Music in the Quad: Eli Alfred and the Ocarina | Interviews


Eli Alfred is an LSU student who you probably saw, or at least heard, while riding the Quad or walking past the Union. If you don’t recognize the name, it’s probably because the students call him “the guy who plays the ocarina”.

Eli started playing the ocarina when he first heard it in Zelda and wanted to see if he could pick it up and learn a few songs. He had previously played the piano and continued to learn even more instruments, such as guitar and bass. However, the ocarina is what made it stand out the most.

He arrived on campus three years ago and that’s when he started performing in public. It seemed like a good way to make friends and see if someone could recognize the songs they knew. Since then he has made many friends and received an array of positive comments and interactions from the student body.

“After finding out the impact it had on a lot of people here, I was motivated to stay,” Eli said. Lots of people will come up to him smiling, saying he’s done it all, to find out more about the instrument, or to request a song.

On the ocarina, it has about 30 to 40 songs in its rotation. “I get requests from people, and I will try to play there and add it to the library,” he said. If it’s a song that’s simple and straightforward enough, he can learn it in seconds. Currently, her favorite songs to play in her library are Ocarina of Time‘s “Shop Theme” and Detlarune’s “Queens Theme”.

Although knowing how to play so many songs, on several instruments, nothing less, makes you quite a creative person, Eli went further than that. He is studying screen arts and hopes to turn the three science fiction novels that are part of a series he wrote into an animated series. “That’s what keeps me going,” he said, “anything creative.” He has also directed short films in the past and hopes to do more after college.

If you want to hear this incredible talent in person, Eli is usually in the Quad and performs between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You might even hear it in other parts of campus. If you stop and listen for a bit, you won’t regret it.


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