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.