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While the Far East has been a constant allure to Israelis planning their post-army trek, a significant portion head Down Under. So it comes as little surprise that the local popularity of the didgeridoo, an ancient aboriginal instrument, has been riding high for a number of years. It is with growing success that the Didgeridoo Festival returns for a third year.
Expanding its program to two days from its previous incarnation as a one-day event, the festival has also moved to a large green outdoor venue at Kibbutz Harashim near Kfar Saba.
Two internationally acclaimed didgeridoo artists will be in residence - the German Markus Morar (who goes by the name "The Didj Machine") and Hungarian virtuoso Tzilgi Aron. The festival begins at 4 this afternoon with Afro Latin funk provided by DJ Idan K. It runs through Saturday night, concluding with a didgeridoo competition, a didgeridoo circle and a closing tribal dance party. In between there will be no lack of activity for the whole family.
In addition to the live shows running throughout, the organizers have planned an array of workshops on breathing, meditation and movement, lectures about the instrument, and events for children such as making their own didgeridoo from bamboo.
The didgeridoo is an excellent choice of instrument on which to base a festival. With its distinct resonant sound and the inviting cultural practice of congregating around the artist, this instrument draws people to it. Made from one piece of wood, the hollow tube is best played via circular breathing. Masters of the instrument must control their breath, internal organs and concentration, allowing them to play continuously for extended lengths of time.
Today from 4 p.m. through Saturday night, Kibbutz Harashim (campgrounds and kibbutz swimming pool available). Tickets cost NIS 170 at the door, children under 12 free. Festival's website: www.israeldidjfestival.com.