Jenni Roditi GGSM VMT-R MMus Dist. 

'Sweeping view'

Below is a short 'sweeping' background biography (with footnotes) as the reference for a forthcoming (2022) chapter contributed by Jenni, which will be entitled "Beyond Music Workshops - A Composer and a Community" in book to be titled "The Routledge Companion to Women in Musical Leadership: the Nineteenth Century and Beyond," currently being curated by Helen Minors (Kingston University) and Laura Hamer (Open University). 

From the age of five Jenni Roditi was constantly composing songs and improvising on the piano, guitar, and with her voice. From the beginning of her professional life, as well as being a composer and performer, she has been a leader in the exploration of improvised voicework “beyond music workshops”.

She began as a freelancer in school classrooms and teaching at the Guildhall School of Music.[1]  After her time in classrooms and with music undergraduates, she took a left turn towards experimental singing.  From 1993, for thirteen years, she was a ‘therapeutic voice worker’[2] running one-to-one sessions and groups.[3]

By the time she was forty she had written three operas,[4] theatre, orchestral, choral, chamber music, and many songs. She performed in her own opera The Descent of Inanna[5] and as a pianist-vocalist, devising composing and producing work in collaboration with players around the piano.

In the three years from 2006 she revised and recorded her opera for archival promotion, and for Grimeborn[6] Opera Festival.  She then studied for two years for her MMus[7]. In 2012 she launched Vocal Tai Chi[8]  bringing closer together her roles as artist and leader.  In 2015 she founded The Improvisers’ Choir[9] and as their conductor, performed over thirty concerts in four years and recorded an album.[10]

[1] Guildhall School: student 1981 – 1985, teacher 1986 - 1989
[2] Rather than a ‘voice therapist’ which, as professional work, requires the individual’s membership of a recognised Association like BACP or UKCP.
[3] Groups were often run at Atsitsa Bay, on Skyros Island, Greece, 1991 – 1995.
[4] The Descent of Inanna 1992/94/98/07. SOS Songs of Seduction (TV) 1999, Siddhartha Spirit Child, 1997/01.
[5] Film archive of ‘The Descent of Inanna’
[6] Grimeborn 2009. ‘The Descent of Inanna’ curated by Alex Sutton. Produced by Opera Exchange.
[7] Brunel University.
[8] Vocal Tai Chi
[10] ‘Landmass’ Vol 1 and 2.

'Recent view' 

TIC is an ensemble of professional vocal improvisers. They won Nonclassical Battle of the Bands in 2018 and recorded their debut EP Landmass Volume 1 and 2 in 2018.

Jenni founded Vocal Tai Chi in 2012, 'a transformative workshop' now in its ninth year, she is also a vocal improviser, workshop leader and  director of TIC - The Improvisers' Choir, a 'no score' choir, conducted with hand signals.

Jenni expanded the choir project in 2016 with The Open Choir for improvisers (TOCfi) for community singers also using hand signals. They have performed locally many times in North London.

In 2017 Jenni formed The Essence Choir for improvisers (TECfi). It is open to anyone interested in voice and meditation.

In 2019 she expanded her work as a solo vocal improviser, forming two new duos (voice/harp, voice/electric guitar) and a trio (2 voices/keyboard). Each collaboration draws on different aspects of Roditi's evolving interests in voice, improvisation, composition and.. being human.

In 2020 she formed The UnChoir for improvisers (TUCfi) for lockdown, on zoom.

'External view'

Jenni is on the Classical Committee at the Ivors Academy for Music Creators and has been a judge for the Ivors Composer Awards on multiple occasions.  She is is an Associate of the Institute of Composing.

Between 2016 and 2019 she was part of a team of vocal coaches, and artistic lead, on the Guildhall School of Music's Finding a voice: The art and science of unlocking the potential of adult non-singers’ research group, directed by Dr. Karen Wise.

She has written extensively for the voice, notably two full-length chamber operas; The Descent of Inanna and Siddhartha-Spirit Child, both commissioned and premiered in London by Lontano. The operas are noted for their use of a mix of classical and non-classical singers in lead roles, their lyricism and unbound stylistic references.

Jenni has also written orchestral, choral and chamber work, many songs in contemporary classical/extended vocal technique, experimental, pop and folk idioms. In 2013 she won an Independent Music Award as the vox populi winner in the instrumental song category for the first movement of her piano duo Between the Octaves, Initiation.

She trained as a Voice Movement Therapist in 1992-1993 and was the first student to complete the training run by Paul Newham.

She ran a salon des artes for eight years (ending 2009) from her home, The Loft, in North London, where she hosted over seventy concerts, championing many musicians; classical, folk, jazz, Indian, African, Middle Eastern, Chinese, contemporary classical, electronic, post modern, free improvisation, ambient, new age, gypsy and more.  She created a unique space for artists and audiences to gather together.

2014 saw Jenni complete two new scored works; one a trio for flute, oboe and piano for Trittico, performed at the 1901 Arts Club and another for double ensemble - Ignite/Shiva Nova, working across new classical, jazz and world music, premiered at Kings Place. 2015 also included a premiere of Roditi's piece Fall Leaves Fall for the Genesis 16 choir, at the Cheltenham Festival.

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