Jedda inspired Charlie's rhythm
CHARLIE McMahon has been 'making rhythm' ever since seeing the 1955 Australian film Jedda as a kid.
“I was five years old... we were living between Bankstown and Boorowa and I started playing on whatever pipes I found lying around,” Charlie said.
Back then there was little awareness of Aboriginal culture and there were certainly no white didgeridoo players or CDs to help budding musicians.
“I taught myself and developed my own contemporary rhythms.”
Interest in the didgeridoo grew enormously when Charlie became the front-man for 1980s band Gondwanaland.
In a rare outing, synthesiser player Peter Carolan joined Charlie in Dorrigo to give fans a taste of those heady Sydney pub days.
At a workshop on Saturday Charlie made a point of debunking myths that have grown up around the didgeridoo, such as it's sacredness or that women should not play it.
“These are things that have come with the commercial transportation of Indigenous culture. The elders in Arnhem Land, the true home of the didge, call all these things modern myths.”