Journeyman drummer Dan Martier’s reputation among his peers is as good as it gets. He’s humble, earnest, kind, reliable — and über talented.
In addition, the musical machine — he regularly plays with at least six bands — is in his 18th year as a broker-Realtor on the beach. He was with Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty from May 1999 to March 2012, when he joined The Outer Banks Realty Group.
Real estate is grounding and rewarding in its own way, but it’s the free-spirit sensibilities of music that nourishes his soul and soothes his world-weary heart.
“Music has always kept me at peace and keeps me sane. There was a time when I was not playing enough music and probably went a little crazy. I have learned that music is me, and I need to keep the music happening,” he says, adding music can be a tool for healing — and that is what led him to gong master Don Conreaux.
“It is amazing to be in his company; just a great spirit,” Martier says of the octogenarian guru of gongs. “It was not so much the technical way to play a gong but more how healing the vibration of the gong is to us humans. This is old medicine that we lost along the way.”
When a gong is struck, the air swells with reverberations, creating multi-dimensional ripples of sound that grow into waves and bathe the entire body in streams of sound — a healing, soothing, sonic massage. Sound is not only heard through the ears but through every molecule in the body. It awakens the subconscious, helps people move from a physical to meditative state and gently activates the body’s natural healing intelligence, he says.
Martier taps into the ancient healing technique when he performs as one-half of Anahata: The other half is his wife Laura.
In addition to being a notable jazz and soul vocalist, Laura Martier is a registered and certified yogi and co-owner of The Well Yoga Co-op in Kill Devil Hills.
She, too, is a gong master and often travels to Costa Rica, where she partnered on a home, to fine tune her talents.
The duo’s name is taken from the Sanskrit word commonly used to designate the heart chakra, the wellspring of spiritual growth, compassion and unconditional affection situated in the center of the chest and which serves as a bridge, balancing energy between the lower and upper chakras.
The dynamic couple recently returned from a four-day visit to Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley where they conducted sound healing sessions. Set in the Sierra Mountains of North Lake Tahoe, California, the annual yoga lifestyle festival brings nature-loving yogis, holistic and energy healers, and like-minded people together to share knowledge and immerse themselves in good vibes and wellness. There also are guest speakers, demonstrations, classes, sports activities, movie screenings, live music and a central outdoor marketplace, where craft and artisan vendors, green living vendors and healthy artisanal foods and beverages are showcased.
Anahata facilitates a 1-hour gong bath sound meditation session — using singing bowls and gongs — at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at The Well Yoga Co-op, 3105 N. Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills. Sessions are offered at a suggested $20 donation.
No experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome.
Martier says the meditative sound healing practices allow him to clear his mind and focus on inner peace.
“Sound healing is real, and I have been involved first hand. Anahata is a direct intention to heal. We need these frequencies, and the world needs this peace and calm more than ever,” Martier says. “I feel like we have been anointed to do this work now.”