Out of Office spotlights pioneers who have decided to pursue their passions beyond the typical 9-to-5 job.
Italy is fully opening to U.S. tourists so you can start dreaming of your next grand adventure. One of the most desirable and remarkable medieval Tuscan towns is Lucca where you will find the brand new Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection.
If you are lucky enough to travel there and visit the hotel, you will meet beautiful native Felicity Lucchesi who has one of the coolest jobs in the world: Hotel Classical Composer. Lucchesi has been playing the piano since she was just six years old, embarking on a musical journey that has taken her around the globe.
Back home, she now leads the hotel’s “Prelude of Existence” experience which offers guests a one-on-one session to learn all about their life stories and personality traits, culminating in a personalized symphony they can take home as a keepsake. This sure beats a selfie.
Above: Composer Felicity Lucchesi
When did you realize music was your calling in life?
At the end of high school in 2013, I had to make a very important decision either to become a biologist or a musician. I couldn’t as yet fully grasp that I was actually going to fill my life up with music. But then, I decided to complete the music academy and to follow my dream of becoming a musician. Today, I can truly say that I have made the right decision. I love teaching music and the piano to the young and to the not so young but the thing I love most is composing music.
How long have you lived in one of the most enviable small Italian towns in the world?
I was born in Lucca in 1994 and ‘’Lucchesi’’ is my surname as well as the name given to the inhabitants of Lucca in fact my family on my dad’s side goes back several centuries in the past whereas my mom is from Melbourne, Australia. Due to my dual citizenship, I am very interested in composing music that can represent different landscapes and ’soundscapes.’ Lucca is a real treasure box guarded by the Apennine mountains, Apuan Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, a real gem of sheer beauty where art and history have shown their majesty.
Above: Lucca City Walls
Tell us more about this dream job of being a hotel composer?
The Grand Universe Lucca is part of the Marriott’s Autograph collection and they have a unique offering: The Prelude of Existence. I have to meet the guests and investigate their personality traits to design a unique “Prelude of Existence,’’ a new musical piece that I compose for the guests as a memento of their stay in Lucca.
I’ve always loved experimenting with sounds collecting musical instruments of different sorts and recording sounds in nature, my wish is to compose music almost like painting through sound different landscapes, emotions and situations. I think that being a hotel composer is the perfect challenge to my creativity bringing the beauty of Lucca all around the world. At the ‘’Symphony Lounge’’ my role is also to entertain the guests with my music and to show the amazing musical tradition of the city which is the birthplace of many world-renowned composers such as Puccini and Boccherini. I have created a small cafe-concerto which is called “The music Universe of Lucca’’ taking the guests back in the history of music of the city playing and explaining different tunes and arias.
Above: Grand Universe Sommita Terrace
Tell us your process for composing personal symphonies for the guests?
Actually, I don’t have a standard method to compose for my guests but I leave it up to every new situation that inspires me somehow – this is why each piece is unique. I always spend some time with my guests and investigate what kind of mood he or she would like for the composition. There’s a questionnaire that the guests fill in to determine the style that they prefer which I can then use as inspiration for the piece.
Preparing the “Prelude of Existence’’ is always a new creative and artistic challenge. The first Prelude that I composed is called “To the Moon and Bach’’ and took inspiration from the connection between the hotel itself and the universe at large. This piece is reminiscent of Bach’s technique of “retrograde motion’’ as in fact you have to play from the start to the end where a semibreve that represents the Moon is, and then play the whole piece backwards to the start and the retrograde motion is also a characteristic of some planets.
What is the best part of your day?
I try to appreciate every moment of life from the moment I wake up to when I go to sleep. Music is my faithful companion and transforms the difficult moments into better ones and one of the best moments of the day is when I sit in front of the piano and start mind-traveling through my music.
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