Will and Zander demo a new Wet Didgeridoo that I just listed on LA Outback Didgeridoos. This is a new multi-drone didgeridoo that can hit many different drone notes and trumpet toots. See great photos, read all about this awesome new didgeridoo and watch a video demo here.
GREAT NEWS ARTICLE about Pitz Quattrone in Vermont, and how playing the didgeridoo offers many benefits to the mind, body and spirit. This from Vermont’s Seven Days press by Ethan De Seife:
Music has been described as the language that unifies us all. And indeed, many can relate to its beneficial qualities. But it’s not every day that we look to an instrument to heal.
On its website, the American Music Therapy Association lists different ways that clinical music therapy can help people with medical issues, from increasing communication capabilities in children with autism to lessening the effects of dementia in older patients. Though this kind of treatment is still fairly new, and the exact nature of its purported effects is not yet understood, music therapy is a growing field that is attracting serious medical inquiry.
Among the instruments that may have a positive medical benefit is perhaps a less obvious one: the didgeridoo. And the benefit lies not so much in listening as in playing.
A 2005 study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that playing the didgeridoo for at least 20 minutes a day, five times a week produced significant improvements in people with a moderate form of sleep apnea. The respiratory condition, which causes an obstruction of the airway, may affect as many as 22 million Americans, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Its symptoms range from chronic fatigue to irritability to cardiovascular problems. And its causes are sometimes linked to weakened throat muscles.
Enter the didgeridoo.
The indigenous Australian wind instrument is as simple as its sounds are unearthly. The first didgeridoos were made from termite-hollowed branches of eucalyptus trees; today, they are made from many kinds of woods, and some are even made of PVC pipe or glass. The sound produced by the didgeridoo is unforgettable — a low, droning bellow that one enthusiast described as “wild and haunting.”
Pitz Quattrone, 51, is familiar with the instrument that he lovingly calls “the didge.” A musician and music teacher who lives in East Montpelier, he has been playing the didgeridoo for 20 years. In his hands it is a surprisingly versatile instrument. On his self-released solo albums, Quattrone happily hops from genre to genre.
Quattrone, a friendly and enthusiastic guy, takes care to stress that he is not a medical professional, and doesn’t fully understand the science behind whatever may be going on in the physiologies of didge-playing sleep apnea sufferers. But he does know that he sees results in the people who take his classes geared toward treating that ailment.
He observes that students who practice the didge even for a few class sessions soon start to produce exhalations of greater volume. He speculates that the playing “opens up your airways” and increases lung capacity. Playing the didgeridoo, Quattrone says, “uses your cheek muscles, lungs, belly, diaphragm, nasal passages — everything is involved. It’s like a workout for things that usually don’t get that kind of exercise.” Indeed, the British Medical Journal study suggests that it’s the circular breathing, in which didge players breathe through their noses and blow through their mouths to create sustained notes, that creates positive physiological effects.
In confirming Quattrone’s “workout” hypothesis, naturopathic physician Michael Stadtmauer from the Vermont Naturopathic Clinic in South Burlington refers to another study that compared apnea rates in musicians. The 2012 study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that oboe players have significantly lower rates of sleep apnea than horn players, owing largely to the former group’s greater use of their throat muscles.
"This lends evidence to the idea that we can exercise the muscles of the throat and palate and, by toning them, can achieve a state where that area is more open," says Stadtmauer, a didgeridoo player himself. Playing the didge, he says, strengthens the throat muscles to the point where they are less likely to collapse during sleep, thus staving off the worst effects of apnea.
Harder medical science, though characteristically cautious, is in general agreement with that hypothesis. Garrick Applebee, medical director of the Vermont Regional Sleep Center and an assistant professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, confirms that, inasmuch as playing the didgeridoo can strengthen the muscles of the upper airway, it can be an effective treatment for sleep apnea.
One medical apnea treatment, which uses implantable electrodes to stimulate the throat muscles to contract, does a very similar thing. “The tautness of the muscles makes collapse less likely,” Applebee says.
He notes that, though current data are too sparse and inconclusive to suggest a specific course of treatment, he “would never encourage people not to” play the didgeridoo to treat their apnea. Applebee suggests that patients add the practice to an existing course of medical or clinical treatment.
Quattrone says he never expected his enthusiasm for the didgeridoo to translate into medical benefits for others. In fact, though he knew about the treatment for years, a variety of other projects kept pushing to the back burner this application of his instrument. But after a friend’s encouragement, he decided to offer a class for apnea sufferers. That first series of classes concluded in mid-May, and, with Stadtmauer’s support, was successful enough to inspire another series.
Quattrone is now an ardent promoter of the instrument’s healing potential. “I really feel that this is a big part of my life’s work now, for as long as I’m around,” he says.
With the intention of teaching apnea-focused classes throughout Vermont, Quattrone plans to reach out to the state’s practitioners of naturopathic medicine. And one day, he hopes to teach those classes around the world. “I’m all for helping as many people as I can,” he says, “in as many places.
My father, Benny, was diagnosed with borderline severe OSA back in 2007. I had not heard of sleep apnea before then. Dad was prescribed a CPAP machine but after two weeks he quit using it and donated it to Goodwill. He tried a custom made dental appliance (expensive) for about 2 months, but started having symptoms of TMJ so he threw it away. Dad is a kind and reasonable person, so it was difficult watching him suffer through all of this. His biggest symptom was daytime sleepiness. We worried about him driving, and his quality of life in general…
Then he found a news story online about a study of OSA sufferers who learned to play the didgeridoo (a simple, non-reed musical instrument) and how all of the participants “had a significant reduction in their apneas” and some had a complete cessation of symptoms. In other words, a “curative affect”, which is something that no other device including CPAP can claim.
My dad’s story and my professional work combined at this point. You see, I started importing Australian aboriginal art and didgeridoos back in 1996 as a small business (L.A.Outback Didgeridoos). I read the article dad found and also started getting calls from customers about what kind of didgeridoo they should get to treat their sleep apnea. We got to work straight away and modified our affordable “Modern Didgeridoo” to match the size, pitch and ease of play of the one used in the original University of Zurich study.
Jump to today in Jan. 2014 and some interesting, wonderful and weird things have happened…
Most importantly, dad’s daytime sleepiness is gone and his apneas have fallen below “moderate”. He sits and plays his didgeridoo for about 20 minutes every couple of days. Mom says his snoring has decreased substantially so it all works out for her, too. And it’s not just my parents and regular folks like them… even doctors, scientists and celebrities have been getting curative relief with.
Playing the didgeridoo is not a replacement for CPAP for those that need the machine and have no problem using it. Rather,is a supplemental treatment that has been proven to have curative benefits. CPAP only offers nightly treatment with no possible curative affect.
I’ve been so involved with this since the first study came out that it has nearly taken over my small business, and that’s good news for everyone. The problem I’m having (and why I’m posting here today) is that the corporate, big money CPAP manufactures heavily invest in lobbying firms to attack and suppress the facts about. As you know, 60% of sleep apnea sufferers are CPAP intolerant. But once their equipment is prescribed and the equipment bought, big money lines the pockets of these huge companies whether you use their gear or not. It’s a cash cow offering no curative affect. And many people that REALLY NEED to use CPAP won’t use it, so thank goodness there’s an alternative…
Didgeridoo Therapy will never become big business. I’ll never have the kind of money it takes to “buy” doctors, hire a lobbyist or a big advertising firm to represent. Ours is a small grass-roots effort to get the word out to OSA sufferers that this therapy exists, that it works, and it’s easy and very affordable. Didgeridoo Therapy is also the only therapy for OSA that can truly claim to have a curative affect. Everything else only treats symptoms temporarily. Playing a therapy-grade didgeridoo is a very unique workout for the upper airway with long lasting benefits. And you don’t have to become a great player, it’s the simple act of playing that does the work.
So I’m asking for your help to get the word out. Like and share my post/links if someone you love has sleep apnea. I’ve used online forums before, but the CPAP lobby constantly monitors those forums and (appearing to be regular sleep apnea sufferers) shoot downas ridiculous. Even the American Sleep Apnea Association is funded by the CPAP industry and run by a K Street lobbying firm. Our message is getting blocked when so many people could be getting relief. Yes, more sales will help my small business, but my interest in this is much more sincere than the likes of ResMed, Inc. or Somnetics Corp.
Here is the page on my website where all of the info is broken down. There are videos and external links for you to investigate. Have a look and let me know id you have any questions:
Ever had one of these? I call it “didgeridoo face” and it’s always fun to see.
Get yours at my online didgeridoo mega shop located in stunning Palm Springs, California. I have everything from authentic Australian aboriginal didgeridoos to inexpensive modern didgeridoos. Hundreds to choose from. My name is Barry and my shop is L.A.Outback Didgeridoos
When you buy a didgeridoo from L.A.Outback you’re buying more than just a didge. You’re supporting a crafter and the small business that props them up at the same time. You’re buying years of learning through failures, experimentation, frustration and moments of pure joy. You aren’t just buying a thing, you’re buying a piece of heart, part of a soul, a moment of someone’s life. Most importantly, you’re buying a talented didgeridoo crafter more time to do something they are passionate about, and in turn allowing Mark, Barry and George at L.A.Outback Didgeridoos to provide the marketing, support, social networking, photos, videos, sales, shipping and customer care that’s a full time job in itself. We look forward to growing, exploring, discovering and hopefully enriching the didgeridoo community in 2014.
Thanks, as ever, for all of your enthusiasm and support these past 18 years!
Our Holiday Mega Sale starts TODAY at L.A. Outback Didgeridoos!
Thanks for your support and have a great Thanksgivukkah!
BIG HOLIDAY DIDGERIDOO SALE - ENDS AT MIDNIGHT ON DEC. 1
Our good friend Tyler Spencer has been interviewed by The Eugene Daily News. Tyler discusses his long history with the didgeridoo as both player and craftsman. He’s been making didgeridoos from bamboo, agave and native hardwood for over a decade, and pioneered the concept of using wood as a replacement for beeswax on the mouthpiece. Tyler’s instruments are highly regarded as some of the best US made didgeridoos on the market because of his demand for maintaining a high standard in the work he does.
Read the article online at The Eugene Daily News.
This old mago is a DIDGERIDOO MASTERPIECE. A beautiful instrument made of bloodwood eucalyptus with STUNNING ARTWORK by Marcus Balansi, son of renowned mago master and painter David Balansi (deceased). Marcus is a descendant of the Wugularr tribe who occupy the scrubby bushland country in and around Beswick in Australia’s western Arnhem Land region. The highly detailed artwork on this didgeridoo features a motif of bush yam, snake and freshwater fish. Quoting Guan Lim, “Marcus Blanasi has the finest hand of all the Beswick mob, his artwork is stunningly fine and his good instruments right up there with the best.” Instruments from Marcus are very hard to find these days, especially such a fine, vintage piece as this one.
THIS MAGO IS FOR SALE ON L.A.OUTBACK DIDGERIDOOS HERE
Marcus is a deadly gunborrk mago craftsman, just as his father was. Combined with the incredible artwork, this mago is one of the most highly sought-after and collectable instruments we’ve ever had on offer. Circa 1998 and in fine condition with no signs of patches, plugs or cracks. And for a value comparison, two other Marcus Balansi instruments are currently selling at a gallery in Australia for over $3,000 each. We acquired this mago from a private collection and it comes with a significant back story…
In 1996, senior Beswick/Wugularr artist and “mago master” David Blanasi began painting a collection of works named “Gunwinjgu” or “Company of People”. The collection was to be kept together for future generations, but in the spring of 1998 Beswick was hit by severe flood waters. Some of the paintings were already safely in Darwin, but 50 or more were lost or destroyed. The surviving 39 paintings were crated and held in Darwin for an upcoming exhibition. In September 2001 David Blanasi went missing and his disappearance remains a mystery. A short time later, the Fred Hollows Foundation assisted the community to safely store the paintings in Darwin. The Wugularr elders decided to reclaim the collection in 2007 and permanently display them at Ghunmarn Culture Centre.
The original paintings by David Blanasi belong to the Wugularr people and their museum. They will never be sold. But this mago by Marcus Blanasi accompanied the paintings to Darwin where it was purchased by the collector that we have acquired it from. This is an exceptional instrument both in sound and looks. Crafted from termite hollowed bloodwood eucalyptus. The interior bore is very clear and open which increases volume, harmonics, and clarity of tone. Fitted with an organic beeswax mouthpiece sanitized with Didgeri-Clean (tea tree and lavender oil). The mouthpiece can easily be adjusted to fit you perfectly. Instructions included, no worries.
Soundwise: Concert Quality
This bigger-than-average mago delivers articulate vocal response and thrumming bass frequencies. An impressive sounding instrument that’s both easeful and enjoyable to play. Versatile pitch in D, not too high, not too low with perfectly balanced acoustics. The HAUNTINGLY CAVERNOUS DRONE makes it great for slow, meditative sessions of play, but it responds exceedingly well to traditional gunborrk style as well. Tonally it delivers crystalline harmonics and brilliant vocal response in the low to midrange frequencies. Growly distortion effects, crisp kookaburra calls and far off dingo howls on demand. Optimal strong-medium backpressure for its size and pitch make the circular breathing technique easeful. Three easy horn toots, the first being warm against the drone. A bewitching instrument that belongs in the quiver of any serious collector player. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1-800-519-1140 if you have any questions or would like a demo over the phone. We’re here 10 AM to 6 PM Pacific time daily.
Put some awesomeness in your eyeballs and ears today and watch Trevor Green's new music video for his song "Lonesome Road". Wowza! Lance Page shot and edited this masterpiece featuring Trevor on didgeridoo and guitar.
Put it on HD full screen and crank it up. http://youtu.be/Iz6tP405nRo
Mark just installed new software for reviews on L.A. Outback Didgeridoos!
We have heaps of product reviews but so far no “site” reviews since this feature is brand new. If you like our small business/website or have bought from us in the past and had a great experience PLEASE give us a good review. Thanks!
Just go to our site and click the *REVIEWS button on the far left: