The Power of the Ocarina
The ocarina is one of the most beautiful instruments I have ever heard. Let me first talk about the effect of the ocarina on me, when played by others. The first time I heard of an ocarina was from my best friend, who played the Legend of Zelda. He stumbled across a website called Songbird Ocarina. He ordered a pendant ocarina and was prompt to show it off to me. When he first played it, I fell in love with the tone, the way it sounds, and just the idea of a portable musical masterpiece. I had always loved music, but between all my little league sports and school, I had no time for the more complex instruments that take years just to learn to play well.
My friend let me play his ocarina, and it was one of the most simple instruments to play with the sweetest sound. I had to get one for myself, he told me of the website and after begging and pleading my mom for a while, my first songbird was on the way. I got my ocarina in the mail a few weeks later, accompanied with some songbooks. The Zelda songbook threw me, because I had never played the game. My best friend once again introduced me to one of my passions, Legend of Zelda. I fell in love with the game and as a result began to solicit my mother for a Zelda sweet potato from Songbird. I received one and I was hooked on the ocarina, or so I thought.
The ocarina decreased in importance for me for a couple of years, I became distracted by my sports turning from little league to the middle school league. I almost lost my love of the ocarina entirely. However one day, everyone was asked to bring in some instrument for music class. Most kids brought in a recorder, or a cheap guitar. I however remembered the ocarina I had and decided to bring it. It wasn’t the class that rekindled my love, it was the breaking of my first ocarina that did. When it shattered on the pavement outside the school, the memories of how I loved to play it and the beautiful sound it made came back to me. I almost cried after I got home.
This reminded me of how much I loved that magical instrument, and gave me the drive to buy another. A new songbird sweet potato ocarina of time extended range arrived at my house and I couldn’t lay it down. I became curious as to how to rest of the world viewed ocarinas, so I looked up ocarina on you tube, and found the video that began my inspiration that lasts until this day. It was Docjazz4 playing the song of time on his Spencer Ocarina of Time replica. I loved his playing, and I watched more of his videos, his Ballad of the Windfish blew me away, and I decided I needed to get the ocarina he played.
I had no idea what the qualities of a good ocarina were, I was used to my 6 hole songbird and didn’t know about sub holes, or airy notes, or any of the other things I consider standard when shopping, I just knew his sounded great and I wanted to sound like that. I was hooked from there, I bought a STL WPN Double, a STL Zelda replica, a STL Purple Clay Tenor C, and most recently a Maparam Alto C and Double Alto C.
When I hear someone playing the ocarina, I get a nostalgic flashback, not only of Zelda, but mainly of the first ocarina I had, the first time I played one, and the hear breaking destruction of my first ocarina. I listened to the first song I ever played on my ocarina and it makes me start to tear from time to time because I remember all the joys the first ocarina brought me, and the sorrows of losing it forever.
After buying my STL ocarinas, I realized that most of the world has never seen or heard an ocarina. I knew that if introduced to society it would be accepted as a beautiful instrument, not a novelty toy based on a video game. So I decide to share the ocarina with the world. When I entered High School, I joined the Key Club and on many of our outings, we have had opportunities to sing to those less fortunate, one examples was at a lunch for mental health patients around Christmas time. I offered to play my ocarina on the songs, and after three weeks of practicing, I played live for the first time in front of an audience. The first song that I played in, I could see people looking at me, then turning to talk to others. After the performance I was approached by several staff and those attending the lunch, wanting to know more about the instrument I played. I described the ocarina to them, and played a bit for them. They told me it was one of the sweetest sounds they had heard on a stage.
The event at the Key Club performance encouraged me to join my school’s Praise Band. I will be playing the ocarina in every meeting, which occurs once every two weeks, demonstrating the ocarina’s diverse abilities, ranging from playing beautiful music to honoring God through the performance. I have already been approached by teachers who had heard of me joining the praise band, wanting to know what I play. I brought an ocarina to school one week and all the teachers fell in love with it, one teacher even bought one for her daughter.
My classmates are always asking me when I’m going to bring my ocarina in to play, some even asked me to order them one. Even the teachers will occasionally stop class to listen. Everybody at my school loves the ocarina and loves to hear it. I also use it as a motivational device. When my friends are having a bad day, I will play them a happy song on the ocarina to cheer them up.
The ocarina has changed my life. When I’m upset, I play it and it calms me down. When I’m sad I play it and forget my troubles for a while. I love music but don’t have the time for a guitar or any other instrument requiring a lot of time to learn. The ocarina is great for me because I can play it anywhere, it was easy to learn, and I can now use it to glorify God through Praise Band.
I would not have my passion for ocarina’s today if it was not for that first Songbird breaking. I would never have guessed that a finely crafted and manipulated chunk of clay could have the power change everything I knew and did. I no longer just sit around and do nothing, I am always trying new things on the ocarina, new techniques and such. I kept my second songbird in front of me the entire time I wrote this, an inspiration to write about how its earlier counterpart spurred my love for ocarinas.