Synesthesia: The Ocarina of Light (SoL)


The Color of Music

What if you could see music?  

This question sent us* on a quest to develop an ocarina that engages the eyes as well as the ears. Three years and thousands of man hours later, we are finally ready to share the results of our quest.

Introducing the SoL ocarina, a synesthetic experience of music making that truly feels magical.

Now what is synesthesia? Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to experiences in a second sensory pathway.

Sound -> Light

The light show of the SoL ocarina is not just lovely to look at, it is specific to the note being played. Very specific!  In fact, as you slightly adjust your breath pressure and thus raise/lower the pitch, the color will shift with you. Soon, you will begin composing music according to the hue of the tone, with a whole new dimension of expression opening up before you.  

The development of this piece has been labor of love, a passion project that has become an artistic obsession. Now when I take SoL prototype #1 with me on my daily musical adventures, people are literally enchanted with wonder when they see/hear this ocarina.    

The key of this ocarina is Tenor G, which is also the note known as Sol in the Do-Re-Mi system starting from C. So it is a deeper tone than the more common Alto C ocarina. You will find this key is frequently perfectly in tune with sounds both in nature, and on the radio!

The design factor is inspired by river rocks, and organic repeating patterns of spirals. The form factor is also such that you could slip this ocarina in your front pocket, it is very comfortable and sleek.

There are no buttons, ports, switches, or knobs.  You never need to turn it on or off.  As soon as you start playing, it "wakes up", and when you are done, it goes "to sleep".  The wake up time is @1/1000 of a second.  There is a rechargeable lithium ion battery inside, recharged wirelessly by setting it on a Qi charging pad (included) that can also charge Android and Apple cellphones.  A single charge can last 10 hours of playback and 16 days of standby.   

The Songbook that comes with the SoL has tablature that is color coded.  Soon you will find yourself reading the colors even quicker than the dots, and developing a new visual sense for music.  You may find yourself experiencing synesthesia in other forms as well, as new musical pathways are being wrought.

Songs in the Songbook include:

Concerning Hobbits

Hedwig's Theme

Spirited Away

Gerudo Valley

Hall of the Mountain King

Dream a Little Dream

Colors of the Wind


Star Wars

Saria's Song (Lost Woods)

Scarborough Faire

Titanic Theme

Living for the City

Breath of the Wild

Yellow Submarine

and many learning songs like Doe a Deer, Amazing Grace, Happy Birthday, Your Are My Sunshine, He's a Jolly Good Fellow, many Scales, and Playing Advice.

**Us in this case is a collaboration of Songbird Ocarina and Digital Pheromones, working together to deliver a truly magical music experience at the intersection of science and art...

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