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The Fine Art

of

Duduk Crafting

The single most important ingredient for true

duduk making is the patient devotion to be the best.

  Vardgues Melkoni, Jr.

Founder of Vamelo Ltd

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The

Duduk crafting

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The

Reed crafting

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Cutting

A true Armenian duduk is excellent if it is made with apricot wood. For starting making a Vamelo duduk, apricot tree cutting is the beginning. For seeking apricot wood, we explore various highland and lowland regions in Armenia. True duduk wood should be of at least 40 year-old apricot trees. Only straight trunks and main thick branches are usable. They are cut, then brought to Vamelo's workshop, shaped into rectangular billets, preparing for seasoning and preserving.

Drying

Wood is a living organism. Musical wood is a living organism, too. Furthermore, it does not like ignorance. It needs strictly careful, unerring approach for keeping that living, singing soul in that wood. Duduk sound is created after enhancing the properties of cut apricot wood with proprietary chemical and physical methods and preserving it for a specific period for effective results.

Shaping

After drying, the billets are brought to be machined to duduk shape. Each process is done with computerized lathe and milling machines. Precision is our priority.

Tuning

Tuning.The most magnificent part of the duduk crafting. Vamelo duduks are breathed into living souls by our master Manvel Mnatsakanyan. It should be done in the proper mood and moment.

Curing

A Vamelo duduk has a life like a human. It needs to live longer with proper curing its body. Each individual masterpiece is intricately analyzed and cured by our own proprietary technology to minimize wood cracks and to prevent moisture penetration.

Finishing

High quality in every detail. The process of creation of a Vamelo duduk culminates with hand polishing as a seal of high quality. Our polishing artisan reaches even the tiniest cranny in each piece to give it an exquisite finish.

Testing

To complete the piece, an exhaustive quality control takes place during which it is decided whether the duduk meets the company's exacting quality standards.

Harvesting and aging

For making Vamelo reeds, only one type of cane is harvested, Arundo donax which grows on the banks of the Tartar River in Artsakh. The harvest takes place in the beginning of spring when the cane is the driest and the sap has settled to the bottom of the plant. The canes are laid out in the sun for several months, one by one being rotated manually in order to make sure that the drying is complete and uniform.

Tube cutting

After being sun-dried, the tubes of cane are cut and selected into pieces according to our quality standards. Then these are divided according to their diameter, length and wall thickness.

Shaping and tuning

That is the crucial part. Here the duduk reed shape is done with special tools and equipment. That process is done differently according to the demand of key and firmness. After shaping the cane into duduk reed, the tuning process is done. That process is the difficult part in reed making. According to our chief master, Manvel Mnatsakanyan, "The tuning should be done in the proper mood and moment. Breathing the cane into living reed demands musical focus in mind."

Testing

To complete the piece, an exhaustive quality control takes place during which it is decided whether the reed meets the brand's exacting quality standards.

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