My title 

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>>

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

Rehearsal of 'Lilly in the Valley' with Tony Backhouse

by: Jennifer Richardson on

A final rehearsal of 'Lilly in the Valley' at Montestigliano before they gave it out to the waiting audience of 200+ gypsies and local Tuscan's. They shared the stage with Ginevra di Marco and her band. A truly wonderful night.

 Don't they all look gorgeous?

Tony joins us again for a wonderful week in Italy, check out the deets

Bali Blessings: Day ten

by: Jennifer Richardson on


Nyepi, a day of silence. a day of quiet reflection, a day to discover who you are, according to what a Balinese man said the night before.

I lay down relishing in the sounds of nature. Pure uninterrupted sounds that are mesmerizing. Sounds of water moving through the fish pond, gurgling, splashing and jumping fish.  Birds whistling, chirping, frantic sounds of two sets of wings flapping around each other darting in and away from each other faster and faster then departing from each like they had never met. Slight rustling of leaves and more chirping.

The sound of my own breath in and out through my nostrils and then a sigh.

Sari the cat meows briefly for food, eats disappears to sleep.

The dog, Rooney knows the rules so it seems. Not one bark today, not one arrrhoo only the scuttle of her long claws on her delicate paws on the floor after she changes to another sleeping position reminding me she needs a manicure and pedicure.

Another bird sounding like a pigeon warbling and chirps from further afar. A cacophony of sounds.

Back to the breathe and a heart beating.  

The night comes, no lights are on its dark moon and so quiet. Occasional pulsing rhythms from frogs, different pitches get louder and fade away. The stars come out to play and so do the fireflies, I take a glance and at first cannot determine which is the sky or firefly closer to earth. Stillness on the land. No human interference of sound. No one can be heard. Quiet.  The whole island of 3 million people plus tourists are quiet.

Rest oh how glorious it is.

What if everywhere in the world stopped just 24 hours and meditated. Long enough to think about what quality their relationships were with people during the year, long enough to rest their bodies and simply be. Long enough to rest their frantic minds and just listen to nature.

The month before Nyepi male youths in all the 100's of communities around the island design and build monsters, Ogah ogahs', based on Hindu mythical monsters. Each community trying to outdo each other with the biggest, the scariest. The night before Nyepi the monsters were brought out, lit up and fought each other, among thousands of people screaming and frantic clanging and banging.

Evil spirits were cast off the island. It was then followed by everyone going indoors and keeping dark, no lights were on, no cooking, no flames were lit. The island goes quiet to prevent the evil spirits re entering.

The day of contemplation follows. 

Bali Blessing: Day seven

by: Jennifer Richardson on

OK a different type of blessing and this is not in Bali it is in Italy but I watched in Bali so I am blessed in Bali!

Bali Blessings: Day six - Peia sings

by: Jennifer Richardson on

Blessed by the Bali Spirit Festival this weekend and the lovely Peia sings Blessed We Are.


Bali Blessings: Day three House blessing ceremony

by: Jennifer Richardson on

My apologies for not posting yesterday, I have just moved into my new house and had no internet.

I'll make up for it now with 2 posts in one on the 'heart' warming, 'house' warming blessing ceremony that took place before I could enter and live in the new home.

This collage of pics is of 2 gorgeous women who took part. I am so blessed!


Bali Blessings: Day two Saraswati Day

by: Jennifer Richardson on


Saraswati day offerings left on the footpath. This is in gratitude of getting an education. Where I come from children whinge about going to school.


Bali blessings: Day one

by: Jennifer Richardson on

A blessing a day keeps the negativity at bay.

I've decided to do a post a day just on offerings and blessings I find around me each day. It gives me positivity, warmth and delight every time I see examples of gratitude and beauty in this way so I thought I would share it with you. I hope you like it. xx

Ubud Markets: You can get your ready made offerings for the house here but you need incense, prayers and belief that it will make the difference.