Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Duduk: First Impressions.

Well, the duduk arrived today! So excitedly, we opened the package and after much effort trying to get the reed to stay open, we succeeded by resting it in a cup containing a quarter odd inch of water. We eventually got down to the nitty gritty and figured out how to make a noise resembling a strangled duck. SUCCESS! Well, not really, but with a few hours of practise and half arsed guess work, I managed to produce a resemblance of the melody I planned to play on "Empty Quarter Pt. I", though not without it's problems.

I was previously a moderate to heavy smoker a couple of years ago, so my lung capacity, though greatly improved, is still a long way off impressive. My better half, The Magpie, was also a big smoker and had a go herself, struggling to produce any noise at all. It took me a bit of work to do the same but slowly and surely I was rocking. I have sore cheek muscles and badly chapped lips but it has been rewarding. I am incapable of producing the cyclical breathing, (drawing air into your cheeks to prolong a note, whilst inhaling) due to my previously mentioned vice, that is generally employed with performing on the instrument but I have figured out the legato technique that makes it so expressive though I am far from being Djivan Gasparyan!.

The other issue I have is the sharp and flat tones are generally effected by how hard you blow or how much you press down on the reed, but I am getting there, albeit full of bum notes. The sound itself is beautiful, there's something very cool about playing an instrument whose very origin pre dates Jesus by about a thousand years. True, I didn't break the bank to get it but I am thrilled with it and am practising hard when I get the chance. At the moment, I'm taking a break as the muscle behind my left jaw is spasming with the pain. Going straight back at it tomorrow and looking forward to recording the intro then. Thanks for reading.  

No comments:

Post a Comment