Dance and music are two divine entities which can create a sound of harmony all over the universe. They are reflective of what the world needs at the moment when it is mired into extreme turmoil resulting from treacherous steps the mankind is taking.
So when we talk about peace through music, it is not a coincidence at all. Driven by this passion, Ameet Gauher based in the UK, who has performed for BBC Mini Mela, BBC Mad About Music, BBC Asian Network Radio, BBC WM Radio as well as Birmingham City Council "Arts Tolkien" festival has been spearheading this mission with a unique musical instrument and simultaneously reviving its popularity the world over. It is called "Didjeridu," the indigenous musical instrument of Australia.
On a recent tour to India and participating in a cultural programme "Unbound Beats of India" organised by UTSAV, he overwhelmed the audiences with his magic, and after that, we caught up with him for a nice chit-chat:
How come you began to play this melodious instrument?
I was travelling in Northern Australia once and there I found its sound echoing at a distance. As I went on the quest, I found a family living over there who had a tradition of playing and making Didjeridu. I stayed with them for three days and listened to its sound which fascinated me a lot. During those three days, I got to know about its history and how and what it is made of.
What inspired you to pick up Didjeridu when you could have taken other instruments?
It's meditative sound led me close to it and that's how I took up the challenge to learn it in tune with my yoga and pranayam approach. I learnt about its positive effect on the overall health while breathing in precise ways to produce different kinds of sounds. I practiced for months to learn how it is played. It has a spiritual connection too as it is made of twig from a tree. As a result, it is completely natural or to say the most connected with nature.
What about the following in Australia itself among people for Didjeridu?
Yeah, there is a following for this among people in Australia. But as a whole it is mostly at specific events or hotspots when this instrument is played with complete enthusiasm. The novelty for it is undoubtedly there to make it more popular among today's Australians. In the Aboriginal community, it is often played at various ceremonies like births, funerals and celebrations of some sort. In fact, there are Didjeridu enthusiasts even in Europe as well. In the UK itself, there are events organised to provide the required training. What position do you require to take before playing it? Sitting on the floor and then playing it.
What other musical instruments do you play?
I play Punjabi drum and I have collaborated with a variety of musicians including Indian Classical and Folk. With that superb combination, I try to create various exciting sounds.
What is the perception of people in the UK towards it?
There too people are keen to learn Didju. To make it easier for them, I organise workshops where the enthusiasts come and take the training necessary to generate sound out of it. I even take my workshops to schools to instil into the students love for this pleasant-sounding apparatus.
What advice would you like to give to people who would like to play this instrument?
I would just say that they need to be dedicated and enjoy the learning process as well as think of ways they can improve at it.
How has it shaped you since you started playing it in respect of feeling good about yourself?
It has helped me immensely! I feel more relaxed and cool from inside. All in all, it revitalises my soul whenever I play Didjeridu!