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Writing with all the Senses

by: Jennifer Richardson on

That is just one of the fun things we will be doing on our upcoming Come to your Senses retreat with Shelley Kenigsberg in Italy this year.

The dates are confirmed for the 17th -29th September, 2018

Beginning the journey in Florence, we'll be workshopping with Shelley and spending time writing each day. We'll be exploring the fascinating literary sub culture and meeting with some local authors; there will be evenings spent enjoying aperitivo in a building which has been through many ‘edits’. First it was a monastery, then a prison, and then — the most important for us this tour — into a Literary Cafe. 

After a few days in Florence, we will go on to Mercatello sul Metauro, a little village in Le Marche. We’ve selected this region for its connection to the master writer, Dante Aligheiri who was inspired here to compose his most recognised work: Dante’s Divine Comedy  — a superb introduction to new thinking coming out of the Middle Ages, and was a significant contribution to Italian poetry of the Late Middle Ages/Early Renaissance.

Luisa Donati is opening the doors of her delightful family Palazzo (Palazzo Donati) for our guests and introducing us to her friends in the village. Can you imagine getting a banquet cooked and served to you by 9 passionate foodies from the village? Yes it's true, you will get that!

You can read a little about what Barbara Weible has to say about this little village in her blog 'Hole in the Donut' or what Annette White from 'Bucket List' says about the village and Palazzo Donati by clicking on the links here. 'Hole in the Donut' and 'Bucket List'

More about Shelley Kenigsberg here>> editinginparadise.com/

Contact us for more information >> contact


Damiano does karaoke... italian style.

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Accountant by day and entertainer by night!

Everyone loves our host at Montestigliano – Damiano Donati on our Singing in Siena and Italy events!



Big Merino crowdfunding

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Our Singing and Sailing 'maestro' Stuart Davis and his band Big Merino is producing an album. 

Check out the Indiegogo crowdfunding link because they are offering plenty of great opportunities including a Singing and Sailing in Sydney!

Go to this link >>>


Art. Food. Relax. ITs Italy

by: Jennifer Richardson on

During my 3 month stint in Florence earlier this year I had the pleasure to meet some extraordinary local artists and artisans. Apart from gaining some great new friends, I was thoroughly inspired to pursue an art journey of a difference in Tuscany.

Stay tuned because we have some exciting programmes coming up in 2018 and 2019 with inspiring teachers from around the world.  We’ll be offering painting and drawing courses and exploring the seldom discussed, but exciting contemporary art scene and hidden treasures of this area. We’ll be welcomed into studios of outstanding local artists, we'll explore sculpture parks, museums and beautiful sites for both architectural and landscape drawing. 

There will be time to relax in the countryside, explore prized vineyards in the Chianti and Brunello regions, eat and cook delicious produce, pick olives and walk some quiet ancient cypress lined roads and drink up the beauty of this region and beyond. It is Italy!

A few more images from Florence and glimpses inside some local artists' studios. 

If you would love to bring out your artistic flair in one of the most picturesque and historical regions in Europe, let us know. 

Dates, Venues, Programme and Prices are coming soon.

Contact us with any questions and interests about these trips now >>

Eric Dozier Sings Up New Zealand

by: Jennifer Richardson on

What a great journey this has been in the land of the long white cloud. There has been a lot of groove, plenty of laughter and some truly excellent singing! 

Check out this little clip taken at the end of a wonderful heart felt singing workshop led by Eric Dozier in Auckland.

This song was one of around 10 songs learned and it's a marathon but I think this gorgeous group did really well.

Contact us now about upcoming events with Eric in 2018>>



Richard Fidler and Liz Gilbert on facing fear and finding creativity

by: Jennifer Richardson on

This is a little rave about a recorded conversation from 2015 with Richard Fidler from the ABC's Conversation series and Liz Gilbert. 

Conversations with Richard Fidler are lengthy enough to draw you deep into the lives of extraordinary people. And this episode not only drew me deeper into part of what makes Liz Gilbert tick but it could be a game changer for me. She articulated exactly what I feel so passionate about and the very essence of the thinking behind The Create Escape.

Listen to the recording here>>

I hope you enjoy it and get as much out of it as I have.

Marco's 60 Italian Hand Gestures

by: Jennifer Richardson on

One of my favorite Italian lessons...a little gesticulation goes a long way.

Qawwali: Mystical Sufi Gospel

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Here's a little gem of an article and clip of the great Qawwali singer Abida that I found on KCRW RHTHM PLANET.  Plus a little video of the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Live: Allah Hoo

Abida Parveen is the most famous female qawwali vocalist, adored by fans all over the world. I heard her once in Orange County years ago. She has a big voice, perfect pitch, and a powerful, ecstatic delivery.  She will occasionally visit the U.S., but you will likely not know about it unless you read the local Pakistani newspapers.

In a 2013 article in the UK paper The Guardian, Parveen said, “My culture–our culture–is rich in spirituality and love. Sufism is not a switch, the music isn’t a show–it’s of life, it is religion. If I want to recognized for anything, if we should be recognized for anything, it’s the journey of the voice. And that voice is God’s.” Qawwali, like gospel music in the U.S., is a communal experience, a joy meant to be shared.

I did not include another famous qawwali group, the Sabri Brothers, because their tracks are super long. Sadly, I recently wrote a post about one of their founding members who was murdered by an Islamic extremist. Sufi gospel is a way of getting closer to the divine, both for listeners and performers.  Dictatorships and Islamist hardliners don’t like music, don’t trust it either. We’ve seen that in the Soviet Union, Chile, Argentina, Iran, and other places.

For those who don’t know about this powerful and ecstatic music, let it be a reminder that its message of peace and harmony is an antidote to the turmoil in Pakistan that we hear in the news.

Credit to @TomSchnabel

Singing in Bali, 2016. It's a wrap.

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Singing in Bali was a truly divine week! We sang for hours every day in the tropical garden ‘bale’ with Tony Backhouse, we had twice daily yoga sessions with the gorgeous Esteé, and we ate delicious healthy food, had swims, siestas and massages at break times.

We went to a local community Kecak performance one night, we were cleansed in holy spring water at the water temple and we meditated in a beautiful jungle ‘shala’ and were blessed by Bali’s youngest and most gorgeous High Priestess! And for those in the group that weren’t so interested in visiting the Priestess, they got a private tour exploring some of Ubud’s most exciting art galleries.

Some of us at the end of the week got to stay on and have a private Kecak lesson from the very talented and world acclaimed Cudamani troupe.

Check out some pics and videos below  >>

 

 Esteé (our yoga teacher) and some of the staff at Swasti sing it up with joy, loud and clear!

Our singing space was adorned with fresh flowers, candles and incense in a centre floor mandala daily.

Presenting our offering at the temple before our purification cleansing

 

Some of our gorgeous singers shining at our little end of week concert at Indus. Photo courtesy of Janita Himawati

Saluting our maestro, Tony Backhouse, at the end of our little gig. Photo courtesy Janita Himawati

Concentrating hard at our Kecak lesson from Cudamani.


Above video courtesy of Janita Himawati

Cooking at the Source!

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Staying in a family palazzo, sipping prosecco, cooking with the locals, the aroma of fresh and rare white truffles, a banquet cooked by nine passionate local cooks and meeting artisans in and around our little village... this week can only be described as delicious.

As Jamie Oliver discovered, the fabulous food of the region comes from the locals living off the land.  Produce, game, herbs, virtually all the ingredients in their magic meals are derived freshly from the land.  Le Marche classic cuisine includes: omelette with vitalbe, spelt salad with balsamic herbs, legume soup with croutons and oil of Cartoceto, maltagliati with chickpeas, tagliatellas with precious white truffles, meatless ravioli with fossa cheese, spelt tagliatellas with porcini mushrooms, gnocchi with duck, strozzapreti with wildboar sauce, tagliatellas with pigeon sauce, roebuck in salmi, stewed wild boar with polenta, stewed tripe, small quails with porcini and truffle sauce, wood stove beef.


 

 


 

See more info here >>>