Spencer Register: A Musical Vessel
Spencer Register is known as one of the world’s premiere ocarina [ah-kuh-ree-nuh] masters. The ocarina is an ancient wind instrument (a closed vessel flute) that is known around the world and gaining notoriety in the West. For over ten years, Spencer has taken his interest in the ocarina from a hobby to mastery… and a lucrative business. He was introduced to the ocarina when he was 12 playing the video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. At first, he wasn’t paying attention to the music, but gradually he took notice. Something about the sound of the ocarina drew him. He thought the music and the instrument were made up for the video game. Upon further research on the Internet he discovered it was a real instrument and decided to look for one. He went to his local music shop and the salesperson hadn’t even heard of it and had to special order it for him. Spencer already had musical aptitude playing the piano and French horn, but he found his new musical passion. He didn’t find any music books for the ocarina, so he taught himself to play by ear and information he found on the Internet. Before long he was collecting ocarinas, playing them, and making them.
At 17, Spencer sold his first ocarina on an online auction. Over the last six years, he has been perfecting his instruments. Now, his finely crafted ocarinas can sell for $500 and above (whatever the market demands). People who Spencer used to order instruments from now order from him. Spencer is the sole proprietor of his business and hand makes all his ocarinas. He could mass produce them but that would mean creating instruments of less quality. He prefers to make a better quality instrument. Spencer continually works on creating the best ocarinas possible. His ceramic instruments are known for their crystal clear tone, precise tuning and a pleasing aesthetic. He makes professional-grade instruments and discards any instrument that he would not use himself. His quantity is limited and he controls the numbers of instruments he makes. Most of his instruments take a couple of hours to craft before the initial firing process. Spencer has a patent pending on an improvement to the design of the ocarina.
FAITH AND AN ANCIENT FLUTE
Spencer accepted Jesus as his Lord at around the same time he discovered the ocarina. He says the ocarina has been a gift and blessing from God. Spencer likes the simplicity and uniqueness of the instrument. He also finds the process of making the ocarina very spiritual – it’s an analogy of God the creator and His creation. Spencer’s business has continued to grow and the demand for the instrument is rising. He tithes his money from the business. Spencer has also released his first CD, Ocarina Hymns. He chose hymns because of their spiritual and melodic elements. The hymn Spencer is performing, “This is My Father’s World,” makes Spencer think of all of God’s creation and how great God is. He wants to popularize ocarina music and is interested to see what will happen with the performance aspect of it. He will play at the Crystal Cathedral in the fall.
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