Didgeridoo and the Flute - a True Story
Music Makes Harmony Between Cultural Enemies
An Israeli flute player met an Iranian didgeridoo player by chance. Through the harmony of their music, they became the best of friends...
In the Golden Gate Park near the tennis courts there is a small tunnel. Not often used, it makes a shaded walkway for those on foot.
With the city of San Francisco bustling all around, the tunnel was a place of solitude for a flute player who went there often to still his mind and enjoy his music in an acoustical chamber.
On a foggy mid-summer morning, Vladimir felt as though he was coming down with the flu. His Native American flute was by his bedside table but he felt uninspired to move. Then a voice deep within him urged him to go to the sacred tunnel.
On this morning, against the protesting aches in his body, he took the hour-long bus ride to the park.
Now as his head throbbed and his body grumbled, he remembered that the Native American flute was a great meditative tool to silence his thoughts and discomforts. So he sat cross-legged, closed his eyes and played.
Vlad was deep in a trance when from far away he heard an unfamiliar sound. At the same time, it was vaguely familiar. The rhythmic drone, still in the distance, moved steadily towards him. Then it began mixing with his flute music. His eyes were still closed as the haunting sounds came closer and closer.
The Right Stuff
Vlad recognized the sound from the movie ‘The Right Stuff’ in a sequence where astronauts were orbiting thousands of miles above Australia.
They were witnessing millions of tiny firefly lights and hearing strange sounds. They were baffled by it. So they called their base down in Australia. They were told that directly below them a corroboree was happening. The Aboriginals had a giant bonfire going and flames were shooting up into the air creating, from the perspective of the astronauts, the effect of sparkling fireflies. This great fire was accompanied by didgeridoo. That is the first time Vlad heard the distinctive primal sound of the didge.
The movie scene flashed in his mind’s eye. Then he was back in the tunnel.
A stranger playing this strange-sounding instrument walked out of the fog and into the tunnel. The flute player’s eyes opened wide and stared at the silhouette that looked like a tall lanky aboriginal. They both kept playing.
Their flute and didge blended so beautifully that the music carried them. They were in perfect pitch together. The mystery-man sat down right beside Vlad.
He could see the friendly smile in his neighbor’s eyes. That allowed him to relax into the music they were creating. Vlad closed his eyes and drifted into the boundless abyss while continuing to play.
Dolphin and the Whale - a Vision
There he saw a vision. He was a dolphin, an embodiment of the flute, swimming in a dark blue ocean. Right beside him was a giant blue whale, symbolizing the didge. They were swimming side by side, united in the harmony of music.
The music slowly subsided and faded away. Vladimir was smiling blissfully. As he slowly opened his eyes he saw that the stranger was beaming too. It was the perfect beginning of a new friendship.
Vlad was fresh out of the Israeli army, where he had been indoctrinated to hate Iranians. Now he discovered that the didge player was a Persian (from Iran) named Farzin.
In this moment the illusion of duality dissolved and the mortal enemy became his best friend.
Over the next weeks and months, their affinity deepened. Before the way took them in different directions, the Israeli gave Farzin a flute he’d made and the Persian gave Vlad his first didgeridoo.
He said "Vlad, if you can play this didge it is yours. If not you can gift it to someone else."
The event in the tunnel happened ten years before it was told to me.
Today Vlad guides people on meditative sound healing journeys with the didgeridoo and flute.
Written by Gary Smith from the story told by Vladamir Cardema.
- Original Art and Rumi to Grow
'Didgeridoo and the Flute' tells of an Israeli and a Persian, cultural enemies, becoming friends through the harmony of their music. Click here to enjoy the insightful sayings of the Persian poet known as Rumi along with original art of the Hubmaker.
The Hubmaker chose this video from many on YouTube not just because the didge player is lovely, but also because the tradition is that only men play the didgeridoo and she expands that boundary. Sure, her apparel is meant as an allure. Still her music is a fine introduction to the sound of the didge, and at the end other video choices appear.