What are some interesting or unusual places where you or others have played your ocarinas?
Just about anywhere... At a folk dance. Christmas caroling. At family reunions. While caving. Uh, since we live right on some nature trails, I play a lot outside. In fact, from time to time, I enjoy playing flat on my back under the stars on a cliff that runs along the ridge on the trails above our house. A week ago, I played around a camp fire up on the mountain with some friends.
Let's see, I've played late at night at Bradley International Airport while waiting for a ride. And it's always kind of refreshing to play at highway rest stops on long trips. Heh, I've played in the Home Depot, in a few banks, in several businesses, in an elevator, in a locker room, at the beach, in several parks with my kids... It's there, so I play it, but I'm down right shy compared to some of the people who play our ocarinas.
I've spoken to a woman who wears her ocarina around her neck all the time, and when a baby cries in the line at the supermarket, she plays to calm the child down. She says it always works, but what self-confidence! I'd be afraid the little chap might really start bellowing.
Of course, serious ocarina playing sometimes requires true bravery. I'm referring here to our yearly tradition of walking through the snow to take a cool dip in an icy river or lake to ring in the new year. I like to, uh, calmly stand out there in the water and play a song on my ocarina to demonstrate that the refreshing coolness of the semi-solid water doesn't concern me in the slightest. Sure, there may have been a few faint-hearted critics, whose names I won't mention, who mistook my deliberate vibrato for violent, uncontrollable shivering, but I don't see their critical selves out there playin' no ocarina in no icy cold water.
| I'm glad that I get the last word after the interview, since I'm one of the named critics above. I've witnessed the New Years tradition of ringing in the new year in freezing water playing the ocarina both in New Years of 2004 and 2003. For those of us who observed, but did not participate, we did not consider ourselves as lacking in bravery, but merely of the possessing of more common sense.|
At this point I'm starting to hear from musicians who are playing our instruments in clubs and other types of gatherings, but since 1997 we've been selling our instruments and music learning curriculum in the homeschooling world. You see, there are hundred of thousands of folks in the US and around the world who choose to educate their children at home. So in that context, I play at large homeschooling conventions around the US on a regular basis. At the conventions, many people tell me that they play their ocarina regularly in church, or as part of a nursing home outreach, or on missions trips, or in concerts, things like that.
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