Interview No. 58
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest may be new to Newgrounds, but upon his short time here he has been doing some amazing work with an ocarina from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He has done songs such as Song of Time [Ocarina], Jinjo Village [Ocarina], Simple and Clean [Ocarina] with his latest works being Can You Feel The Love[Ocarina] and Morrowind [Ocarina]. He is none other than @Ocarina-Kid.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: Before we get down to business, I just want to say I'm very honoured to be interviewed but let's be honest I don't think I'm the slightest bit worthy of it haha, but thanks a lot for your time! Well long story short (or long story long), after a hard day of bludging at school I'd often go over to a friend's house so we could bitchslap each other in Super Smash Brothers and he'd have music playing in the background, not just any music mind you, video game covers/remixes (these actually exist!?) which I instantly nerd-gasm'd over. Never asked him where he got them from, who knows why, until one day he played 'Forever Gamer' by SkyMarshall and that's when my life changed. Turns out there's this site, oldgrounds? Hurr. Why did I join? More importantly why did it take me so long to join! I've been quite a frequent flyer to the audio portal for a few years now, simply because I really admire and respect those who can make music. It's amazing what you can find on here, a lot of people are seriously talented, it's breathtaking.
Q: What first inspired you to make music?
A: The fact I can't make music. I can't read music and I always came last in the compulsory music classes at school (took one for the team) yet I can't imagine life without it. Music is a beauty which cannot be seen externally but once you close your eyes it lets you see so much more than the world can offer. I've always tried to make music but mostly failed (which is evident in a lot of my submissions to be honest haha), but I reckon if you have a passion for something then do it! Whether it's good or bad, who cares? If it puts a smile on your dial then it's worth it. Who knows, it might also put a smile on someone else's dial.
Q: Your inspiration is no secret. When did you play "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" and what can you tell us about the game in your own words?
A: Shh, I thought I hid that secret pretty well! I first played Ocarina of Time back when I was a little vegemite, some annoying age like 6, and thought it was the coolest thing to ever grace the planet. Sure I had no idea what was going on (I thought Link was Zelda for a good while, who didn't), but it was magical. Right now I'm replaying it on the 3DS, like all the cool kids. I don't know if I can explain why it has such a special place in my heart, perhaps those who have played it understand (I'd say those who haven't played it haven't lived but then I'd sound like a crazy fanboy, oh wait...) For those who haven't played it, Ocarina of Time is basically the whole 'boy saves princess' but deep down it's so much more. It conveys many themes and values relevant to life and while it's just a video game I think it's fair enough to say it was a strong part of my childhood. Hence the nerd-passion.
Q: When it comes to the different musicians interviewed here they tend to favor a certain instrument or two over the other. Your choice of instrument would be the ocarina. Tell me what made you want to track down this instrument and learn how to play it?
A: I'm guessing it's a wee bit obvious why I wanted to play the ocarina but for those who skipped the above responses/were bored by the above responses, simply put I wanted to play it because firstly I'm incapable of playing anything else and secondly because, well, Zelda. In all seriousness though I do find it to be such a beautiful instrument, and not one that is commonly known either. It was never my intention to actually get an ocarina as it was given to me as a gift, but deep down I always wanted one. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't warp and attract random horses though.
Q: How difficult is it to play the ocarina? Do you have a musical background of any kind?
A: If I can play it, anyone can! It's difficult at first, so many holes, where do I put what (that's what he said?) but once you get the hang of it it's actually rather easy. My good friend google did help me out a lot as well as his good friend youtube, so if you're learning to play it's definitely helpful. If you do want to play there's a variety of ocarinas out there; plastic, wood, clay or even metal, with as little or as many holes as you fancy (slight exaggeration). Moral of the story, it's great [noisy] fun and you don't need a musical background to play (my musical background is my iPod)
Q: Your first submission would be entitled Song of Time [Ocarina]. Your first choice is a Zelda song no doubt, but why this one in particular? Also how long did it take you to play it did you have a music sheet with notes for the ocarina or did you play by ear?
A: I always wanted to be able to play the Song of Time, even before I knew ocarinas actually existed in the 'real world' (gasp). It's a beautiful song in my opinion, gives me chills each time I hear it. I'll be honest it took me forever to learn how to play it, probably because I'm a stubborn bitch and expected it to be as easy as pressing the c-buttons in Ocarina of Time. Odd. I googled/youtubed how to play it and eventually got the hang of it, you just gotta keep on trying. It mightn't work the first time or the hundredth time but as cliche as it is, practice makes perfect. Or in my case practice makes out of tune the new cool. Now that I'm used to the instrument for the most part I can play by ear (it does take a while to get it right, poor neighbours) although I find my timing is atrocious so I have a bit of an odd process to aid that, I use a program called Synthesia (piano tutorial thingamajig) to help visualise the timing (when I can be bothered). That's pretty much it.
Q: Clocktown [Ocarina] would transcend us into "The Legend of Majora's Mask". Why this song from this game and how long did this one take and what was the process you took into it?
A: To be honest my first choice was Song of Healing, another one of my favourites, but I found I couldn't make it sound right. I know people who can play it wonderfully on the ocarina but when I listened to my recording I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to do something a bit different, a bit faster. So I moved onto Clocktown, what a coinkydink (and then went spastic with Deku Palace) Oh man this song was fun to do, also a bitch and a half, but still fun. It didn't take as long as I expected to learn but what I struggled with most was the timing. Again thank god for google and youtube, that's all I can say. I'm going to marry them and make sweet love. Since you asked about the process I'll tell you something, what you hear is edited. It doesn't sound as smooth in real life, when I record it I up the reverb (pretending I know what that is and all) and it gives it a smoother sound. Just a bit of fiddling around in Garageband, my third true love.
Q: [LoZ] Ocarina Medley would be a beautiful collection of the songs from "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time", mainly the ones played on the ocarina. What sparked the interest in doing this medley and why mainly with just the ocarina songs?
A: A beautiful soundtrack called Hyrule Symphony inspired me to do this, I recommend listening to it if you haven't already. It's a fantastic album containing 13 orchestrated tracks from Ocarina of Time and has a song with a medley similar to this one on it, played by a much better composer with a much nicer ocarina, it's beyond amazing. My ears jizz over it. I had originally recorded the warp songs separately but then realised the length wasn't really appropriate seeing as they're so short, then I put 2 + 2 together and bred them all and gave birth to this medley.
Q: You would step out of your comfort zone with Queen Rutela. Is this you playing the piano as well? Also what was the process you took in doing it and why the sudden step out of your zone?
A: Haha I think this is a one and only. After getting a few reviews saying I should try different instruments I decided to give it a whirl. As I had been familiar with piano tutorials to help with timing it then occurred to me that I could actually, you know, try and play the piano itself (shock horror). So after whipping out good ol' Garageband and following the very handy tutorial to a tee, somehow it actually turned out okay. The next one was vom (OoT Title Screen) so I think I'm going to stick to solo, don't want my ocarina getting jealous.
Q: Anyone who has seen "Pokemon: The Movie 2000" whether they liked the movie or hated it can agree that Lugia's Song is a pretty song. What made you want to play it on the ocarina with Lugia's Song [Ocarina]?
A: I used to listen to this song religiously when I was little, you know back in the days where you'd catch a poor helpless caterpillar and thought you were god's gift to earth cos you just caught your very first Pokemon. No? Awkward. Well I think it's always stuck with me cos as you said it's such a pretty song. I'm a total girl when it comes to music, I love beautiful songs that are full of emotion (what's this you say) and scream pretty. Plus a lot of the songs I play relate back to my childhood in some twisted way or another.
Q: We now come to one of my favorites by you and that is Jinjo Village [Ocarina]. Why the game "Banjo-Tooie" and why this song? Also how did you bring this one to life through the ocarina?
A: I have a very big soft spot for Banjo Kazooie/Tooie and its music. So unique, nostalgic and happy going. I thought surely I'm not the only one with this guilty pleasure, so decided to have a crack at it. I think Jinjo Village is one of my all time favourites (it's my happy song, when shit hits the fan crank it up) The original song is played with a flute or something related so that's what made me want to do it even more and I'm glad it turned out okay, one of the more enjoyable songs to cover actually. I'm really glad you liked it btw, I'll definitely be doing more Banjo Kazooie songs in the future.
Q: You never cease to amaze me with the ocarina. SM64 File Select [Ocarina], is a short and sweet song, but you give it such life with the ocarina. There were many songs from that game to choose from why this one? Also will we see an ocarina recreation of the song played in Jolly Roger Bay and Dire Dire Docks soon?
A: Oh you, you're full of compliments! Haha thanks man, I play the ocarina for fun as a hobby and honestly don't think I'm any better than the average joe but am glad there's people out there who enjoy what I do. I'll be honest, I was rushed one morning and wanted to quickly submit a song so I chose what I thought would be easiest/quickest, and that's how SM64 File Select was created. It's a nice simple song; I was always intending to cover it at some point. I'd love to cover more songs from the game and will definitely be doing so in the not too distant future, at the moment I've been working on Koopa's Road (the song played on the last Bowser level) not quite certain if I'll be submitting it as I'm not sure if it really works but we'll see how it turns out. Dire Dire Docks will be next on the list, fo shizzle.
Q: Although my favorite song by you is Jinjo Village, even I must admit that your best song in my critical opinion is Simple and Clean [Ocarina]. Why Kingdom Hearts, why this song, and how did you do it? Also will we be hearing "Sanctuary" from Kingdom Hearts II anytime soon?
A: Thanks man, appreciate it. Kingdom Hearts is yet another one of my favourites (what isn't), and besides having a fantastic storyline, the music is pure beauty. Yoko Shimomura is a very talented composer and I'm a massive fan of her work. I originally started with Dearly Beloved and Kairi's Theme but again wasn't satisfied, I wanted my first Kingdom Hearts cover to be a little more complex. So I then chose to do Utada Hikaru's 'Simple and Clean' which is yet another extremely beautiful song. It was one of the hardest I've had to cover so far but well worth it. I'd love to give Sanctuary a try! That's definitely on the list (yes, the shopping list).
Q: When it comes to making music you have proven you can do the ocarina justice as well as the piano. Any other instruments you've thought about taking a crack at?
A: I've thought about it, slightly attempted it, but it just doesn't seem to tickle my pickle. I think I'll leave other instruments to those who are actually capable of playing them, wouldn't want to give the instrument a bad name haha. So for now, and probably eternity, I'll stick to flying solo with my beloved Gertrude (my ocarina).
Q: What can we expect from Ocarina-Kid in the future?
A: Not even I know the answer to that. No I lie, seeing as though you gave me some suggestions I do have a plan! At the moment I'm finishing off Koopa's Road and assessing whether or not it's suitable to submit, then after that I'll be giving Dire Dire Docks a crack as well as Sanctuary. Expect more Banjo Kazooie songs as well. For my 50th song I'm thinking of doing some sort of Nintendo medley, if there's any suggestions or requests I'd love to hear them. Now let me be serious for the first time in my life; I just want to say thanks for giving me this kind of opportunity and for taking the time to interview me (and for those who read through this, you are troopers) I'll definitely be reading through other interviews and following this epic shindig, cheers guys.
When I was browsing the Audio Portal, I came across this kid's music and it truly blew me away to the point that I wanted to know more and more, and I can happily say that doing this interview was truly a fun experience and an inspiring one as well. This is a kid who was inspired and decided to take his inspiration further and play music on an instrument that not many would expect. He truly is a gift.