The Heroine’s Journey of Martina Locatelli

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

In my opinion, the best thing about my job is the emotional connotation that I can give to everything: playing a piece of music made by someone else and , in some ways, make it mine. Being responsible of someone else feelings just doing my job, this gives me the motivation to be more careful about my music-communication skills.

What is my idea of happiness?

I don’t really have an idea of happiness, I think it should be built by small things everyday . Anyway, after these shady years, I can confirm that I can’t see my life without freedom, freedom of speaking, freedom of thinking, freedom of travelling, freedom of being whatever I want.

What is my greatest fear?

Lose my time

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I’m really sensitive. I was always sensitive about the environment and the people who surrounded me, since I was a kid. It can be a double-edged sword

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

Being a classical musician is not easy at all. The sufferances and the sacrifices we need to face are huge and, for these reasons, we usually became tough and arrogant. Despite these things, I admire all the musicians I met on my path that conserved their simplicity, the human side, as my big inspiration, sir James Galway, who will be forever the legend of the flute, a very kind person who always spent time to chat about normal-life things. I had the luck to meet another legend of the flute, William Bennett, flute teacher at the Royal academy in London, who passed away last year. A man who was his instrument, he was a legend , but at the same time a man who was eating with me on a table in a small village in Italy.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I have many, actually, but I think the biggest ones are that I usually count stairs (wherever I go) and I do the same breakfast since I was a teenager, taking care of the same order of food I ate: yogurt, cereals and fruit. On my job I am very careful on my scores: before the performance I double check that the pages are always in the right order.

On what occasion would I lie?

I am a bad lier, it seems I have written on my face the truth. When I did it, it was just for avoid arguments or useless conflicts.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Being always unstable, far away from my relatives and my friends. Changing job, for me, means always changing city and, often, country (this time even continent). It’s nice to learn new culture and languages but,sometimes,is also exhausting, overall when I need to face documents or bureaucracy, when the language becomes an insurmountable wall.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Here and now, right?

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would like to be more flexible, to be thoughtless,be able to live my life lightly

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Being able to work as first flute in an orchestra, made my child- dream comes true, and earn a stable salary with that.

Where would I most like to live?

In my home town, a small village in Bergamo , in the Northern part of Italy. I would live next to my mountains, next to my lovely green fields.

What is my most treasured possession?

I am a Soka Gakkai buddhist since ten years. I made my human revolution thanks to my Gohonzon , a scroll of rice paper that contains the meaning of life. I know that the Buddha is inside of myself, but this scroll helped me to see clearly my life and what my mission would have been.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I am a very persistent person, I can fell down thousands of times, but I could start every time, again and again until I achieve something I want

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Since I just changed city, I don’t really know which places I will love the most. For sure, I have a beautiful lake where I usually walk with my dog and I like to look at the reflections of the sunset on the water

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

As I said, I still don’t really know this city where I live, but usually I like spend my day in small cafeterias, writing, reading and chatting

What books influenced my life and how?

I loved Russian literature since my teenager years, I travelled far away reading Karamazov brothers, the Idiot, Demons, Crime and Punishment. I still remember how I felt while, during the reading, I was listening to Michelangeli’s recordings of Rachmaninov piano concertos. I felt this melancholy that Russian people have also in their music. I was a Tolkien’s books lover during the university. I remember I went every month in a second-hand book shop and I bought everything it was written by Tolkien. Tolkien gave me the possibility to escape from reality during a very hard moment, thanks to his fairy world. During the last years my life became busier and all my free time went just for music: studying music is the main thing I do. It’s with big shame that I say that I just read one book during the last year, but this book changed my life. The title of this book is “Dying to be me” by Anita Moorjani. She speaks about her experience face to face with the death, how she healed after the cancer killed her body but, despite this, she decided to come back in the world to give a very beautiful message of hope. I realised that I don’t need to have money, or a job, or a partner in order to be happy, happiness is just follow what my real nature is, going to the path of being the person I am truly. It was in that moment that I just let the things go, trying to be centered in my deep nature and be focused into the messages of the universe!

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

I am sure that I will die before to choose it! Such a long list! I would choose probably something that reminds me some specific moment of my life, Dvorak, for his deep link with his motherland, Rachmaninov piano concertos, Schubert trios, Puccini’s or Donizetti’s operas, but also Dire Straits, PFM, Franco Battiato, Lucio Battisti, Jethro Tull, Buena Vista Social Club, Natalia Lafourcade…I will die before I choose, really !

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

My hero is William Wallace, fighting until the end of his days for the dream of freedom, not for being rich or for being powerful, for freedom, it’s a real act of compassion . I know his speech by memory.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

My Sensei , Daisaku Ikeda, who encouraged me ,through his life, to be a person who can make a better world and, of course, my parents and my relatives. They showed me that, even in the most difficult circumstances, you can fight with honesty and dignity. Success will be just a consequence of these things and, of course, a consequence of hard work. Sometimes the path of honest people is harder, but it will be certainly more satisfactory

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

I am a Korean movie lover, I can’t really decide which one is better but, for sure, one of Bong Joon-Ho, my favourite one is Memories of Murder (2003). Just search for his name and start to watch all of his movies, they all are works of art.

What role play stories in my life and work?

Well, thousands of musicians would say “I need to use stories in order to be more well connected with my music”. Nothing wrong, of course, but I’m not totally agree. Knowing a story is important but, as classical musicians, there are many other things we need to focus on during a performance, as pitch, colours, right entrances, other instruments around you, breathing, articulations (and I even didn’t speak about right or wrong notes!) So, if we think about the story during the performance and , maybe, we get too excited ,we can probably lose the focus in all of these things and the result will probably be not as nice as we expected. For me , stories, as the opera pamphlets, are important on the first stage of the creation, then i’ll take these emotions and i’ll try to find the best technique in order to share these feelings, but I won’t think about the story during my performance.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

It means a lot for me. I learned how to be in the wrong environment, where I don’t feel valued, can destroy even the most self confident person. For this reason, it is always important to come back to the center and learn how to be the sun of our lives.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband Fernando, for sure. I see our relationship as a stable boat, a strong castle. We passed through very deeply hard times and we did with our souls the Kintsugi art: we got broken , we got wound, but we repaired it with beautiful golden lines and now we are stronger than before, conscious of what is really important in our life. We are completely different, as a Tao symbol, he is very impulsive and I’m too reflexive but I don’t see my life without him, he’s my good friend, my smile in the tears, my light in the darkness, that crazy dance under the rain.

Which people or companies would I like to work with ?

As I wrote before, I already reached the biggest goal of my life being first flute in an orchestra and being able to have a nice and stable salary with that but, for being honest, my deepest dream is to work in a Opera house, playing in an Italian (or European ) theatre as a stable job. Unfortunately, the severe situation of European theatres is going even worse and I also think that, due to the lack of funds , now it should be very stressful working in Opera house, less rehearsals and more performances(not even mention a stable salary). I hope that people can enjoy again the beauty of Suor Angelica or Aida or Carmen or Boheme and many other operas full of our daily emotions.

I love the Opera’s world, I love stay in the pit, working with singers, looking to the different backstages, costumes, make up, I love this world, I worked for three years in two different Opera theatre and I really miss it. There , I feel all the composer’s emotion and I can find myself in another world, a timeless world. Never say never in life!

What project am I looking forward to work on?

I am thrilled to work on chamber music ensembles with my orchestra’s colleagues, on May we will play a woodwind chamber concert and I am really excited to start with it! As I am subjected to restriction due to my orchestral contract, I can’t freely play out of my orchestra without my company’s permission, anyway we will have enough music to do in these months!

Where can you see me or my work?

here’s my YouTube channel, where you can see me playing piccolo and flute.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

For me, it means that we should always have something that brings us back to the child’s feeling of fascination in front of a new experience. This doesn’t mean that it must become a job or a professional path, but it must bring us this happiness, this holy and pure emotion we felt when , for the first time, we learned something that changed our life. If we have this spirit doing what we love, this passion, we will never get “retired”, because our life takes a new, gorgeous colour until the end of our days.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

I am a musician and, for sure, I would have a long list of thousands of great musicians I worked with. To be fair to all of them, I want to suggest you people who have a different path than mine and they are in my life since ages or just a small time, but they did a great human revolution with their jobs and their attitudes, as my friend Benedetta Nicoli, a religion sociologist, full of things to say and to share with the world, one of the deepest person I ever met. Francesca Besana, a self-made business woman, who created her own lovely clothes shop for curvy sizes, an example of strength and love for her job. Tassia Rezende, I spend little time with her but she shared with me the beautiful world of Brazilian words in poetry, so sweet and meaningful.

How can you contact me? You can contact me on Facebook

or in instagram (marti.leilajohns)

or by email

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