The ocarina is a wind instrument most people recognize from it's appearance in the hit video game The Legend of Zelda, but vessel flutes have actually been around for many thousands of years, making it one of the world's oldest musical instruments! Vessel flutes have origins in many different cultures around the world, making it a truly universal instrument.
It's mellow, haunting voice is quite unique among wind instruments, and when I began working on this CD, I spent quite a bit of time selecting the classical pieces that I feel really capture the spirit of the ocarina. I felt that it was important to stick to the well known classical standards like Gymnopedie No. ! and Ave Maria, especially if they had a strong melody and were relaxing to listen to, but I also selected a few pieces that were a little more emotive, like Vocalise and Melodie. I chose to play Lascia Ch'io Pianga on a deeper pitched tenor ocarina, and its mellow, resonant tone creates a nice contrast with the higher pitched ocarinas I use for several other tracks.
I've been playing the ocarina for about twelve years now. It started out as a hobby, and over the years as I learned more about the history of the ocarina and got my hands on some better, more professional instruments, I began to understand that the ocarina was capable of so much more than I had initially thought. At this point, it's hard to imagine my life without ocarinas, and I'm pretty sure I'll be playing them for the rest of my life. I'm also working to raise awareness about the potential of the ocarina in music education as an inexpensive, fun way to get kids interested in music. In addition to playing the ocarina, I also teach students and play live whenever I can.