Duduk – The Sound of Windhorses

Indigenous to Armenia, the Duduk is a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, with a distinctive velvety and deeply evocative sound. Often played in a pair to create a richer, more haunting sound, the first player plays the melody, while the second one plays a steady drone called dum. Variations of the Armenian Duduk are found in other regions of the Caucasus and the Middle East, and in recent years it gained the attention of the world through the recordings of Djivan Gasparyan (“I will not be sad in this world” by Brian Eno), and the soundtrack to Scorcese’s film “The last Temptation of Christ.”

I have used the Duduk in my previous album “Polar Suite” where it represented the vastness and loneliness of the Arctic. In Windhorses, from my new album “Lotus Dreams,” the Duduk represents the fluttering of Nepalese prayer flags, which are indeed called “lung-ta,” the Tibetan word for windhorse. When first introduced to these prayer flags, it felt like they were sending their devotions to the sky. Their whipping in the wind reminded me of sailing ships, -of traveling. For weeks they consumed my dreams until one day I found myself in an otherworldly duet with this ancient and soulful instrument. Listen to Lotus Dreams