To the best of your knowledge, has Mountain Ocarinas achieved any firsts or made any significant advances in ocarina making?
Well, our small key of G ocarina is unique within its class in that --because of our special chamber design—we are able to use a linear fingering pattern similar to a saxophone, clarinet, or flute, instead of the four, five, or six hole fingering pattern of other ocarinas in that same key. A little key of G ocarina is very useful for playing Celtic and folk music. Besides the linear fingering pattern, our little G also plays a wider range of notes than other small Gs and can produce a good strong tone, all of which make it great for playing faster, highly ornamented pieces that you wouldn’t even attempt on a four, five, or six holed ocarina. And you can blow quite aggressively without losing the tone, which really helps on hard driving pieces and gives a better response on certain types of ornamentation.
As I mentioned before, people have different tastes, but our G ocarina is a fantastic instrument for playing traditional Celtic music because it sounds great on slow airs and it can handle faster dance music.
Our C ocarina also has a good strong tone relative to other ocarinas in the same key.
A real first, though, is an instrument that I have actually been dreaming about for years: our patent pending Pro-Range™ ocarina. It combines two ocarinas that look and play as one. Besides playing two full chromatic octaves, it maintains the super easy linear fingering pattern of our present ocarinas, and both octaves finger exactly the same. And you can still slip it in your pocket or wear it around your neck.
We've made some nice prototypes, but unfortunately we don't have the finances yet to bring an affordable version to the market. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to bring them to the market sometime in 2009, though.
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