To introduce myself, let me save myself some typing and repeat my intro from the Mountain Ocarina forum from back in November 2008:
I'm Bill, a 54 [EDIT: wow, that was along time ago! I'm now 64] year old software developer in Portland Oregon. I've dabbled with alot of musical instruments over my life -- starting with accordion as a kid (the parents couldn't afford a piano so they "surprised" me with an accordion and lessons Wink ). Played trombone in high school and college, and picked up guitar and keyboard over the years. Have also tried cello, violin, mandolin, and bass guitar. Got interested in woodwinds a few years ago after picking up a pennywhistle during a trip to Ireland, and an irish flute a little later. And a few months back picked up a shakuhachi -- a japanese end-blown flute.
Unfortunately, my skill on most of these instruments is pretty limited -- I really just enjoy "playing around" with them, and haven't really gotten far with most, except with those accordion lessons as a kid and my time playing trombone through college. As an adult I've tended to waffle back and forth between keyboard and guitar.
I was scanning the keyboard forum at Harmony Central a few months back, and one of the members mentioned an interest in ocarinas. I'd never really thought much about the instrument before then, but always enjoyed its pure distinctive sound. I started doing some on-line research, and came across Mountain Ocarinas. While Mountain Ocs didn't have that traditional pure ocarina sound, I was really attracted to their ruggedness and portability, and decided to try out a poly G. I've really enjoyed the little puppy, and even wear it around my neck at work, heading outside for occasional "ocarina breaks". A week later I picked up a copy of the 300 Celtic Folksongs, and am enjoying working out the pieces, even though I spend most of my ocarina time just picking out popular songs or doing free improvising. One of these days I'll break down and pick up a poly C.
It's hard to say why I find the ocarina so appealing. There's a spiritual essence with woodwind instruments, based as they are on the breath of the performer, that somehow puts more "soul" into the music than those that rely only on the performer's hands. And with the portability of the Mountain Oc, it's like a constant friend, always there to help manifest whatever emotions I might want to express -- loneliness, solitude, contentment, joy... Somehow it's simple tone seems an adequate voice for all.
I've really been impressed with Mountain Ocarinas as a company and with Karl and Cliff as its representatives -- their enthusiasm for the instrument is truly infectious, and I hope the company is successful. And it's nice to find a forum to share our interest in what is really a rather silly little instrument Wink . So why can't I put the darn thing down?
So I added that polycarbonate C a few months later and then a hardwood G in 2010. I drifted away from the forum, but still kept that hardwood G in my backpack (which goes *everywhere* with me) over the intervening years.
A week ago I got an interest in perhaps getting a warmstone or maybe an aluminum MO and visited the old site, discovering that all were sold out while Karl focused on the new Coda EDC. I put in an order for the Coda and in the meantime I've been reading the new forum and see a lot of familiar names. It's sort of like coming home! It's great that so many folks have stuck with this little company through thick and thin while Karl worked out the design and manufacturing issues.
The Coda arrived yesterday and I've been busy trying to sort out how to play the second octave in tune (pro-tip: make sure you're correctly covering the tone holes
). I'm enjoying the nice tone and extended range, although switching octaves is going to take a while to get down...