Edlar Blau, better known as The Legendary Strawberry Man is a modern Didgeridoo storyteller. He travels country to country playing the Didgeridoo in a unique style, sharing some crazy stories from his tours and healing people along the way. He’s usually seen at some of the most iconic places, playing on the streets amidst huge crowds and echoes of applause. Edlar will also be performing at the #TEDxGateway event happening in Mumbai this December. We’re super stoked about him playing his Didgeridoo there. Luckily, we got some questions answered briefly beforehand. So here they are.
I have been traveling, busking and performing on the streets, in clubs, and festivals around the world for 4 years so that got me to a variety of places. (By the way, India is one of my favorites) While traveling and exploring new places I take my Saxo-Didge everywhere, not just when I have a show but also to climb on a mountain (so I can play from the top), I tend to get a lot of attention and it attracts all kinds of people (and animals).
I read and listen to a lot of books (especially about psychology and human behavior) and I do my best to stay as mindfully open and accepting as possible and I think that is why whenever I meet people, communication goes deep quickly and with it so does the connection, people open up and crazy things happen.
When I was 17, one day at a family dinner on a Friday, my uncle Isaac brought a Didgeridoo and played it, I was amazed by the sound so I took that Didgeridoo and went to the other room to play (while learning, it can be very annoying for people to hear it). My uncle Isaac, who was also my mentor, saw how much I liked the instrument, so he handed me a different, cheap plastic didgeridoo that he had there and said: ”If you learn how to do circular breath (didgeridoo breathing technique), I will buy you a Didgeridoo.
Next Friday I came to dinner with my plastic Didgeridoo circular breathing like a pro, my uncle look at me surprised and I ask him with a cheeky smile: “Where is my Didgeridoo?”. Since then I was locked on it and couldn’t stop playing everywhere I go, I took my Didgeridoo everywhere with me.
After I learned storytelling in Melbourne, I made enough money for a trip to Nhulunbuy, Arnhemland to visit Djalu Guruwiwi, the spiritual leader of the Yolngu tribe. At that time, I was ambivalent and couldn’t make up my mind if to continue to follow my dream pursuing music and storytelling in Berlin or to go to Israel to reconnect with my ex-girlfriend.
I ended up living with Djalu at his house for a while. Although I used to think to myself that’s not real and can’t really work, I got to watch Djalu use the Didgeridoo to heal others with my own eyes. I told Djalu about my problem. He invited me to sit down, played his didgeridoo on me and did a healing session. After the session, Djalu told me he saw two lines going out from my heart, and that was the reason I couldn’t make up my mind, then he told me that he cut one of them, not specifying which one.
Before I left that session Djalu told me it is time, and that I was ready to go out in the world and spread out the message of healing with my Didgeridoo. Long after that, I realized there was no right way to choose. It is the ambivalence, the inability to decide that was the problem. By cutting one of the lines and not specifying which one, that is exactly what Djalu healed, he cured my ambivalence.
I figured out that because it was so hard for me to communicate as a kid I was always the outsider in school because I always said the wrong thing at the wrong time, I had no example as a child for how to behave in social situations. Because of that, nowadays when I have a show and I manage not just to communicate effectively and successfully but with a big crowd, it fills me up with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction in the world. After having one show I’m psychologically high from it for the week. There is nothing I like more, not food, not even sex.
After reading all the books I read and seeing so many people while travelling through the world, I noticed that a lot of people are not in touch with their emotions, a lot of people don’t know how to communicate and don’t understand the world and get frustrated. So my biggest passion is to teach people how to communicate better, how to understand and accept others as they are, how to be mindful and know yourself and accept your good and bad.
If you manage to connect your spirit mind and body, your wishing thinking and doing, you can have anything you want. Be Mindful: Watch, Listen, Feel, Taste and Smell everything. Question everything, say goodbye to toxic people. Surround yourself with people who you admire. Don’t just read books, read the ones you need. EVERYTHING works in your interest, so relax.