After Years of Hiding
A long time ago (when I was in the 7th grade (year 2003/2004)) I went to an old cultural world store in North Carolina. I forget the exact town it was in, but you can’t really mistake it — it’s the town where there’s lots of interesting stores and people play instruments and perform various talents on the sidewalks and it’s a really happy place and a lot of fun…but I digress. The point is, it was in this town that I came across this world music store, which had many, many CD’s with music from, well, all over the world. Eclectic, oriental, tribal, you name it. It was such a fascinating place.
It was in this place I came across a hand-made, clay, “pendant” style, 6-hole ocarina. Something about the instrument, not this one specifically, but ocarinas in general, have always spoke to me. Like…they called out to me. They posses a worldly timbre that no other instrument can replicate. I’ve always been a fan of woodwind instruments anyway — something about the music coming from one’s breath, as though the music was an extension of your very soul, not just plucking or hitting with one’s hands, or something like that — but the ocarina interested me more than any of them.
Unlike most kids though, I did NOT learn of the ocarina through the Nintendo game “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” (Surprise!) I was always interested in other cultures and did my own research on them using books at the library (I didn’t have Internet at home until like the 10th grade, so I did things old school. lol!) and found out about it when researching European countries. Eclectic and such musics have always been my favorite world musics.
Anyway, it was that day at that North Carolinian world music store I decided to get that ocarina I found on the shelf. I remember thinking it was a little expensive for its size, but I got it anyway. A souvenir, why not?
I was just a kid of course, so though I liked the instrument, I never did anything spectacular with it. Just played around with it for a few weeks. I’d wear it around my neck sometimes, but I wouldn’t really play it much. I just liked having it. I took it back with me to KY and showed my mother. It was a neat little thing.
But over the course of a year, I lost it.
It didn’t seem to matter to me much that it was lost, and I simply went on with life as I always had. No problem. It was just a little something to remember my time being at that place. But something happened a few weeks ago. While cleaning out some boxes from beneath my bed here at home, I came across that very ocarina. Something about it just filled me with happiness and I decided that, “Hey, I’ve got free time, as well as an Internet connection now…why not learn a little tune on this?”
And through research, I came across many interesting things, including various communities dedicated to the instrument! I was pretty amazed, really. I didn’t know the ocarina had such a following! Though the instrument isn’t “mainstream” it has its fair share of fans, and though I’ve never really “played” it myself, I’ve always been interested in it and the music that comes from it. I’ve been listening to ocarina music for years, but it wasn’t until just recently that I’ve discovered a passion that lies within me that I never really knew was there.
I wanna pursue this. I don’t just want to listen to the ocarina anymore; I wanna play it.
And low and behold! After a short week, I can now play The “Song of Time” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (It was easy to find tablature (Yes! There’s ocarina tablature! How cool is that?!) of Zelda songs, so that’s what I did first. Besides, I’m an avid gamer, as well as an admitted Nintendo fanboy, so I couldn’t resist. )
In any case, I think I’ll be pursuing this further. The ocarina has always held a special place in my heart, and now, I can actually play a little tune on it! It won’t be long ‘till I start playing more complicated pieces. I also wouldn’t mind learning to ‘truly’ read sheet music (like I used to a little when I played the Trumpet in band class in the 6th grade) so I won’t be limited by my own improvisations and tabs I can scrounge up. But I’d like to learn to play the different “styles” of ocarina before I start getting into theory like that.
I’m now saving up for several different ocarina’s after having “lurked” various ocarina forums (my favorite is TheOcarinaNetwork.com) for the last couple weeks and gathering a bunch of data and opinions on the myriad types and styles and such. I’ve already decided on the ones I’d like to obtain in the future.
But there are also many other things I’d like to get this year! (This is a good year to be a gamer! Not so good on the wallet though…Christmas is coming up, and I expect to use monies accrued from that to get a 3DS and that’ll pretty much tap me out. I’m planning on selling some of my other systems and games though, as well as my Trumpet (the very one I played in 6th grade band class) among other little things. Rock Band 3 is also releasing…and the Pro Mode instruments would help me immensely in learning the guitar (which I’ve also been (trying) to self-teach. (Not working out too well…) …oh, jeez, I’ve lost my place in the parenthesis layers…oh, yeah! Here we go!) Ahh, that’s better.
Point is, it’s a busy year, and many things I’d like to get. I think I’ll be sticking with my unbranded clay 6-hole pendant ocarina for now (even though I’ve realized it’s incredibly ‘airy’ and a bit out of tune on the higher notes) until I get a bit better. I’ll reward myself with a new ocarina eventually after that.
Well, I think that’ll do it for this wall of text. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Hahaha!
I’m 19 years old now. Seven years with an ocarina but I wasn’t ready for it until now. Everything happens for a reason, right? I believe suddenly finding this instrument after all this time of it being ‘lost’ was fate. Let’s see where these winds of fate take me!