The white man arrived on the lands already occupied by the first peoples… that’s for sure !
Then we know the horrible and repeated stories that the whites have subjected to people from our planet. Often I wonder : how must have been the first meeting between a black, a red, a yellow and a white? Watch this video “Tribe meets white men for the first time” opposite Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, it is fascinating ! And now, over the centuries, everyone has had to adapt to live together as best they can.
During these centuries, there were musical exchanges which were also set up… and today I want to develop the subject on the theme of sharing didgeridoo, and to understand how we got there, starting from nothing, on the big screen. Just a story of retracing the evolution of the didge over time, with the groups who dared to put it at the time when it was really unknown !
For a few years now, our beloved instruments have appeared more and more in music for films, cartoons, advertisements or even cinema scenes from major productions ! And I find it very nice because it puts the balm in the heart, and I tell myself that the work and the perseverance of each of us bring this kind of things that will become essential over time.
First of all, there were very beautiful documentaries made by passionate scientists and men, who brought a serious and respected look thanks to breathtaking images from the 4 corners of the world, with isolated tribes who lived in autarky and who used music as a means of communication. Little by little, musicians and composers have integrated its ethnic instruments, such as the Didgeridoo, into more modern music… which I invite you to discover now.
I will quote the film CROCODILE DUNDEE (1986) where a mythical scene appears with an Aboriginal tribe who dances and plays the didgeridoo. No matter how controversial the big movie releases are, it’s always good to see that kind of wink, unlike other films that talk about Australia without touching on the subject of the native people of the country.
In cartoons, comes to the top of the list “The SIMPSONS” with LISA SIMPSON who plays the didgeridoo and asks his mother to buy one for him. You will find this passage in episode 16 of season 6 “BART vs. AUSTRALIA”…
In terms of music, I will first quote the famous Aboriginal group YOTHU YINDI which carries their Red Black and Yellow flag high and in color across the world by mixing Didgeridoo and Rock.
The Australian group DEAD CAN DANCE, formed in 1981, with the song SONG OF THE STARS from the album “SPIRITCHASER” which navigates between magnificent percussive rhythms and the heavenly and masterly voices of LISA GERRARD and her baritone sidekick BRENDAN PERRY.
The precursor singer KATE BUSH will put the didgeridoo and the Australian universe in the spotlight in her music video “THE DREAMING” in 1982 ! We will see later singers like BJORK, GOLDFRAPP or TORI AMOS…
In french Hip Hop side, we have the magnificent group IAM who will use the didgeridoo in their 3rd album “THE SCHOOL OF SILVER MICROPHONE” with the famous American group WU TANG CLAN.
XAVIER RUDD is also essential if you are interested in the question of the singers who play the didgeridoo on stage.
There have also been slightly lesser-known groups that have used didgeridoo, such as the group VIRGIN PRUNES (1982) with the album “If I die I die“, which was part of Gothic music. A pretty creepy but exciting universe at the same time… real crazy !
The group PIL (Public Image Limited), with singer Johnny Rotten of SEX PISTOLS, on the title EASE of the album “ALBUM” in 1986.
The golden award of the use of didgeridoo, according to my point of view, still goes to the great JAMIROQUAÏ (1992), who used it in several of his albums and put forward well during his concerts, when his player WALLIS BUCHANAN was playing endlessly… It was truly magical at the time to hear this funk mix with the Didgeridoo. I tell myself that they must have enjoyed it live on the monstrous stages of the world tours that he did all together… well done guys, big up !!!
Well, I’m sure I don’t know everything, but if you have musical or cinematographic references that I did not put, don’t hesitate, I invite you to put them in the comments. I will watch and listen with great attention to add them to the article with pleasure !