Allen Image : August 2011

Cris Gale

by Tom Keener

Come hear on of the world's oldest musicial instruments when Allen's own "Ocarina Diva" Cris Gale performs Friday, August 12. at Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Drive.

She will performing classical standards, as well as contemporary and classical pieces from Asia. Cris explains, "I suppose the program could be described as East/West classical Fusion".

Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free and no reservations are required.

From the United States to Switzerland to Senegal, Italy to Japan, ocarinas bring people of the world together. Primitive forms of these instruments have been sxcavated from sites of various ancient civilizations, including Aztecs, Mayans, Chinese, and Pacific Islanders.

Because of its portability and versatility, the ocarina continues to be popular in contempoaray culture, and has been featured in the popular video game The Legend of Zelda : The Ocarina of Time.

Cris began playing the ocarina in 1999, and since then she has performed at renaissance festivals, weddings, and as a studio musician for a meditation CD. In 2009, she won STL Ocarina's international Star Search Competition and subsequently joined STL Ocarina as a consultant and performer.

Cris declares, "It is just something that I deeply enjoy doing that happens to bring me happines. I can't imagine life without it. When I attended the ocarina festival, I met a maker/performer from Norway that lost one of his hands in an accident. He made himself a special ocarina so that he could keep playing. Despite what's happened to him, he continues to make beautiful music. I don't think he had a choice. I think that once music gets a hold on you, it never lets go."

One of the more interest venues was at a friends Indian wedding. Her knowldge of Indian music was neglible but the piece that was selected was extremely soothing for her to play. SHe described the experience as very beautiful and somewhat surreal.

For more information, please call 214.509.4911.