Daniel Martinez | The Sound of Home (Episode 4) | The PlainStory Podcast | NET Nebraska

Daniel Martinez | The Sound of Home (Episode 4) | The PlainStory Podcast | NET Nebraska


(classical guitar music) – Oh, gosh, sorry to interrupt. This is Genevieve Randall, and I know I say I love it too much, but I love it. Just listen. (classical guitar music) Oh, this is The PlainStory Podcast, and look for a bonus episode with just that piece. But for now, let’s pair
it with this interview. Well let’s just start
with when I say home, what comes to mind? – Home, what comes to mind is ocean, the sound, the breeze, eating on the corners of the streets. My family gathering together, being loud. And eating outside, and kids playing outside in the streets, basically dirt streets. Somebody without any appointment
just come to my house, knocks on door and say,
“Daniel, how you been?” Come in, lets eat. That’s what comes when you says– – Nice, right? That’s Daniel Martinez, a Lincoln musician talking about his home of Peru. (classical guitar music) And that’s his music in the background. I’ve known Daniel for quite a while, now. He’s a regular guest on Friday Live. And he’s very active in
the Lincoln music scene, playing solo shows at
different churches and events. He also plays with his band Jarana, an eclectic mixture of
flamenco, salsa, rumba, Latin beats, and rock. Between gigs, Daniel has
a job at Union College where he teaches guitar. (Spanish guitar music) After meeting Hasan
Zeyad at Golden Studio, and hearing them play, I’m just really invested in
this idea of cross cultural music exchange. I really, really wanted
them to meet Daniel. So, I set up a meeting, to
have Daniel bring his guitar to Golden Studio, and have
the three of them play. (musical instruments playing)
Hasan! Hasan. – Hello, guys. – Hey!
– Hey! – How are you guys doing? – I wanted you to meet
Daniel! (starts laughing) – Yeah, come on. – (laughing) – Hey! – I heard so much about you. – Hasan and Zeyad were already set up, so Daniel was able to
watch Zeyad on his saz, and Hasan on his keyboards for a bit. (musical instruments playing)
– (muffled) Nice. (group laughing) – That’s so good. It’s like so– – I love this, like, big love. (laughs) – (speaker muffled) – I knew Daniel would
be the perfect person to come to Golden Studio. He’s a constant ambassador of
music and cultural sharing. – So you guys play everyday? Practice everyday? – Not every day, no. – Oh, really? – No, not every day. – A few days a week. – A few days a week? Where are you guys from? – Iraq. – Iraq? – I’m from Syria. I consider myself from Syria. – He’s almost from Iraq. – Almost, yeah? (laughs) – I’m like, I would say I’m like 20% Iraq. – Yeah, I’m from Iraq and
my parents are from Iraq. – Yeah, 20% so. – But, yeah, I lived
in Syria my whole life. – And this is just what Hasan and Zeyad have been looking for. As musicians, they almost exclusively play with Yazidis and for Yazidis. They’ve told me and Eric that’s hard to meet other musicians in Lincoln. They want someone to push them creatively, to share ideas with. And, just share in the joys of new sounds. Daniel is so that person. – That’s what me and Zeyad do, we search in music, and trying to
actually, and we know it takes long time. Our goal is to like, create a style where everyone can relates to. Not hey this is just
Yazidis cultural music, and a certain dance you can dance to. That’s what we try to do, is bring, you know, create new tones
and create new melodies, where, you know, it’s more of a Westerns, Middle Easterns, you know? – I’ve listened to Daniel
talk about home often, and he speaks with such vivid description, and so from the heart. I think for Hasan and Zeyad, though their experiences
are very different, I think they’ll find
a connection with him. Listen to this conversation
I had with Daniel about music and home. – So, in all these different
pictures that I see with my instrument, with my guitar, sometimes I need these downsides, That everything is energetic and fun, and I need to, I sometimes need to cry, So, I just grab my guitar and
this is the time my guitar and I we, we come to one
together, and exchange, you know, ideas, exchange feelings. And sometimes I need to go back
and shout out to the world, “Hey, I’m here guys!” (singing in foreign language) And play loud, with my band, and sometimes it’s just
time to play in church and remembering my dad. Or, just play songs that my mom loved. It’s always those pictures
that are up, down, up, down in the line right there in the center. It’s Music. – When you travel back
to Peru to see family, but you mentioned something
about a line you crossed, feeling like maybe Lincoln was more home than Peru on balance? – I know what you’re talking about. – Do you know what I’m talking about? – Yeah, I know it’s exactly. – And when was the line? Like, when was it, and
what did that feel like? – I went with my wife. I had a project, musical project in Peru, and when I go to Peru
it’s always to connect with my family, my food. I used to live five minutes
walking from the ocean. Here we go to Holmes lake
to feel like the ocean. – (laughs) – But– (laughs) – Very different. (laughs) – Exactly. At least there’s water. Right? – Yeah. – But we, I went to, you know, to a park that is right next to the ocean. There’s a restaurant. It was the first time when
I start observing the ocean, and I couldn’t hold it, and I start bawling. Those cryings that you cannot hold it. You cannot stop. And my wife, she saying, “What’s wrong?” I told we are here right now, and I feel like I don’t belong here. And when I go to Lincoln,
we go to the shop, we go to the store, we
eat sometimes my food. Peruvian food. But we are not in my country, and I’m not from Lincoln. And I told her right
now, physically speaking, I don’t belong anywhere. I’m right in the center,
which is the ocean. And I’m thinking, well, sometimes a place doesn’t define you. Happiness is you bring
happiness to the place. So I asked my sister, as a way to understand
if that’s true feeling. She was here before, and I ask her tell me if you feel this. So I explain to her and said, yes, when that happened, and she say when I had my first baby, and few months later, three months later, she went to Peru to show
the baby to my parents. And that’s when I felt that I don’t belong in my country, and I don’t belong in Lincoln. And I cry in the ocean. It was a hard feeling, Daniel. But now I’m here, I’m still alive. The same, the same place
that I cry she cried. It was hard. – That’s amazing that she had
a similar experience to you. – 17 years need to pass, and I’ve been in the country
almost half of my life. Almost. I’m 41, and that’s gonna be one day that the years that you spend,
it’s gonna be more in here than the country that gave you birth. You know? (guitar music) – That is a powerful, powerful story. When I heard it, I just thought about how Zeyad and Hasan
had their own struggles with pinpointing that identity of home. Hasan is always adding
footnotes about where he’s from, grappling with Iraq, and a refugee camp in Syria, while Zeyad openly struggles
with what feels like home, and the place that is safe. At Golden Studio, Daniel
shared his stories from Peru with Hasan and Zeyad. – My parents, they were missionaries, and at home we used to sing a lot, and church as well. And we used to sing a lot a capalla. You know, doing voices harmonies. And my dad used to play a lot of classical music at home
as a way to wake us up. (laughing) You know, as an alarm, yeah,
I hate it in the beginning. – As an alarm (laughs). Yes.
– Yeah. – Yes, so in my country I told my mom I wanna study music, you know, and she said no, because
you’re gonna be on the streets. That’s how we relate, unfortunately. So, it’s not a necessity, right? It’s not part, we’re born with it, but it’s a luxury. Here, everybody goes to school
and plays an instrument, and if you don’t play in the school, your parents send you to
instructor to learn an instrument. At least require or whatever. – At least now your piano
lessons require (crosstalk). – You know, and okay,
mom and dad say okay, learn for two years, three
years, and that’s it. After high school, I’m over with you. – I know Daniel is talking
about his experiences as a music teacher in Lincoln. Seeing parents acting differently from how his parents acted. I also know that cuts to arts funding in the US schools is always in the news, but in Lincoln the public
schools and private entities have so many opportunities
for children to learn music. Zeyad, when you and I talked, music was just always something that
you needed all the time. Does anything that Daniel’s
saying make sense to you? Is it very different, or– – Everything he said it
makes, like it is in common. Like I sleep, the music in my, the headset in my ears, I listen to music. I eat, I listen to music. I drive, I listen to music. Even when I’m not listening to music, the music is in my head, because I’m listening to it too much. Just something I’m addicted to it. Music’s love. It’s like it’s the air
I breathe, actually. That’s how I feel it. If there’s no music, I
feel that I’m gonna die ’cause I can’t see myself
without music maybe two days. – I wanna hear you guys play. – Daniel gets his guitar out. He’s eager to get playing. Remember how I told you about
quarter tones and frets? Go back to episode two
if you missed that bit. Daniel’s guitar is a fretted instrument. So, just like Eric,
he’ll have to figure out how to blend with these two instruments. Listen to Daniel as he finds
a way to work his guitar into a conversation with
the saz and the keyboard. (fusion style music) – I think United States
is a country that opens up the idea, the option, the opportunity to have people from different
parts of the globe in one place, and Lincoln, we can say
we’re very lucky to have a diversity that is big. Here, we know, but
sometimes we don’t know, how much potential we have in our land, in midwest, in Lincoln. So we need to wake this up. It’s sleeping right now,
so we need to wake up the music. You know, the alarm, (laughs) and people will start
realizing there is a lot of diversity, let’s take
advantage of this opportunity and meet other people from
other parts of the world. (fusion music) – On the next episode
of PlainStory Podcast, how about this to wake you up? (Middle Eastern music) The PlainStory Podcast, The Sound of Home, is produced by NET, Nebraska. I’m your host, Genevieve Randall. Our producer is Brian Seifferlein, and our associate
producer is Monica Starr. Our field audio is by Emily
Kreutz, Nathan Todhunter, and Andy Bigham. We had editing from Alex Epperson, and mixing by Nathan Todhunter Our graphics are by Joe McMullen. Bill Anderson is our
radio network director. Chad Davis is our executive producer. Special thanks to Golden
Studio, Eric Higgins, and the Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival. See you on the next episode. (gentle music)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *