Jenni terra meta muso blog, post 3


I’m going to work backwards through the three levels this time…. Music activities are in an interesting state of flux and reformation at the moment. Having finished all the creative work on Land Mass a couple of weeks ago – so many tiny, tiny tweaks to tie up across the project, I’ve now said goodbye to that stage and begun festival submissions via the Film Freeway portal and occasional internet screenings on OnJam.TV.

I’ve also joined a site called LiftOff Global Network which coaches new filmmakers into entering the marketplace. So far I have got some basic coaching on how to funnel your fans into subscribing and purchasing tickets with a brand new Land Mass landing page, which was definitely needed.

OnJam has also proved to be very helpful in looking to the outside world: they have partnered with a company called Feed which offers to run a social media campaign of your already posted Facebook and Instagram posts – but to a highly targeted demographic, based on my unique Facebook ‘pixel’ (I don’t know what it is but it’s the lynchpin apparently). After 6 days of a 21 day campaign here are the results so far:

Feed promotional campaign of Land Mass

My new project – which is still not outward facing yet – Across the Ocean of Voice in Motion, will also be screened via OnJam TV as live performances, streamed from the Loft, and then available on demand.

I have to thank the BOSS RC 505 looper for giving me such a new creative wave during lockdown and really offering a user friendly enough technology that I can relax with it creatively.

I continue to research and develop a musical exchange with Alistair Smith, harp, and more recently with Adrian Lee, electric guitar. Another exchange has also begun with Hayden Parsey, piano.

A couple of evenings ago I was relaxing and musing on nothing in particular and from nowhere the word Apprenticeship dropped into my mind. That was all it took – ah – an Apprenticeship in Vocal Tai Chi. Within a few hours I had a page up on the website and put the word out on Facebook. Expressions of interest have begun to come through.

I’m getting settled into the Inside Out Musician community and with a monthly Ceilidh on zoom performed a couple of weeks ago a new piece which I generated based on a poem by Mary Oliver: Ich Bin Der Welt Abhandon Gekommen – and used the Mahler piece the title refers to too.


Life in the physical body of Jenni is not always so straight forward. Having been going to the gym three times a week since May I injured my back lifting a weight that was too intense and have had three back contractions in the last month or so. The body reflects the stress felt on other levels too, of course.

I’ve been trying to sort out a conundrum with my living situation – and another flat that I thought I was going to move into. It turns out that’s not going to happen, but instead I’m bringing in someone, to live here at the Loft instead. A second lodger. I’m finding my way out of the legal contract I signed on the smaller flat. It’s not a problem, it can be done (though the liability remains with me, if they can’t find another purchaser) but the red tape has had to be looked through carefully. That has been enough to cause stress that led to my back not holding me properly. I don’t just put physical challenges down to the gym.. it was life stress too.

I intend to return to the gym and continue, but I will tell him 20KG is too heavy for me! The miracle of the body to recover, from such an acute episode, as I had on Friday, where everything just snapped tight, is quite astonishing. I’m now up and about again, after three days of feeling very restricted. Thank goodness!


I’ve been pondering how to write about my recent Meta level life on this blog. Some things are just impossible to put into words.. or perhaps too private, too otherworldly or too intangible.

So I decided I would use this space to ponder about those imponderable places – the private, the otherworldly and the intangible. Things that can’t be shared but are ever so significant, nonetheless.

Dreams, for example are sometimes just flotsam and jetsam but sometimes a dream lands that is so real it feels more real than life itself. More alive, more magical and more sacred. I wake up after such a dream and feel whole, free, happy, gifted from the universe, from another in particular, and from life itself. Such a dream stays with me, in memory, if not experience, probably forever.

And such a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I can’t describe it, but I can explain here that it was profound. It helps the struggling Terra Jenni to remember – that is not the only level, that’s just the ground floor, where super voluptuous moi, sometimes struggles in the physical.

I reside – more fully and completely as my Self, beyond the physical, beyond the mind, beyond human nature, beyond ego, beyond bliss and beyond all knowledge. I AM, I, and beyond that –

I belong to the Uncreated. That is Home.

an always beginning, rock of light

I don’t mean that as a negative place. It’s a place of Always Beginning.

And that is ultimately a sublime resting place from which Jenni, beyond any name, am called, and call upon, as the most alive state in which to exist.

[With gratitude to Henckel for his continued teachings, twice a week. I am truly beginning to engage with the language Henckel uses to explain this imponderable, this private and this intangible, holy moly! of a life.]

Jacobs Dream Ladder, by William Blake

Jenni terra-meta-muso, post 2

October 22nd 2021

Terra is this earthy life, meta the metaphysical, beyond this earthly life, muso is a musician’s word for musician.


This last couple of weeks has been mostly rather too much terra, but with some hugely relieving meta from time to time. In a nutshell I’m about to start converting the office at The Loft into a second lodgers bedroom. This should be ready to rent out early next year. It will be a ‘room with a view’, for sure. I’ve got to project manage the building of a stud wall, the dismantling and selling of the built-in office and then the redistribution of all my office files and scores in a new storage solution in the main room. Then furnish the space ready for a new lodger to live in.

I’ve spent a long time thinking how to do this and I’m getting to the point where activity is almost ready to happen. Some of you know my original plan from 2018 was to sell my flat and move into a one bed in the new Hornsey Town Hall development. I exchanged contracts in 2018 but have since realised the flat I have committed to was mis-sold to me on the basis I could build a room structure on the terrace and have a private office in the new Hornsey Town Hall. Neither of these things are going to be possible and I have let them know my feelings on the matter. Sadly, nothing in writing to prove it was mis-sold me.

So I have now put the one bed at HTH on the market (just a floor plan) and hope to sell it by the December 2021 deadline. If it doesn’t sell, I will have to borrow money and let it out for a year or two, then sell it. I will carry on living here, with two lodgers. It is just manageable for me to do that for a year, maybe two.

I have also taken the step of putting the Loft on the market in case I can get an offer I can’t refuse in the meantime. So anything could happen at this point. My sensible plan is to assume the one bed flat will not sell from a floor plan only by December and borrowing money will be the way to do it.

If it does sell then that will be a relief and I’ll probably stay here for a year or two anyway, and try it out with two lodgers.

The amount of thinking that I’ve done to enable that brief summary above to be written doesn’t bear thinking about. It’s taken up a huge amount of time, but I think I now have the head space to deal with it, however it turns out.


The meta moments in the last two weeks have been glorious: I’m very lucky to be apprenticing with the spiritual signpost known as Henckel. He is a wonderful balm on Mondays and Thursdays on Zoom where my whole being seems to find a resting place of such profound peace and simplicity I am left deeply grateful and moved by the sessions.

I also find an equally deep resting place with my Cranial Sacral therapist. My whole nervous system seems to find the neutral gear and then hovers ever so softly into homeostasis, the place where all true healing can happen. I come away from the sessions shaking my head in total wonder and joyful bewilderment at the power of this technique.

The other meta space is, strangely, my one on one workouts at the gym! OK I’m grunting and puffing as I lift up the 16KG deadlifts but after 45 minutes of sweating and pumping iron I’m so totally out of it, all my old body memories, fixed tensions and trauma holdings are shaken up and begin to rearrange themselves in less rigid patterns. Waves of unfelt feeling surge to the surface too. I have a hot shower and freshen up and feel like I’ve almost rebuilt something of myself internally – if not externally, – where signs are slower to show themselves! But on we go with that programme!

Musically it has been an intense focus on Land Mass for the last two weeks as we prepared the final preview in time for the zoom weekend, last weekend, and the upcoming premiere on OnJam on October 29th. I’ve been jamming with Adrian Lee via Sonobus and he invited me to work with him on a project called Museum of Austerity which was part of the London Film Festival. My contribution was added too late for the London version sadly, but we’re looking forward to including it as part of the Amsterdam airing later this year. More on that in my next blog and newsletter probably.

Have been loving this Indian summer and the mild, almost balmy autumn days…

Warmly, Jenni

Jenni, meta-terra-muso blog, post 1

October 10th 2021


Today is the birthday of the great Tibetan, Djabje Lama Chime Rinpoche who is a very impressive 82 years old. He is my root teacher/ root Lama, as it is described in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. I ‘took refuge’ with him when I was 27. Taking refuge means I accepted him as my spiritual teacher, and to symbolise this, I offered him my head, my mind, and symbolically, my hair. He snipped off a piece of hair, and in that moment – ‘cut the root of suffering’.

I first met him in Central London when I was 24. I was looking for him… that is, looking for a spiritual teacher from the age of 21, but that’s another story.

Rinpoche, as he is called, a term of deep respect (‘precious one’) was on zoom yesterday with many of his students wishing him a Long Life and celebrating his birthday. There was cake – and a bonfire. I wasn’t there.
I wish I had been, but I don’t attend everything that is offered by his lovely, loyal Sangha these days. I don’t need to.

Maybe I do need to, should or ought to.. I’m just not going to every event. I don’t think I need to keep physically seeing this ‘tulku’, this extraordinary, reincarnated wisdom holder from eighth Century Tibet. He has given me more than enough. I am already deeply grateful, for one lifetime, to have met him, known him, heard him teach, countless times. 

Especially in my younger years, my twenties, and thirties, it was a blessing of great joy and hope just to lay eyes on him. As I matured and learnt more about myself the energy changed and I have internalised things more. 

Strangely, I had just today revisited a composition of mine, written in 1997, Devotion that Moves the Heart A Prayer Calling the Lama from Afar, inspired by Rinpoche’s teachings, as a new friend Hayden, had asked me to send me to send him some examples of my music .

This piece came to mind to send. It’s one of the few pieces I’ve composed that is excellently recorded, and mastered, and is a good example both of my vocal composition and harmonic language.

As I pressed the play button, I also glimpsed on Facebook some of my Buddhist Sangha friends posting about Rinpoche’s birthday. How strange, I’m listening to this piece – written 24 years ago – which I haven’t listened to for many, many years – and it just so happens to be this Tibetan Lama’s birthday celebration today. It felt meaningful.

And then I thought of Henckel.

Henckel is a spiritual signpost. He prefers not to use the term teacher or guru. I am attending his zoom meditation sessions twice a week and I thought this piece, which I was about to send to my new friend Hayden, might indeed be a nice present for Henckel and his wife Virginia. As I listened to my word setting of the text, I could hear many similar spiritual messages passing through both this prayer and Henckel’s fluent and spontaneous meditation talks.

Henckel (whose background includes the West Indies) isn’t teaching Buddhism, but is drawing on Hindu mantra, Sanskrit soundings, the Vedas and Christianity, in his own blend of wisdom, in what he calls Self Knowledge Through Meditation. And then I thought about his new book, Volume 2, from his transcribed talks, also called Self Knowledge Through Meditation which I had just received by post, yesterday..

I could use the envelope he used to pop in a copy of my CD, Devotion, which has the complete extensive prayer printed in the CD booket. The prayer was written by Jamgong Kultru, the Great, – a nineteenth Century scholar from Tibet. 

I think Henckel might be interested to know about it… I thought…. doubtfully.

With ‘signposts’ and ‘teachers’ you can never really know much about them – what they might like or not like, as people, because somehow, they remain impartial and inscrutable, almost just vehicles, trained or self-trained, to transmit this high frequency intelligence, way beyond the intellect.

Who they are as ordinary people, is harder to really know for sure.

How strange I thought, sending Henckel this CD, in the same envelope that he has just sent me his book – and gifting him this music and prayer, which echoes back for me twenty four years, to 1997 when I was studying and meditating with the Lama regularly.

So, I’ll post it tomorrow, not knowing in the slightest if it will be an appropriate or inappropriate thing to do. Maybe it won’t interest him, as he is totally absorbed in his own work. Maybe he’ll thinking I’m showing off, it’s my ego parading a product?

The composition took me over a year and getting the ‘product’ together took me another two years. There were conversations with the translator Michele Martin and a note from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, the translators, giving permission for me to use the text. There were conversations with Chime Rinpoche himself about copyright material and there was a letter sent to the monastery in Nepal.

It was not a quick matter in the slightest. It was a labour of love, from start to finish. I was extremely grateful to David Temple for conducting the recording, and the only live performance that was done at the October Gallery. I was also grateful to Steve Parr for his wonderful recording at Hear No Evil studios, West Brompton. 

The composition came from a place which I summed up in a poem that I wrote at the time – 

In a time of great uncertainty

when all things remained

unnamed and there was only

time and space between

existence and death, there was

no other path but for me

to create lines of song to accompany

this magnificent text.

May it bring joy and peace

to those who hear it.

June 1994.


October 12 update – I sent the CD to Henckel and Virginia on Monday… and found out last night Monday – that today is HIS birthday! He is a very impressive 78 years old. He received the gift on the best day of the year – I had NO idea it was his birthday….   it seems the synchronicity is continuing… 

You can stream, and purchase, Devotion that Moves the Heart on Spotify

I also have CD hard copies with the eight page booklet with the complete extensive prayer printed out. 
£17.50 incl p and p.

Drop me a note to order your CD copy. 

Jenni Roditi © 10.10.21

Blog on Jenni Roditi’s Vocal Tai Chi Master Class

Alistair Smith
composer and sound healer,
blogging on Jenni Roditi’s Vocal Tai Chi Master Class


“The improvising voice is a mirror of your whole being

and through it you can speak of yourself in new tongues ” – JR


I have been a participant in three Vocal Tai Chi Intensive Master classes. This extended version of Jenni Roditi’s unique style of voice and movement workshop brings a different dimension to the work. The usual sessions culminate in a focused five to six minute individual vocal expression, which one could term a ‘solo’, although, it must be emphatically stated that these are not ‘performances’ in any conventional way. Rather, they are focal points for each individual to further explore and express what has been worked on in that particular session. This is done in a very safe, nurturing and supportive environment, created by Jenni and enthusiastically upheld by the complicit members of the group.

The Intensive Master Class allows for two twenty minute to half hour individual one-to-one sessions with Jenni. This brings a spaciousness to the work that allows for deeper and more intensive excursions into our sound and selves. This permits what is being worked with to be brought more fully into the light and for greater movement within the field of enquiry.

Every VTC session begins with Jenni inviting every person present to say how they are and why they have come. This opening check-in is not a mere introduction to each other but an explicit invitation to be openly honest about where they are with their selves and their sound. As a regular participant of VTC, you find yourself talking about your inner self and sound, that is vocal expression, as inseparable parts of the whole. The sound reveals this inner world and its emotional, mental and spiritual components are directly connected with the physical, literally through the physiology of voice production. This involves much more than merely the vocal chords, however, as any singer or actor would agree. In this way, VTC is a powerfully holistic approach to personal inquiry and development.

Everyone’s current state and purpose behind coming is input and integrated into that particular session; a composite theme is generated and honed by Jenni. This is why every time it is different, each occasion infused with the essence of each individual’s condition at that particular point. Jenni brings where she is at into the mix as well, encouraging a humble and down to earth sense of fellowship amongst all.

“Using the body as a way in – then drawing the voice from the body.” – JR

The next stage of the process is a preparatory grounding and warm up. Here we fully arrive, usually following a guided way of coming into the body, such as using the breath to take us in. The breath may become sound and the body engaged in movement to expand and amplify what is happening with our voice. From here is where the real work begins.

Evoking an energy, the leading edge of where a person is, finding a fulcrum between the apparent surface now and the deeper inner world is the initial stage. This is done with sensitivity, humour and respect, always including the body to help move and release, gently massaging and encouraging the person’s energetic state into actuation. It is a gradual opening, unwinding and unbinding into fuller expression, inquiring into what is happening and trying ways of engaging with it. As what is being worked with wakes up, all aspects of being, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual are acknowledged and welcomed. Jenni is adeptly able to take these and hold them, let them speak or rest, allowing them to be in the sphere of activity where they can be seen and heard, experienced, witnessed, engaged with and moved.

Each person steps forward in faith and trust. There is often reluctance, resistance and fear of course, as any work of this kind is bound to provoke. It is wonderful to witness the person taking that step and going there, to that place of vulnerability, way out of their comfort zone. Using the voice to unravel what is there, drawing it out of its conditioning, be it habit, routine, attachment, neglect, a place of solace. These things are not drawn into positions of conflict however, but are honoured and accepted as the architecture of the apparent psychological and energetic status quo.

Very quickly an emotive and energetic intensity is reached. This is the forge where the potential for alchemical change exists, where the heat of emotion, pain, struggle anguish… fuel the fire of change – the chance for movement and expansion, of release and renewal.



“Let the voice come through you as it wants to” – JR


As a participant you are put in the hot seat. With Jenni’s attentive guidance you are encouraged towards the threshold, biding your time along the shore until you find the perfect spot to dive in. Or you bob up and down on the surface, waiting and testing until the moment feels right, or that feeling arises – a connection, an opening; a crack where you can let it flow out or where you can reach in and enter. The process requires a degree of courage as Jenni may probe or provoke gently and respectfully, possibly catching you off guard, eliciting a more honest response. Sometimes, inviting an almost traumatic experience may be necessary to stir things up and evoke the profundity of what lies beneath. Jenni can tentatively and persistently prod you in a place, gently teasing the area, getting you to look at something in certain ways so as to draw it out. She senses and feels the resistance or discomfort with you and from her objective experience can steer you around it, teasing it out, turning it this way and that, nudging and pressing. Layers of protection may be encountered and pierced towards the ocean beneath.

To talk of the actual sounds that come out during a session is a vast discussion. They may be tribal and guttural; sounds within sounds; trembling, rumbling, unconscious rhythms emerging from within the inertial state of the participant. They may be a child’s whimpering or it’s unrestrained joyful play, serene tones quivering with vulnerability, or loud outbursts charged with emotional intensity. One could go on and on describing the vast and multifarious sound worlds of the inner universes of other beings. One thing is certain: that they are sounds that long to be heard, that need to come out and be honoured for our own growth and continued wellbeing.

It is a process of getting to know yourself more fully and completely. During one session Jenni initiated a discussion about this. She talked of “coming home”, the opposite to what we are brought up to do – a constant externalisation of ourselves for validation. This kind of validation doesn’t have a foundation or a core. If you are constantly reaching out to do things, give and contribute without a strong foundation or grounding, then life will pull you all over the place. You can loose where you are and loose yourself, becoming the branches without a trunk, conforming and contorting. Vocal Tai Chi helps you to get to know your inner self more fully, and it meets and welcomes ALL parts of yourself. It is not a search for some concept of perfection but an acceptance of what is there. This profound level of acceptance can be very healing in itself, allowing ourselves to know and be who we really are.



Part of being at a VTC master class is witnessing the other members go through their own unique journeys. As a witness, one cultivates a more sensitive ear, a type of listening that is with ear, mind, body and emotion. You can feel the sound, viscerally, and sense the intensity of emotion infused in its essence. You can feel its strength or its uncertainty, its confidence or its vulnerability. You revel in the sonic universe of another being. Without judgement you can have this privilege, witnessing the mystery, magic and majesty of another mind; the wandering, seeking, questioning exploration of the human condition. Witnessing wordless, unfettered expression is at once primal and liberating in itself. It is reminiscent of childish play, of an emotional outburst, of intoxicated babble or speaking in tongues.

As a witness you find yourself becoming invested in each person, their process, their journey and their sound. And you feel it strongly in yourself, a kind of sympathetic resonance. You are swept along for the ride and it seems like you are part of it, feeling the changes with them, the pushing through. Perhaps, in this resonance, we are providing energetic or emotional support. Like a concert where the anticipation of the audience creates an atmospheric ‘charge’ that propels the performer to achieve a greater rendition than in rehearsal, perhaps our emotional investment and resonance encourages the participant onward and upward. This has ramifications for ourselves also. As we watch the others, invested and routing for them, coming into resonance with them. As they make breakthroughs, learn more and see more of themselves, we somehow have a sympathetic occurrence within us. We therefore learn something of ourselves and have our own, perhaps more subtle changes, shifts or breakthroughs.

There is a community that is formed through this sonic connection, beyond word and thought. We feel it and experience the struggle, the play, the unravelling of each other. Strong friendships can be formed as we share and witness these profound things from deep in each other’s psyche.



In the continual evolution of this work, Jenni draws from the different threads of her past. The accumulated knowledge and experience of both her professional and personal past inform and enrich every single session. There is a humility and depth of human experience working harmoniously alongside her professionalism and artistry that encourages an intimacy and trust between her and the participant. This, I feel, is at the core of the success of Vocal Tai Chi. There is a synthesis of her particularly unique skill set, a fusion of her experience, knowledge and abilities. With these facets, all being broadly musical and profoundly spiritual, she embodies a complementarity of an academic and maverick background that testify to the former. And the latter, drawing, as we have said, from her own personal journey and encounters along the way, illuminates a wisdom and adroitness with that enigmatic part of us. We can always relate much more strongly with someone who has been through it and who knows what it is to feel strongly and search deeply. She has the uncanny ability to invite openness and honesty of a type which encourages a person to really look inside and see what is there. She creates a space of welcome acceptance, a safe house within which she is able to hold a person’s current state in suspended illumination, ready to be engaged. This is done with all those present until everyone has explored and expressed their particular point in space and time. As I have already stated, as all these are brought to light, Jenni weaves a collaboration of perspectives that becomes the bedrock of each session. This is primarily what makes each workshop different and I feel this ability is due to Jenni’s experience as composer, conductor and improviser, coupled with that of her as workshop facilitator. Similar to composing for a musical ensemble, understanding each instrumental voice, she takes their character and idiosyncrasies and puts them on the stage, the musical material comprised of each voice’s capacities, tone and character. Combine this with Jenni’s personal and spiritual experience and you have a potent approach that is her gift and the architecture of Vocal Tai Chi.


One can also see how the next  step with this work would be for her to take it into a performance arena encouraging an unbridled creative energy and group sensitivity in front of a public audience. It is therefore of little surprise that in the last two years Jenni has created TIC – The Improvisers’ Choir (professional) and TOC – The Open Choir (community) and they have performed sixteen concerts (TIC – 12, TOC – 4) in eighteen months. For more about THIS new project you can read further articles by me here. Smith, composer, sound healer.

Growing at the Mind Body Soul Exhibition!


So it’s the morning after the weekend before… plus one day off!!

Vocal Tai Chi came of age at the weekend when I set off – with generous back up from a number of individuals – to Olympia to announce the arrival of VTC to planet Earth… as of …one year and ten months ago! It’s hard to believe the work is still so young and yet enjoying this positive response from so many people! We must have given away about 650 leaflets and goodness knows how many people eyeballed the name. There were about a dozen bookings for workshops and a handful of individual session bookings as well. CD’s were sold and people signed up to the mailing list. It’s all starting to make an impression and that’s gotta be a good thing.

The four days went by in a flash – and yet they passed moment by moment in vivid techni-colour – as each task, conversation, vocal sound and booking felt like another mark on the universe that confirmed VTC is here to stay.

I have to thank Jazz Rasool for his enormous amount of help in making it possible to exhibit. He covered so many bases – excellent graphic design, web trouble shooting, planning, roady-ing, ironing on transfers to t-shirts, encouraging me and telling me to rest – and a lot more besides. Brilliant support, really. Helpers on the stand Louise, Danusia, Hazel, Lucy, Denise and Catherine are thanked again as well. 10008_10151740164223877_82760886_n