Me and the Didgeridoo


Rodrigo Viterbo is a Portuguese didgeridoo player, teacher and crafter. He has been working with this instrument since 2001.

He started playing as a self taught and soon felt the need to go further with his learning and started having lessons with players like Renato Oliveira (Portugal), Hugo Osga (Portugal), Ansgar Manuel-Stein (Germany), Lies Beijerinck (Holland), Michiel Teijgeler (Holand), Andrea Ferroni (Italy),Ortal Pelleg (Israel), Marc Miethe (Germany), Mark Atkins (Australia), John Cope (England), Rob Mantz (New Zeland), Dubravko Lapaine (Croatia), Si Mullumby (Australia), Martin O’Loughlin (Australia), Gauthier Aubé (France), Jeremy Cloake (New Zeland), Mirrwatnga Munyarryun, Balpatji Gurruwiwi (his aboriginal father) and Djalu Gurruwiwi (the greatest aboriginal master of the Yidaki).

 

Rodrigo participated in some theater live soundtracks, in “Concertos para Bebés” (concerts for babies) by Paulo Lameiro and recorded the CD “Aprender a Tocar Didgeridoo” (learn to play the didgeridoo).When he noticed the low quality of instruments that were available in Portugal he started to buy didgeridoos from Australia, United States, England and other countries.

Soon he realised he wanted to learn make the didgeridoos he desired. Rodrigo was charmed with the work with wood so he tried various kinds of wood locally available and agave and also with fiberglass and paper.
Rodrigo has been sharing his knowledge over the years and he has been leading didgeridoo playing workshops for children, families, adults, musicians, teachers, people from all ages and conditions and also teaching how to make paper didgeridoos in festivals, schools and other events.
He was part of the foundation of the Associação Portuguesa de Didgeridoo (Portuguese Didgeridoo Association) born in February 2008, this organization has created the Residência de Didgeridoo and the Portuguese didgeridoo festival FATT – Festival de Artes Tribais e Tradicionais.As a contribution for the creation of a stronger Portuguese didgeridoo community he started the Encontros de Didgeridoo in Lisbon (Lisbon’s didgeridoo gatherings) and have been taking the didgeridoo to events like TEDxLisboaTEDxEdgesPortugal Criativo and Ignite Portugal to name just a few.
He created some musical projects like
  • DIDGEnBASS – didgeridoo and electronics
  • Fo Let Go – didgeridoo and beatbox
  • Wood Vibration – didgeridoo and violin
  • Itinerários Sonoros – meditative music for the feelings
  • many participations in albums, concerts and events

photos above by William Thoren Photography


“All the work I have been doing with the didgeridoo is always with the biggest respect for the Yolngu people of Australia, they are the real custodians of this great instrument.”

Photo by Colin Goring from Aboriginal Arts UK during Djalu Gurruwiwi’s workshop in 2009

“I want to thank all the people who contributed to the growth of my project throughout the years. Those people always helped and believed in me without asking anything in return, they know how to give advise and the strength in the right moments. The list is too big to be written because I could leave someone unfairly out of it
To all my family, friends, teachers, students and colleagues that always have be present: a true THANK YOU!”