This past October, ocarinists from around the globe once again represented their cities, states, and countries in our annual video collaboration, all the while playing the ocarina out in public in the name of "ocarina awareness"! Here are a couple facts and statistics about this year's collab:

Random facts

- "Ocarina Road" was one of three possible original songs for this year's collaboration. A vote was held via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with this song winning by just 50 votes.

- The song was originally called "Hometown", as a nod to ocarinists representing their hometowns around the world. Several people noted that song had an "adventure"  and "open road" type of sound, which the new title reflects. Coincidentally, The original demo version was also recorded in 3 separate cities as I toured the East Coast in the Fall of 2014.

- At least 2 animals appear somewhere in the final edit.

-This was the most complex video I've ever edited. The editing process included sorting through 105 submitted videos (some were multiple takes by the same ocarinist), selecting short clips from each, converting the various video formats, the actual editing, and graphics and text, totaling up to over 70 hours.

Quick stats

-15 Countries represented

-70 Ocarinists (with most participants from the US and Germany in second place)

-72 hours of editing

-105 submitted videos

Thank you to everyone who participated, and if you have not yet seen the video, you can check it out below!

 

David with Videri

In 2013, I was invited to perform at a pre-concert show in New York for the "Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses". What made this performance so special was that I would have the opportunity to perform with the very talented Videri String Quartet - a Boston based ensemble that focused on classical arrangements of video game music. That evening was magical and was instantly a major highlight of my career, especially since it took place at Nintendo World!

Nintendo World Picture 

This year, I knew I would be on the East coast for several conventions, so I had contacted Videri about collaborating once again. This time, in the form of two videos.

One of my favorite themes to play on ocarina, this arrangement by Julia Seeholzer was originally performed with ocarinist Zenkyu earlier in 2013. What were the chances that Videri would perform with two different ocarinists in the same year?! 

This second piece, also arranged by Julia, was from our performance at Nintendo World. I'm so glad we got to perform it again!

It was an honor to perform with them not once, but twice, and I really hope we'll get to perform another show together. Special thanks to Jeron Moore for hooking us up and Videri director Rosie Samter for making these videos happen!

Hey everyone!

It's almost time for our annual video collaboration with ocarinsts from around the world! Below you'll find three songs I recently started and I need your help selecting one for the collab. Give each of the samples below a listen, and vote for your favorite one in the poll! 

First, I just need to say how much fun Evan and I had touring up the West coast just a few weeks ago. I really appreciate all the support we had from our friends and fans and I can't wait to get back on the road to play more shows! That being said, I want to try something different for my East coast tour; but if it's going to work, I'm going to need your help...

2013 was such an incredible year! I had so much fun meeting and playing with you in person at several cons around the US; I got to meet two of my musical heroes, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Weird Al Yankovic (both masters of songwriting); performed for the first time with a string ensemble (Videri String Quartet); and we pulled together to raise funds for my debut album! There's some big things happening in 2014 as well that I would love for you to be a part of.

1. 2014 US Concert Tour

 

With a new album in the wings, I am very excited to go out and actually perform some music from the album in person! I'm going to need as much help as I can finding towns and cities to perform, so we're using a site called WeDemand.com to find out where the most interest is for concerts. If you would like me to perform in or around your hometown, your best bet is to share the WeDemand page with as many people as you can and ask them to vote for your town. If enough people vote, ticket sales will open up and once we sell enough tickets to guarantee the show, you may have a chance to attend the concert for free! Here's a video that explains a little more: How WeDemand Works

 

2. 2014 Giveaways/Contests

This year I will be hitting three huge milestones: 100,000 Subscribers on Youtube, 40 million video views, and 10,000 Facebook Likes! Each time I reach one of those milestones, we will be holding a new giveaway with free copies of my CDs, limited-run sheet music books, t-shirts, and even an ocarina or two. The sooner we reach those goals, the sooner those prizes are up for grabs, so SUBSCRIBE on Youtube and LIKE the Facebook page if you haven't already and ask your friends to do the same!

 

3. The "Docjazz4" Ocarina by Songbird Ocarinas 

 

Songbird and I have been working on a special ocarina for my concert performances, including some of my favorite characteristics out of my entire collection. This ocarina sounds, looks, and feels amazing. The first people to get there hands on them will be those who pledged for the "Rare Ocarina" on my Kickstarter project. Then the ocarinas will probably be available to the public later in 2014. But we still don't know what to call them. Please leave a comment below to let me know what would be some possible cool names for my signature ocarina!

 

Every OCtober, ocarinists from around the world venture out with their ocarinas to share with their friends, family, neighbors, and classmates. The purpose? We want everyone to know how amazing our favorite flute is!  

"The idea of writing 14 songs and just waiting for them to come together before I have an album ready and then releasing that album just seems crazy to me." - Jonathan Coulton, CD Baby Podcast (2007)

After spending the last 6 months working on this album, I'm trying not to get to anxious about it's release. The original release date was supposed to be early September, then late September, and now what I hope to be the actual release for mid-October. There continues to be one more thing to add, one more thing to polish, one more thing that could sound/look better. Its been definitely an exercise of patience, that's for sure.

Overall, I'm just really excited about getting this music out there for you guys, my fans, friends, and supporters. I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you and my hope is that you guys will really enjoy this labor of love. I've spent so much time and energy on this entire project...I hope you guys can actually hear it in the music. The whole experience has changed my life and I really appreciate all the encouragement so far. 

So, all I'm really waiting for at this point is possibly re-recording a guitar part for the last song on the album and having my producer give it one more listen before we get it manufactured. I'm also waiting for two things to be added to the album design/layout. Oh, and the mechanical licenses on two of the cover songs, making it legal for me to put those on the album. We're sooooo close!!!

In the meantime, I'm working on the sheet music kickstarter reward. The sheets are mostly done themselves...I'm just writing a little about how each song was inspired. Then I need to work on the theory part in the beginning about how to read sheet music. Then I have to send it to the printers to get those printed up as well as the T-shirts. I'm shooting to have all of this done next week, so...it's going to be a long weekend, lol.

Oh. Did I mention I need to move in a few weeks? I don't even know where...I've been working so much on the album stuff, I've barely had time to go house hunting! There's only a few more weeks of my normal backdrop in my videos before the change of scenery. Hard to believe I've lived in this apartment for 3 years. And my poor cat. It took her so long to adjust to this apartment. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure I can move her into the new house so soon because after I move, I need to get ready for New York Comic Con and I'll be gone for 5 days. She hates being alone for that long, and I can't imagine her being alone in the new house. She'll probably have to stay with my family. Hopefully she'll be okay.

I'm hoping I can post a video for you guys this weekend. I had planned something really special with a friend, but I'm still waiting for his part. It'll be worth the wait. -David

With the help and encouragement of you guys, I've decided to take the next big step in my music career and release my first album. And I'm a little scared...


For years, you guys have asked me when I was going to release my first album and it's been the farthest thing away from my mind. Videos have always been my top priority (even when I was too busy to make any), but after celebrating my 6th Youtube anniversary this January and recently hitting that 80,000 subscriber mark, I figured now was as good a time as any. So why am I scared? I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. Not only that, but I hate starting projects if I know there's a chance I won't be able to finish it. But hey...that's life. Things pop up and spoil our plans all the time. All we can do is try our best and take one step at a time. So to get started on this grand musical adventure, I've done what I know how to do best: I drafted up a plan.

I sat down with a calendar and after doing a little online research, it appears that if I work hard, this thing can be pulled together in about 23 weeks (which is perfect, because 23 weeks from tomorrow is the week of August 8th, the day that I posted my first original ocarina song, "The OcTalk Jig"). Now you might say, "23 weeks? That sounds like PLENTY of time!". It really isn't. Not for a quality album anyway. Six of those weeks are dedicated to fundraising, which a few of you suggested I do using kickstarter. I'm still doing research on that, but it seems like the way to go. During that time, I'll also be finalizing all my arrangements for the album. Then I'll need to book the studio, book the other musicians on the album, do the recordings, find someone to do the art (maybe a contest?), and then after the mixing+mastering is done, ship it off to the CD manufacturers to get them printed up. It's going to be quite the process.

So, I'm definitely doing to need some encouragement from you guys. All in all, I'm doing this for everyone who has supported me and my music up to this point, and if you're reading this post, chances are you are one of those awesome people. So thanks for all your love, support, and inspiration to keep doing what I love to do: making music. The next 23 weeks are going to a crazy whirlwind and I can't wait to share the final outtcome with you all!

Question: What kind of Kickstarter Rewards would you like to see for this project? The crazier, the better. Let me know in the comments!

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