*photo's by Chris Canole
Written: Thu, 17 Sep 1998
This has been a very difficult post for me to write,
after all, I saw Graham Wiggins aka Dr. Didj on Sunday and what
is it now (not so great with time anymore... Thursday is it?)
anyway. I am so conflicted by what I experienced that I am afraid
to write about it. I am concerned the subtly of what I experienced
will be lost in the words I choose, and really, meeting Graham
Wiggins was for me, important.
Liked his performance in the Mid-afternoon at the
street scene. Made me dance, and reel about. I know I have said
this before, but I'll say it again, there is just so much joy
in the sounds he makes. He would set a riff into motion with
his electronic gizmos and then play a little key board and then
a little hand-held air-powered piano (damn, I can't remember
what that is called for the life of me!) and then back to the
didj. Meanwhile, his ever so bored looking and let's face it
BORING guitar player stood in place doing nothing but detract
from the whole scene and the drummer diligently kept up with
the Dr.'s pace.
It was kind of like a freak show, where Dr. Didj as
the mad scientist frankensteined the music together while his
assistants looked on. (Graham's didjeridu is a bit of a Frankenstein,
bandaged up and "bondo'ed" together).
And still, despite all this madness, the music was
5 that evening Graham put on what he called a didj
workshop where he would be "explaining a little about the
didjeridu as well as this technology he is using to take it further"
Of course I had to attend, I mean this is one of my
influences, even if I am a little uncertain about this new direction
he is taking.
That Graham Wiggins is a lot shorter than I thought.
And quiet, and a little nervous, but definitely believes in what
he's doing. He played a little solo for the group, it was interesting.
He talked about his experiences in the outback. He talked about
electronics, and demonstrated them, demonstrated them demonstrated
them and hey, its interesting what he's doing, which is essentially
making all other musicians save himself
and after watching the show I'd say that here's nearly
Randy leaned over to me and said, "do you
think he knows just how important 'Outback' is?"
I had to know the answer to that question, because
what he is doing now seemed such the antithesis of what he WAS
doing. So we hung around after what boiled down to a lecture
to find out. He was very nice, and willing to chat and I was
afraid to bring up Outback because it seemed so plain to me that
what he was doing now was somehow about running away from that.
But he was willing to talk to me about it.
We discussed for a bit the musical significance of
Outback to the didjeridu. And then moved on to the core of it.
He said, "Outback was one of the most difficult
times for me, because the truth is we hated each other, it was
absolutely horrible, and I just kept hanging on, because it was
so good (the music) waiting for the big deal to come along, and
we kept waiting and it just got worse and worse"
He said, "I am amazed every time I hear that
music, I think to myself how can it be so full of joy when everything
going on at that time was not."
He said, "I only hope that the stuff I am doing
now can make as significant an impact as Outback did."
And I looked over at his didjeridu, all bandaged and
frankensteined up and I think to myself, wow. That must be one
hell of a pipe.
Graham Wiggins is still one of my didjeridu heroes.
Now for different reasons. Mostly because now I know him as a
person, a very nice person just like me. Whose life has been
completely altered because he blew down inside a hollow stick,
that takes life's woes and somehow
Turns them into joy.