Recently I participated in the “2013 TONs of Fun Christmas Contest” you can see all the entries to the contest here. There was a lot of contestants and some great entries. The winner was to be voted by the members of the ocarina network. I was lucky to get some votes and got quite motivated by the feedback. I could see that i wasn’t among the top, but it was fun to participate and to see the other entries. There were some great entries.
Christmas is upon us, and with it comes the christmas songs. This is one that has been on my mind since I watched this preview. And so I wanted to record my own version. Here it is. This is also my first video that is actually a video, and not just the title and the sound. The video and audio were recorded separately so if it’s seems the fingerings are a bit off, that’s why.
For those of you curious of who this guy behind the blog is, now’s your chance to see me for real, we’ll on the computer screen, but anyways. Hope you enjoy my version of “Walking in the air” I’m hoping to record a few more christmas songs. Wether I’ll find the time, only time will show.
|The album cover and cd design.|
In March this year, David Ramos better known as Docjazz in the ocarina community released his kickstarter to fund his first ocarina album. I’m not usually the person to buy cd’s but this was an exception. Also I wanted a more physical “proof” of my contribution his project. And as a plus I now have David’s autograph 🙂 And sure enough we made it. On April 26 the project reached it’s funding goal and David was all set to start the process. It has resulted in the CD “Leave Luck to Heaven”. And this week it dropped into my mailbox. A little later than some of the other backers since I’m in europe but anyway it’s here. As a backer I also received a downloadable version of the cd before it was released so I’ve had the time to listen to it for a while now, and I have to say there are som beautiful songs on there. I really like the version of “Be thou my vision”. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check it out. It is available on Itunes, Loudr and on David’s website.
The shipping was quite fast. I confirmed the order on Saturday and it arrived the next Thursday. Thats only four work-days. It came in a bag and inside was a cardboard box that was protecting the actual box that contained the ocarina. The box itself had a simple design that I really liked. The logo and type of ocarina on the front and a fingering chart on the back. Inside was the ocarina itself, in bubble wrap and a piece of paper that seems to be some sort of customer club registration form.
At first glance the ocarina seemed smaller than my Focalink plastic, but when comparising the two they are roughly the same size. The Night by Noble does however have a shorter mouthpiece and it is also shorter in general since it does not have a pointy end like the Focalink. The finger holes are placed slightly closer in comparison to the Focalink. I really like the look of the tip, how it seems almost cut-off.
The ocarina has a nice matte finish, except for 1,5 cm in on the mouthpiece. There are some lines on the ocarina that might look like scratches. These come from the casting process and are similar to the ones you can see on the Focalink. It has a hole for a neck-cord but it does not come with one. The matte finish gives a nice grip. It also makes it feel less sweaty when you hold it. That said, the grease stain while gather like moth to a flame. But it’s easy to clean it of with a dry piece of cloth.
As for sound. I feel it has a slightly more distinct sound than the Focalink. Not that the Focalink has bad sound. They both have different qualities. It also has a somewhat higher breath requirement. Not much though. I still haven’t managed to get a clear sound on the top notes. But this is something I struggle with on the Focalink too so it is probably much to do with my technique. Overall it feels very natural in my hands and the finger-hole placement is nice. That being said I do have small hands so it might not fit so good with people that have large hands.
I would certainly recommend this. It’s affordable, has a stylish look, good durability due to plastic construction (Though I haven’t tested it. Why ruin a perfectly good ocarina?), it plays nicely and the ergonomics are good. Some people have reported that scratches are easily visible on the matte finish. I haven’t had it long enough to see any, but best to keep it in a pouch or the like when not in use. I’ll try to upload a recording of it soon.
I now have some videos up on youtube. And more to come i hope. The last one I uploaded was for a contest on TON(The Ocarina Network). The theme for the contest was disney, which meant a wide variety of songs to choose from. And to add to that, Star Wars and Studio Ghibli was accepted as well. You can see the entries to the contest as video replies to this video. For my entry i chose the song “I See the Light” from disney’s Tangled. Here it is.
It’s been a while since my last post. Guess I’m not that good at blogging. But my posting frequency is not the focus of this post. I want to share something I’ve been working on. It’s a little project of mine, something i recently started tinkering with. It’s called “The Ocarina Map”.