« Modern Love

When the Music Stopped

2022-10-12 | 🔗

Growing up in Brooklyn, Sonia Pérez recalled how her father would drink beer, sit on the sofa and lose himself in records from Puerto Rico, where he grew up. One day, he stopped listening. Sonia and her siblings wondered why.  

On the other side of the world, in Ireland, Grainne Armstrong recalls the moment she experienced her daughter’s love for the first time, set to a soundtrack of opera and birdsong. 

Today, two stories about a parent and child longing for a deeper connection – and how music sparked their understanding of one another.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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worship music, on the car radio sleepily camp at the young adult services at church. The lyrics were about the mystery of the universe. All the grains of and on the beach these unknowable infinite things made manageable catching. I echo the worship leader in a common response. Swaying eyes closed. I knew all the lyrics by heart, even if I didn't have any answers. These songs made me feel like someone out Where did, and that gave me a lot of comfort these days. I dont believe the same way I did back then but recently I was on the bus freaking out about this person, I've been seeing. I was feeling sure rounded. I didn't know my next move and without even think,
About it, I put on a press on and this music made, my problem feel really small. It brought me back to a time when I felt sure there were answers, but this time singing to myself on the bus. I did both the call in the response. Today we have two tiny love stories about music taking people somewhere else, somewhere, private and vivid and accessible only to them. Our first story is from Sonya Perez. Oh I inherited this algeria from my father on weekends, in brooklyn. He would play his seventy eight hour pm and sonya records, drink beer and look forlorn.
He'd lose himself in lyrics about not hear us the last month and yes, the noble farmers of the mountains, military in dreams would flowed through the air on my sisters, I rolled her eyes. We couldn't relate to music about puerto rico's countryside. Once I came home to my father sitting the sofa his record strewn about cracked into pieces. We never asked he never exe. Land, the fissures remain a law to hear those songs, the
the entire parliament you so much for that story. Sonya. Looking
back now. You know as an adult. Why do you think your father felt like he had to destroy those records? I sort of feel like when you do this impulsive thing right, you're fed up your leg done and done with it like. I think he was done. What was done with, I think it was done with. You know this idea that maybe he would go back to porto ego by this house and lived there. I think he was done with this sense that maybe he hadn't achieved everything he wanted to, and I think he wanted to be in this little house in the countryside of puerto rico made, and I think my sisters and I didn't have a connection to it. My brother didn't have a connection to
and- and in I'm really sad about that, I feel like if, if not for that impulsive moments, we would have this treasure of music. That was his wherein putter recall was your dad from he was from. I was born us, which is a town in the centre in the mountains of the countryside. It's a place of creeks ends beautiful mountains. The air is really fresh, some severe the roosters, but there also just lots of crickets and chirping neighbours looked out for each other. There wasn't locks on the doors And I think about what a shame that he felt he had to leave it. And what do you know about what his life was like? There. D. You think went about eighth grade or so in school. He did all kinds of jobs from cutting sugar cane to moving
then one and selling furniture at one point in furniture stores, and so he went from their rural countryside of porter eco to some one to reappear, All I know is that there were just simply not jobs in puerto rico, and my father always had this dream of buying a house that was the stream and did your dad ever buy The house that he wanted so much yeah, they bought a house. I was probably about nine or ten, but we were only there for two or three years and then we moved into an apartment which is the one that they lived in the next thirty years. What do you remember about growing up in brooklyn in that department? There are eight of us. My parents were extremely strict. We were seven girls and how one boy,
very traditional and very structured because of what they perceived as just external influences, the end, so that with the environment your father- keep in touch with his family back in puerto rico. My father did not keep in touch with people. My mother kept in touch with my father's family. He didn't talk about his family alone, except when he was drinking. He would talk about the past. Did you ask questions about his past or about puerto rico? As a kid, we never asked questions, because it was kind of understood that we we didn't have that kind of relationship yeah, and so I think when he was listening to this music, I feel like he allowed himself, maybe or just came out a little bit more, but he wouldn't share it with us. It was more like he would sit there by himself or then he would get mad that we didn't know
music, so it was just like his thing. His space though it be playing, and we would hear it, but we did him, sit there and listen to it with him. Necessarily my siblings and I didn't speak spanish to each other. We didn't visit porter egos, so we didn't know a lot of them, what they told us or what, whether we were interested, our selves and learning about it, and I think that made him sad to write that it was sort of like we didn't have a connection to this place, that
with his home growing up. Were you interested in in learning more about the island? I was always always interested, I'm not sure how it gets transmitted, but this feeling that you belong somewhere else. I never felt like I belong here. Even though I was born and raised in brooklyn identified is put to weaken, it was like right deep in me when I went for the first time I was fourteen and I just loved it. I want with my mother and then I didn't go back, and so I was about twenty five with my husband before we got married and then we got married therein lived there for ten years, while there is of huge part of who I feel as my identity, and also what I feel like inside
know. What I feel like inside is is somebody that's yes, part brooklyn, but definitely part puerto rico, even though I did not grow up there. It was really really important for me to to learn spanish to know it read and write. It lived there and carry that with me, because I feel like I carry my parents with me. Although my life is completely different than their lives, were so Thank you so much for sharing the story. I feel so grateful to talk to you today. Thank you. I appreciated being able share a little bit of my fans and to honour my father by little The Hmm hmm Hmm,
After the break, a mother feels her daughter's love in a way she once thought was impossible. That's next! This episode is supported by sachs dot com. A quick ten second browse at saks dot com is your guide to finding the best fall shed you'll find curated shops that make it easy to find effortlessly stylish pieces for work and for happy hour after sex Come also has custom shops with personalized recommendations and top turning picks up dated daily sacks. Did the stylus are even able to give you free, styling advice. They can help you put together. Signature, look that actually feels like you, plus free shipping, free return, every day at sacks dot com, I'm governors guarantees, casey newton, we're technology, reporters and the hosts of hard fork, a new show from the new york times hard fork,
if the programming term, for when you're building something, but it gets really screwed up. So you take the entire thing, break it and start over and that's a little bit what it feels like right now in the tech industry like These companies that you and I have been writing about for the past decade. There all kind of struggle to stay relevant yeah. I'm a lot of the energy and money in silicon valley is shifting to totally new ideas, crypto the matter verse ay. I isn't a real turning point and this is happening so fast, some of its so strange. I just feel again texting you constantly like what is this story? Explain this to me and so going to talk about these stories. We're gonna bring in other journalists, news makers, whoever else involved in building this future too. Plain to us. What's changing and all matters hard fork from the new york times, listen wherever you get your podcast. The
the. The. Grandma Armstrong talk to me from what she calls her therapy room. It's a small cabin just out at our house in ireland with assault lamp and a cat named pucker, everything felt com. But outside this room things can get hard. Grannies daughter, Jenny is artistic, and drag jenny's childhood. The two struggled to bond grand. You wrote a tiny. Story about a moment when she and her daughter finally connected- So gunnar you wrote this gorgeous tiny love story. Music in the woods about your daughter, jenny, tell me about,
her what was jenny like as a child? Ok, where do I start em, I suppose diminish jenny was born. I knew I knew something was not quite right. My my career choice at the time was I trained to be a nurse and particularly for special needs, am, and my expertise was with autism and change in behaviour to be actually told as apparent that you now have a child with physical, sensory nervous disability, it was just it just a punch in the gulf, you know, and it just hit me. This is going to be seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, probably for the rest of our lives. So tell me about caring for jenny as a young child. What did she like? What did she not like?
rice and jenny. Hearse her sensory processing was off. We couldn't really torture in a comfortable way. She didn't enjoy taught She didn't like going into cases that had room so on them, like banks are post offices or arcades? the noise was just too much for her, so she would screen to override the noise. Tat was coming into her brain and thus went for a long long time on three employed. This therapies was amusing therapy that uses headphones and it helps d.
Sensory processing to dissipate? I suppose across her body, but Jenny's head was so small. We could get no headphones to fit on her head, so we literally had to saw the headphones into a little bonus to tie around her chin. We had to start from literally ten seconds of her, listened to that music and work it up to twenty minutes a day and her music just seemed to take her to a place that you could reach her in a more productive way. She was screaming. She would listen to music and you could lay a hand on her then to do something constructive with her. She was starting to maybe look at her surroundings outside her house, the beaches, the woods, the lakes, just seem to be really can and present in those kinds of situations
What is something that you and jenny like to do together? Em, I suppose every single day nearly we go for a walk in the woods together, it's a wood that was set back in the eighteenth century, so it's full of oak and ash and horse chestnut lime, trees and large. There is one lovely area which myself and jenny both feed, I think, is very energetic. It's called monterrey, pine grove. It was a pine grove that was set back in the eighteenth century, but the trees are enormous and there, on top of a hill and the
who owns the pine cones when they fall in our some their huge there absolutely huge, but jenny seems to all with stop at this spot and she will look up into the crown of the trees and she could stand there. Fridges em for jenny. I have to expand its virginity, actually stand until her head back and look up to the sky was a scale that took years to develop balance wise so we'd? You know and. On her walks. That's an opportunity for us to give her the choice of where she wants, and that's actually where you're you're, tiny story starts. Will you read it for me now. I will ok Jenny plays music from her mp3 player chris.
his girls in July operatic. Voices fill the woods as rob. Fluttered down and surrounded her jenny stops movie. the stairs robin see. No words are spoken, complete contentment. Nature. She turned to me and pants and awkward, resolute, kiss my lips, It is only now in our teenage years that she can tolerate touch, I put. My autistic daughter to my breast. feed her love. It's such a beautiful moment that the two of you are sharing. How does it feel that He was the one who kissed you, ah if we just warm your heart, she was exe
to me as her mother and but for her to actually just kind of grab my face and flung a big kiss on my lips. It just showed me that you exactly what she was doing. She knew what a kiss was about. She had some sense of ass. It would make me feel, I think- and I felt like her mother- not her care not for therapists. Nothing like I just felt like her mother, modern love is produced by julia bioterrorism, Christina Joseph illicit deadly HANS Buteux, it's edited by Sarah saracens. This episode was mixed by dan power the modern lefty music is my dan powell
music by italy, should be two and rummy tell digital products by making image of money and now the locally special thanks. and a diamond in autumn into and sonya records in pure music, the modern look is edited by Daniel Jones. Mealy is editor of modern love projects. I'm gonna, Martin. Thank you for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-10-18.