are made of plastic that is made by the petrochemical industry.


Contemporary didge production in the uk.

Didgeridoos are now made from all kinds of materials:  pottery, glass, plastic, metals, but the most sustainably produced material is wood. Didges made in the uk are made from local timber. They are usually made by bandsawing down the length of the timber, hollowing out each side, and sticking the two halves back together. Making one can be a lovely process in which the maker gets to harvest, process the wood and create a beautiful musical instrument using local sustainably produced materials.

Some curriculum links.
RE –  Creation Tales
Literacy – Storytelling skills
Music –
Citizenship –
Art –
Science –

Review
With these few stories we can see several ways in which the dreamtime myths and the yidaki relate to the rather large topic of sustainability. Achieving a vision of sustainable living on this planet may require the adoption of alternative ways of seeing ourselves, and the landscape we live in. We may need a completely different set of values in relation to land, fauna and fauna, possessions, happiness…the list could go on. Traditional Australian aboriginal culture may hold clues on an alternative value system.
 
However, Traditional Australian Aboriginal society is not a perfect model for sustainability in the 21st century.  I am not suggesting that we should be adopting their way of life, only that we could learn something from it, because, left to their own ways, traditional aboriginal cultures are inherently more sustainable than our own because of their value systems and the way these people see themselves in relation to natural systems.
 (It may also have to do with living in a landscape with limits to growth without crops that are able to be stored and thus support larger tribal systems, but that is another story…)