Budrio Ocarina Festival 2013

Me playing at budrio festival market

What can I say about my trip to Budrio ocarina festival, the biannual gathering in the Italian hometown of the instrument? No words really do justice to the experiance, it was an utterly fantastc. Really the most enjoyable thing I've done in recent times.

I must admit that in the time leading up to the festival, my enthusiasm for this work was dwindling. I made the stock I took to sell on a last push of will, barely making it in time. But I'm so glad I did. Before it was like I was trapped in a closet, the festival threw open the doors to a whole new world. It has really rekindled my fire.

Seeing the performances of many highly talented ocarinists, and trying all of the ocarinas on display was wonderful. Coming from a world where, upon mentioning the ocarina people usually stare biwildered, it was awesome being with so many ocarina enthusiasts in the same place.

But the thing that stood out most was just how open everyone was, and even the language barrier worked to make the whole thing more memorable. It was verry interesting talking with everyone and picking up many valuble techniques for my playing and making.

I also talked with other makers including Hans Rotter and Oliver Gosselink, who where verry interesting to talk with. Having so meny people test my work was verry valuble for me, and many people liked the mellow sound of my ocarnas.

As I expected, talking with everyone and perticularly trying all of the ocarinas on display at the festival did bring up many arias needing improvement in my work. Consiquently I am presently putting a lot of effort into exploring and implementing what I have learned.

Someone playing one of my pure ocarinas at budrio festival

There was a makers meeting, offering an opertunity for all of the makers present to share there goals and ideas. Of perticular intrest was a demonstration of an unusual double ocarina, with a second chamber configured to extend the range downwards.

I also learned a lot from the historical ocarinas in the museum. made greatly more valuable by explanations and demonstrations by Kresmir, who has spent many hours studying them. Several of these ocarinas appear to defy the laws of physics, like one with two corks removeable for tuning. Removing them left a massive hole and with my understanding, an ocarina should not play with such a massive hole. Yet it did with all holes open, and not poorly ether.

Kres and Gosselink also played this monster of a bass ocarina.

Gosselink playing massive ocarina

The performers at the Budrio festival really exhibited what the instrument is capable of. I've seen many ocarina groups before on the internet but seeing and hearing them in person was so much more enjoyable. I enjoyed range, fast intricate music to slower tunes, both from soloists and ensembles. Performers included the Ocarina Seven, Vera Unfried (above) and the Grupo Ocarinistico Budresse (GOB), the group continuing the tradition in Budrio.

One really inspiring player was Øystein, who's commitment to the instrument is so strong that when he lost a hand he set about developing a custom double ocarina that could be played one handed. And he plays it beautifully I may add.

Øystein doubble ocarina

A final memorable performance was Fabio Galliano and Emiliano Bernagozzi breaking out with La Chiaccherina during the ocarina market. With both players on the same ocarina!