It was 1992 and the world, orphan of the 70s “pure” psychedelic music, was still dancing on the trails of the 80s electronic explosion.
Then came the first, shocking EP by Richard D. James with such a pseudonym that still means “avant- garde”. Then, everything changed.
The didgeridoo, a musical instrument still unknown to the masses, was apparently “stolen” from its cultural and millennial roots, in order to be launched into a time travel until its meeting with the bold, young electronic music: a time relationship we can compare to the one existing between the origins of Earth and the coming of mankind.
So, as for other ethnic music instruments, this meeting turned out into an idyll since the first note … or rather, vibration. Better yet: modulation.
In the uniqueness of the didgeridoo‘s sound stands indeed the ideal link with electronic music (in the broadest sense, from the sound itself to the ability of interacting with the original sound of an instrument by modifying and altering it). The power of the didjy’s timbre, the modulations performed to generate different sounds, the sound frequencies’ spectrum wideness and the sound’s persistence due to the circular breathing remind synthesizers’ primitive input, as a continuous sound pulse with wide range frequencies.
Not only. Being similar is not enough to find harmony. We need a common root.
Here, the Earth, the substrate made of vital humus.
Either being Australia 40 thousand years ago or some alleyways of a cold English city.
The work of Aphex Twin embodies this concept that, seen with “purists” eyes, might sound as an heresy; but when observed from a scientific perspective, it turns into refined experiment, driving through new roads and building new bridges.
It’s a matter of choice… and choices, sequentially one after another, lead to the definition of a style. My choice, as didgeridoo player, was basically this one: to contextualize this instrument in my own time and space, taking it into a present made of sounds which are almost diametrically opposed to it, although -as mentioned before- they are often much more alike than you might believe.
I have the maximum respect for the overall didgeridoo’s culture and I made key pillars of my life as a man, as well as of my compositional style, of some elements of it.
Nevertheless I took the chance to “cross- contaminate” its own sound leading it into my personal cultural context, letting this one alter the traditional shape. Just “Organic Shapes”.
Organic, living, now. In its current shape.