The Yirdaki - Didjeridu Journey

The following are some pictures of the process and how the Burton Yirdaki starts it's life in the Australian bush.

Here is a home of some original workers and creators of the Yirdaki. A four metre high termite mound on my property south of Darwin.

Every Burton Didj is carefully selected from the Australian bush and meticulously handcrafted from native Australian Eucalyptus, either Stringy bark (Eucalyptus Tetrodonta) or Woolly butt (Eucalyptus miniota). By using my palm to tap the trees I can gauge if they are hollow or not.

I work alone and every Burton Didj is made from start to finish by myself with lots of hard work and literally blood, sweat and tears, especially if I have been working on an instrument for several hours and then realise that it doesn't make the grade.

outback termite mound

I will not brand my name, the Burton stamp of approval to sub grade instruments. I would burn it for some heat on a cold winter night, or for the BBQ or mulch it into wood chips for gardens to help reduce water wastage in our environment.

raw digeridoos

Here are six Woolly Butts with good size bells and small mouthpieces, I am looking forward to working these pieces of amazing timber into Yirdaki after they have been left to cure for some time.

With the naturaly small top opening, sometimes no wax is required to make a perfect mouthpiece, and the large bell at the base helps to produce the amazing full resonance that burton didjs are famous for.

Here I am debarking the Didj and beginning to shape it. This process take 4-6 hours depending on the original weight of the didj. Some didj's start around 20 kg. I channel love and good positive energy into every Instrument.

There is a great deal of work put into the traditional crafting of each didj, and as much as I would love to share the whole process with you, some things have to be kept a secret!

nathan shaping digeridoo

The finished product completely handcrafted from start to finish ! Every Burton Didj is unique, just like a wave no two are the same, both being originally created by Mother Nature. Most Burton Yirdaki's take around several months to complete: -from carefully selecting the correct trees, to cutting, treating, hand carving, tuning, hand sanding and varnishing.

It has always brought me great pride and joy to see the finished product and more importantly marvel at the sound that these ancient instruments produce. Even if I was to win several million dollars in the lottery, I would still continue to make yirdaki's for the pleasure it brings me, being able to create extraordinary musical instruments for the serious player or collector alike.

Many people have asked what is the secret of being able to continually craft yirdaki's of such a high musical standard, And my response is simple, Having a passion for it and loving what I do, combined with concentration, channeling good positive energy, focus and lots and lots of time.

Thank God for Termites!

digeridoo footer digeridoo footer