Ocarinas aren’t just for Zelda fans any more. St. Louis Ocarinas has released an officially licensed line of Marvel ocarinas in a variety of heroes. And they were kind enough to send one to me to review!
Although I don’t talk much about my musical background, I was something of a child prodigy, playing the piano at an early age, writing my own little songs, operas and musicals over the years and learning to play (with various degrees of proficiency) most keyboards, the guitar, the clarinet, the accordion and the penny whistle. Oh, and the Optigan. (I still mourn my grandmother throwing that out.) Yet my experience with the ocarina had been limited until the arrival of my new Spider-Man model.
The ocarina is probably best known to non-video gamers through Ennio Morricone’s use of it throughout his scores for Sergio Leone, most notably the immortal The Good, The Bad and the Ugly theme (the ocarina represented “the ugly.”) It has a warm, earthy sound reminiscent of folk tunes. Although ocarina tones are played via mouth position and covering various holes, as with most wind instruments, its pitch tends to be kind of, um, chromatic and microtonal unless you know what you are doing.
Although I didn’t know what I was doing when the ocarina arrived, I’ve since been tooting away. I love it, and I’m pretty sure the neighbors do too!
In addition to Spidey, STL ‘s Marvel Ocarinas are available in these models:
Retail is $29.99, and if you are searching for a colorful musical instrument that will put you at one with both The Man With No Name, Link and Thor, these should do just fine.