Backtracks: Daniel Reyes Llinas

Just what WAS that first song or instrumental you heard at an early age, when you acknowledged music’s place in your life? Where were you and how did you hear it? That’s what we asked people for our new audio project, BACKTRACKS. We’re recording conversations and essays about our most formative musical memories.

First up, let’s meet composer, guitarist and media artist Daniel Reyes Llinas, who was lured away from singing in the choir to picking up his first axe by an Argentinian new wave pop song.

Listen to Daniel’s BACKTRACKS story here:

I’m from Bogota, Colombia. My family is made up of my mother, she was a TV soap opera actress. My biological father was a famous musician, he helped to create the Colombian music industry back in 1950s, 1960s. I never got to meet him, not that I know of. I have a step-father who’s my “love” father. That’s my origins.

It’s very common in Colombia to go to Catholic school, and when you go to Catholic school, you have to become part of the choir. I was six or seven, I had a very angelic voice. I don’t know, I had good intonation. That was my first approach to music. It was a priest named Ivan, the director of the choir…and he would bring us these pop songs, from Portuguese or Argentinian pop singers, and he will change the lyrics to praise God.

Then when you were in 5th grade…you get to play the guitar. They have a room with 50 guitars hanging on the walls. They will teach us how to hold the guitar, and they say, “This is the 6th string, this is E, everybody play E! ” Fifty kids playing E – chung, chung, chung! It sounded like bees or something.

Soda_Stereo-Nada_Personal%5B1%5D

The song that Daniel discusses is called “Cuando pase el temblor” by the Argentinian band, Soda Stereo. The band was formed in the early 1980’s by guitarist/vocalist Gustavo Cerati, bass player Zeta Bosio, and drummer Charly Alberti. With a pop mixture of reggae, ska, new wave and noise rock, Soda Stereo was at the forefront of the Argentinian rock movement, and remained popular well into the 90s. After their farewell tour in 1997, they successfully reunited in 2007, three years before Gustavo Certi (now a prominent solo artist) suffered a stroke onstage in Venezuela. He remains in a coma to this day.

Daniel Reyes Llinas has a new album called Molino – listen to clips on his website: http://www.danielreyesllinas.com/

– Jocelyn

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