Tag Archives: Dan Flynn

Didgeridan’s Whirlwind Mexican Tour!

Our own Dan Flynn made the papers in Español!

About a month ago, Dan drove his monster van into Mexico. Via Facebook, he’s kept us up-to-date on his journey. He’s learning the language, enjoying the people, collaborating with musicians, and loving the freedom to busk without arbitrarily restrictive regulations. It’s been exhilarating to watch his progress. His CDs are selling like hotcakes – or tamales, or something. He’s had to sell burned copies while waiting for more to print and arrive from Mexico City. dan flynn

Did you notice Socks Diablo on his shoulder there? Just when you thought Dan couldn’t get more Dan, the final piece snapped into place, and he’s off like a rocket! I’m so happy for my friend. I wish I could be a fly on the wall of that audience, seeing their reaction to this unusual music and this talented man.

And I love that cat!

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Ondřej Smeykal & Friends

Ondřej Smeykal & Friends return to Salt Lake City!

On their way to Indidjinus in Oregon, Ondřej Smeykal and Stephen Kent will stop through our fair metropolis and engage us in another transcendent evening of performance and communion. Last year, they told Marko it had been one of the more successful and pleasurable stops for them, and it certainly was for us! Wow! I’m looking forward to another magic night and will improve this post when I know more about it. No doubt, Leraine Horstmanhoff and Didgeridan Flynn will open the evening. Can’t wait!

Plan for sometime in the last week of July 2014, I believe, to sit in with good people, good energy, and good vibes as Ondřej Smeykal & Friends transport us to a place we can only find live, together. See you soon!

Oh! Well, there it is. I guess I ought to pay better attention to the Facebook Page I’m an administrator of. Oops! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Micro-Didjbox/236514249771679 JULY 31st! Don’t miss it!didjeridu summer tour

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Simple, Complex, Exact

Ondrej Smeykal, Didgeridoo Master & Friends

What an awesome show!

Can you believe it was FIVE hours?!!! I couldn’t either. There were social breaks between performers and sets, so we wiggled around and hugged old friends/met new ones, but… five hours! I couldn’t believe it when I turned my phone on.

We were transported.

Ondrej spoke briefly before he began. He’s very hushed, and even mic’d it was difficult with his accent and pitch to understand, but I did hear him describe the didgeridoo as “simple, complex, and exact. We forget about these things,” he went on, “but these instruments are here to remind us.” He talked about his “didge conversion,” the awe that a mere hollow tube can do and be this thing!

And then he played. WOW! When I heard him a couple years ago, it was an intimate house concert, acoustic. This time, it was still quite intimate but intricately amplified. It was totally different and… just amazing, that’s all. Amazing!

****

Leraine Horstmanshoff was first to play. I was glad to finally hear her. She’s well-known in the valley and I’m surprised it took so long to meet her after hearing so much about her. She was wonderful! Unique and female. Powerful, evocative, and emotional. She hadn’t brought any CDs, but I will get one at first opportunity. She mixed unexpected instruments – guitar, banjo (!), her voice (more than yelps and trills). She sang in the thing! (Beautiful voice; rich, unforced vibrato) It was tribal, feminine, human. Leraine also briefly demo’d The Micro, and Marko sold three on the spot. Thanks, Leraine!

Leraine Horstmanshoff

Leraine Horstmanshoff

Dan was next, and he’s just a hit. I already introduced you to him, so I won’t elaborate much except to say I like his new stuff, especially on his newer didge tuned to the gyspy scale. He was funny. “This is called ‘The Gypsy,'” he said of it, telling us why. “This is called ‘The Slugger,'” he said of another. “Not because of its harmonics but because…” He trailed off and threw the huge stick over his shoulder, taking the hitter stance.

Dan’s always interesting because he gets into the precision and mathematics of split didge manufacturing. He mentioned his association with Dr. Frank Geipel, the German engineer whose computer program he uses to achieve the exact specifications for each unique didge he dreams up and handcrafts (Computer Aided Didgeridoo Sound Design, CADSD). The audience loved that.

Dan Flynn and "The Big Apple"

Dan Flynn and “The Big Apple”

Stephen Kent added every imaginable percussive accompaniment, and some beyond imagination. He introduced each strange piece, explaining that he searches the world for unusual instruments. I loved his music. He talked about his didge conversion, which took place at The Valley of Winds in Australia, and played the piece that evolved from that night, on an authentic eucalyptus yidaki (a tribal name for didgeridoo) hollowed by termites. (That still blows my mind. This thing, this powerhouse instrument of music and meditation, is not man-made. It’s bigger than us. Makes you feel a “meant-to-be”ness about the world, though I think the universe, while loving, is more random than that.) I got the most satisfying, deep breath I’ve had in years. I have this weird thing where I can’t catch my breath. I have to talk myself off a ledge sometimes when I need that diaphragm-stretching breath and can’t get it. I got it!

Stephen Kent

Stephen Kent

Pithy British humor describes Stephen Kent. He was so fun! The man didn’t miss a beat! He was so quick and playful with a live audience. In the midst of all the laughter and joy, he talked at length about the plight of Aboriginal people and about elders, in general. My participation in Native American practices in recent years has deepened my connection to ancestors. I’d only ever felt connected to my own. Now I feel tied to all who live and who have. I believe that we have access to all consciousness. Everyone in that room felt it, and shared theirs with one another. It was love, magic, fun. You don’t look at the clock when you’re tapped into eternal time. 😉 Stephen closed with a traditional song wanting community participation. That felt good, though I think I’m the kid who could always be heard above the others in primary school, so gleeful am I.

Marko and Dancing Girls... naturally

Marko and Dancing Girls… naturally

Chad Butler, Stephen and Ondrej’s manager, spoke before each. He said, “Whatever the didgeridoo is going to become, it’s happening now.” He elaborated on his point that more and more people are coming to the didge, and the influence of the community is about to shift. There is power and purpose in what we care about. He talked about green and other global concerns and how the didge community seems to be in tune to those kinds of issues and yearns to be a force for change. He was very inspiring about the possibility for success. That’s how I feel. I just feel us “getting it.” Writing that is immediately followed by the question in my mind, “How can you say that?” But I feel it. I think this community is raising children and awareness and even money that will solve many current, urgent problems.

It was an uplifting reminder to act and speak for the planet and for patience with each other. And then Ondrej played.

Ondrej Smeykal

Ondrej Smeykal

Ondrej suggested we turn down the overhead lights. The only option was off. It removed us instantly from a room and took us to a place of simply being. He began with “the ocean” I wrote about before. It was really powerful amplified. That deep breath I got earlier kept rewarding me. I was relaxed and serene.

Then he exploded! Holy shit.

I find it remarkable sometimes that the didge surprises me so. I’m saturated with it, yet I can’t get enough. Five hours! Felt like two. Dance, laughter, connection, festival energy. And stupefying music! How do you even try to describe?

Meanderingly, I suppose. I really enjoyed this show.

OK! I’ll go back to practicing. Ten minutes a day, for the love of all that is holy! I tease. I don’t chide my lack of discipline so much as I celebrate a kick in the pants. I’m happily inspired and motivated anew. Didgeridoo!

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Filed under Aboriginal people, Australia, circular breathing, didge box, didgeridoo, didjbox, Marko Johnson, music, Salt Lake City, The Micro

Didgeridan Flynn

I’m so excited! I just checked in to Facebook to find that Dan had posted the announcement for an upcoming show in LA with Ondrej and Stephen Kent, whom I’ve heard of but never met. Marko talks about him a lot and by now I recognize some of his music. He’s performing at the Dancing Cranes event on the 14th, as well. Well, this time cousin Dan isn’t listed as pre-show entertainment, but 4th billing as a headliner! Way to go, cous!

It’s not that I wasn’t proud and happy to hear him again as pre-show; It’s just that seeing his “name in lights,” as it were, took me back to the days when I didn’t know him at all, and he blew my mind. I imagined some didge enthusiast going to the concert for another of the 4 names and not even hearing of this guy, in no way anticipating what he will do, this guy who… “ended up being the best surprise of the night!” as I’ve exclaimed after so many live music experiences.

I realized Dan was my first didge idol. I mean, Marko opened my eyes to what this instrument was and what it was capable of, but Dan… I mean, some sounds I didn’t even know could be made on earth. And there he was, right there, circular breathing, pumping out this purcussive, perfectly simple, impossibly complicated call. His was the first signature I could recognize.

Before Dan, the music of the didgeridoo was traditional, tribal, very very unknown. After Dan I asked questions. He answered. He really answered! I found out I love the way his brain works. A friendship was born. And then we discovered we’re family. It happens in Utah. Or Nevada, as the case may be. 🙂didgeridan

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Ondrej Smeykal Returning to Salt Lake City

I met Ondrej 2 years ago when he gave a private concert in Park City at the home of Marko’s friend, Don Fulton. I’m looking forward to his show on May 14th at Dancing Cranes Imports. Especially exciting is that my cousin Dan performs in the pre-show! Ondrej was Dan’s didge idol for years, and when I heard him play in person it was immediately clear why. Mind-blowing stuff! At the time, Ondrej had begun experimenting with just his breath, no lip vibrations. It was surprising to me that I could be so moved by just the rhythm of his breath. I remember getting really philosophical about the human experience, the magic of being alive, and sharing air with everyone in that room. The breathy music was percussive and earthy and made me think of the ocean. At one point, I was listening with eyes closed when I heard the screech of a bird. I looked outside to witness an eagle in a steep, fast dive! One of those moments in life when you feel intensely connected. It was a little overwhelming and a lot AWESOME!
smeykal

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