I have fallen for the ocarina. Its a neat little chambered instruments, that because of its rigidity comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, tunes, and colors. It can be an amazing what finds you can dig up, of ocarinas that are decades old, homemade decadents, or even artistic pieces. But sometimes, you find a twist in something that really makes you shake your head.
Now, a lot of the ocarina love comes from a Zelda game called Ocarina of Time, where a young boy uses a magical ocarina to change times, summon his horse, call his friend, or warp to certain points of the map. Its amazing! So a lot of the gamers, collectors and nerds starting finding Zelda ocarinas IRL (in real life) so they too could be as magical as Link and Zelda. More love comes from flute players who are in love with the basics of flute history, with its cousin the Xun and various other instruments as such (over twenty varieties if you wish to start with the basics, possibly hundreds of different types after that!)
Now, there are few great sellers in this western hemisphere who can cater to your ocarina collecting needs, my favorite being http://www.songbirdocarina.com . This site is smaller and has more unique items that are affordable, my favorite being the double harmonic that is so challenging but greatly fun to learn!
Now, there is another site that is more towards the market needs, and towards what they think the consumer will charge for. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have ordered from their site, like their Zelda rupee ocarina and their teacarina! But one thing that shocks me, is their superhero ocarina. http://www.stlocarina.com/suoc.html with their caption ‘awaken your inner hero’. You can choose from five ocarinas that have a cover of Thor, Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, or Iron Man. But what have they to do with the ocarina, or a flute? Nothing. Zip. So why does this supplier have the idea to market super heroes on this tradition instrument that in the past decades has never been commercialized? They are trying to hit a new generation that has been taken by storm by the hero’s of today. Sounds like a great idea, but at the same time, this traditional loving musician doesn’t understand it. I may be one of the view too, as most of these super hero ocarinas are out of stock, screaming that this ploy is working. I wonder if in years to come it will be more popular to have a Thor ocarina, than to understand where it all started?