Musician, social entrepreneur and Irvingtonian Martine Locke talks to IndyIrvington.com about her music, her homeland, and what it's like to perform with her sweetheart.
IndyIrvington: How did you wind up in the states and, more specifically, in Indianapolis and, even more specifically, in Irvington?
Martine Lock: I first came to the USA in 1998 I believe, touring with a group called The Velvet Janes. That one tour opened up the doors for us to continue coming back, get our visas, secure a cd distributor and make a lot of great friends. Eventually it just made sense to move across, although my musical partner at the time didn't quite agree and I needed to go solo to make it work.
I started to tour solo in around 2004 and since then have released four solo CDs and seen most of the country. Indianapolis was on my tour schedule pretty quickly and about two years ago now I was here doing a show and went on a bike ride downtown and happened to stop at an open house on a beautiful property down in Lockerbie and couldn't believe the prices. I was living in San Francisco at the time and could barely continue to stay there on an artist's income and given how much of my work was in the Midwest, it just made sense to move across. Once I started to get to know the city more and started to find 'my people,' Irvington made even more sense.
INIrv: Say more about this CD recording you have coming up. What are the risks inherent in doing a live recording? You don't have the same control that you would in a studio, right?
ML: This recording is actually my second live solo recording and my third live cd recording. After 10+ years of recording in the studio it feels not only more cost-effective to record this way but very organic. There are limited effects on everything and most times, you have one chance to make it right...so yes, there is a lot of risk involved. What if I am having a bad night? What if I forget the words? What if there is a technical hitch? All these things....and more....it teaches me to let go...and to trust. It has also taught me that people want something that is real and not over produced or unachievable live. They want to hear the stories and to feel more connected to performers. By the way, Jamie and Dionne will be playing with me and we have a guest violinist coming in from Ohio, Steph Dlugon.
INIrv: So, can you talk about your personal life, e.g., the love of your life who also happens to be in your band? What are the pitfalls of partnering romantically with someone on the job? What are the surprising pleasures of such an arrangement?
ML: Yes, my partner Jamie also plays in the band with me on djembe and vocals. I think the pleasures of such an arrangement far outweigh the perils. I get to share experiences with her and also have a safe place to hide when I need that too. Her spirit is light and positive and she does my soul well if I have a bad show, or a bad experience at a show. She reminds me that there really is no such thing as a 'bad' show or experience. After years of touring solo I am happy to not only have my sweetheart on the road as much as I can but also one of our closest friends, Dionne Ward, who plays drums and sings too. Life in the tour van is a lot of fun when the three of us are touring together and we sing mighty fine together too.
INIrv: How long have you been at this?
ML: All my adult life...it's the only thing I dreamed of doing and the main job I have known as an adult. Although, I had one stint when I was 17 of being Roller Rabbit - a bunny rabbit on roller skates for kids party. I swear, if one more kid had've pulled my tail...well, let's just say my life might have ended up differently.
INIrv: How did you get started?
ML: I always was drawn to music but my experiences were limited to my mum's Elvis Presley/Neil Diamond collection and my sister's Bay City Rollers obsession...so, funnily enough, I didn't listen to a lot of music. I just knew I wanted to do it.
INIrv:Who are your influences? Did you always set out to be a musician? If you weren't playing music, what field would you likely be in right now?
ML:I have had many influences at different times in my life. Tommy Emmanuel, who is an Australian guitarist (or as I like to call him, the greatest guitarist in the whole world), was a big inspiration from an early age. He played at my parents' pub when I was a kid and I would sneak out at night to listen to him play. Ani DiFranco, Damien Rice...any acoustic guitarist that can put their heart and intelligence into their lyrics.
INIrv: Is there a theme you seem to come back to again and again in your songwriting?
ML:No, not really. Usually it just depends on what I am experiencing or reading about at the time. I used to be a lot more social justice-orientated and then went all soppy with love songs but given our current political climate I am pretty sure I will be heading towards social justice a lot more.
INIrv: Now for some random but equally compelling questions...If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only one CD, what would it be?
ML:Damien Rice, O
INIrv:Do you play any other instruments beside guitar?
ML: Mandolin and ukulele (although, I recently learned that I have been tuning my Uke upside down, so I am not sure Uke players would say I 'play' it)
INIrv:What are you listening to these days? (ie, what's on your playlist)
ML:Anything from Mumford & Sons to Coldplay to Jason Mraz
ML:The Little Prince
ML:Coffee and wine.
ML:Papa Roux Po'Boys
INIrv: All your family still in Australia?
ML: Yes sadly, all my family is still in Australia. I just skyped with them on saturday night and miss them so much my heart aches...
INIrv:Do you wish to go back there someday to live?
ML:I am not sure...sometimes I think I am ready other times I am scared of starting my life again, again. I have a community of people here that I would miss deeply if I were to leave but then, I have gotten use to the ache I feel for my people in Australia. I miss the three shades of blue ocean of Western Australia often.
Politically I might like to go back. Universal healthcare has always been a good experience for me. Australia also has a same sex immigration policy which would allow my partner to live and work there without having to jump through the hoops and pay all the money that I have to every three years in order to stay here. And I really do believe we will see changes in Australia for same sex marriage any minute now.
INIrv:Tell us a bit more about Keep Indy Weird What was the inspiration behind that?
ML:www.keepindyweird.com was born out of a desire to celebrate and highlight locally owned and operated businesses. My quest when I travel is to always try to find those companies that are local because I want the local experience. For that 24-48 hours I want to know what it's like to live in whatever city I am in and to experience the things that make it different than where I live. to me, that experience is directly linked to locally owned businesses. They are the very things that define culture in a city. So. Jamie and I started Keep Indy Weird to follow graciously in the footsteps of the original Keep Austin Weird to not only bring together all the great things that make Indianapolis unique in all the world, but connect locals with locals and outta towners with locals.
ML: One dog - Fetcher - a goldendoodle who has his own facebook page (Fetcher Muffin Price); he's that popular.
ML: Jamie has two kids - Harley 13 and Alayna 11 - who live with us half time.
INIrv:Favorite activity of all time?
ML:Hanging out with my people.
April 3, 2012
Why do houses exert such a powerful influence on the psyche? Carl Jung theorized that in our subconscious, the house represents the self . . .
A house isn’t just rooms with a roof. A house is a powerful concept. If a car embodies the American notion of freedom – to roam, to explore, to just take off when the spirit moves you-- a house represents stability. It’s what grounds us to a specific location on planet earth, binds us to a neighborhood and community, gives us roots. For many of us, buying our first house is among life’s most significant milestones, right up there with getting married and having our first child.
Jamie and I love houses, which is why we became Realtors. Our idea of heaven is an HGTV marathon, or an afternoon visiting open houses around Indianapolis. I collect miniature houses, including those wooden Swiss weather houses that look like cuckoo clocks. I photograph old homes around Irvington, from the Second Empires that look as if they sprung from an Edward Gorey illustration, to the homey Arts and Crafts bungalows in bold colors, so beautiful.
And when I see dilapidated houses around town with plywood windows and gaping holes in the roof, I find myself imagining how the builder must have felt back in, say, 1914, as he hammered in the very last nail and stepped back to admire his creation. It breaks my heart to imagine how he would react today, if he could see what had become of that grand home.
Jamie and I also dream about houses, and our dreams are remarkably similar. In them, we discover rooms in our houses we didn’t know existed, expansive basements with full kitchens, or hidden rooms stocked with treasures. These nocturnal imaginings are always exhilarating, and we always wake up feeling a little disappointed that they were only dreams.
Why do houses exert such a powerful influence on the psyche? Carl Jung theorized that in our subconscious, the house represents the self. To a Jungian, those dreams about homes with newly-discovered rooms hint at our own untapped potential, the possibility of expanding ourselves in exciting new ways. But if your dream house is falling apart (and I’ve had those dreams too), it could be time to figure out which parts of your life need repair or bolstering. Maybe that’s why we’re so fascinated with fixer-uppers, the homes that could be really spectacular with a little TLC (and money). A great rehab is the ultimate Horatio Alger tale, a rags-to-riches transformation that demonstrates the power of potential.
When you love houses as much as we do, there is nothing so rewarding as helping someone fulfill their own version of the classic American dream. Jamie and I look forward to being your consultants and guides to Irvington real estate. Share on Facebook
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