Five years ago, Martin could hardly play his acoustic guitar. Recently he began to focus on songwriting and improving his guitar playing and singing.
“I used to play open mic. nights at the late, lamented Boheme — now Mother’s — in Ames. I met like-minded people there and started jamming with them,” Martin said. “It was a whole new world compared to the stay-at-home-and-play-to-the-cats-in-your-basement mode. Then I found students in my landscape architecture department who shared my interests, and we began playing ‘guerrilla gigs’ last fall in the atrium of the Design building. Eventually, Cup of Tea was formed, which is me and three [landscape architecture] students. I’m the old man of the band by far.”...
Encouraging students to play music and sing is one of his unique teaching qualities.
“I think it’s important because it gives everyone a chance to do something they wouldn’t normally be able to do in other places. It gives them a place to express themselves. When Boheme closed, I had to find somewhere else to do that,” Martin said.
Martin said he never gets bored with his everyday life.
“With teaching, things never get old. There are new projects and new people all of the time. With music, it’s constantly changing and growing and getting developed further, too,” Martin said.
Despite having a busy work schedule, Martin never forgets about his ultimate passion: songwriting and playing music.
“I love music whole-heartedly and also really love the design of things,” Martin said. “I just get lost in it. But it’s a more solitary endeavor, like songwriting. There’s really no parallel in the act of designing with that synergy that sometimes occurs while playing or singing with others. When that synergy makes something happen that never existed before … it’s the greatest thing in the universe.”
- from an Iowa State Daly article by John Lonsdale
Michael Martin - 2 guitars, mandolin, tambourine
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