If you were to ask me, “What was the most difficult thing you had to face when you moved to the UK?” you would expect my answer to be “getting a job”, or “finding a place to live and paying for all the expanses.” Well, those were, and sometimes still are, serious difficulties to overcome, especially if you don’t know exactly what you are going to do when you decide to move to a foreign country. However, the biggest challenge for me has been finding new friends. It’s only when you immerse yourself in a new cultural system that you realize there are more barriers than you had expected.
One of the main reasons why I decided to move to London almost nine years ago was that I’ve always been fascinated by English culture, literature, language, and the incredible artists who, in the past four hundred years, have given the world such an amazing quantity of masterpieces in every form of art. So, when I arrived in 2015, I told myself, “If I really want to live here, I must dive into this culture and connect with it deeply, learning as much as I can, and blending with its people’. To do that I had to make a drastic decision: I had to switch off my “Italian mind” and, like a child, walk through all the necessary steps to observe and understand the new world around me.
This is when I realized that friends are an exceptional gift given in abundance when you are a child, light-hearted and carefree, and then little by little reduced to few people that you often rarely see because “there is never enough time” or “we are too busy watching series”.
On top of that, there is another issue: metropolitan lives are not like countryside lives.
If you grow up in a city, it isn’t surprising if you end up going through a constant recycle of people and faces, which might slow down a bit when you are in your 20s, to eventually subside as soon as the ‘family business’ takes over. So only a small group of precious people start gravitating into your life, and the world shrinks, and most of us start seeing life ‘in repeat,’ and the years go by.
Now, imagine when in your 40s you find yourself projected into a city with almost ten million people moving as fast as ping-pong balls across a surface of 1,572 km2.
I constantly meet so many wonderful people in London, but for a friendship to bloom, it needs proximity, and here the distances are often immense, and the working (I should say ‘surviving’) rhythm, for the majority, is exhausting. On top of that, having quit my theatre adventure and spending most of my time teaching kids, engaging in deep and meaningful conversations is becoming a rare opportunity. After all this time, I’m still struggling to find someone to go out with regularly, even just for a drink or a chat. So, I keep myself busy working day and night most of the week, trying to keep my creativity alive and adjusting my trajectories to finally find a place where I can slow down and re-establish some human ‘real’ connections.
Composing music helped me to remain grounded throughout this often-solitary path, and this is instrumental trilogy attempts to describe feelings and emotions that sprout from these moments of solitudes.