…We invite you to meet our intimate, wild and free selves through voice, movement & silence during the Vocal Odyssey in Valencia (Spain) 6th – 10th May 2020
What is Vocal Odyssey?
Vocal Odyssey is a deep yet playful self-inquiry journey of discovery into the mystery and healing forces of our most intimate musical instrument – our voice.
The 5-day long retreat aims to pierce through the voices in our heads and to open a door for a new relationship between us and the transformative quality of our vocal expression. To bring us a bit closer to our beautiful, raw, wild and imperfect human flow.
During the Vocal Odyssey we will reconnect to the simple and natural way of expressing our authentic voice beyond judgments, painful beliefs and limiting conditioning. Check how Nessi describes the Vocal Odyssey by clicking here!
It is about unleashing our raw, natural capacity to celebrate all colours of life through our unique and authentic expression, while tapping into the intuitive and mystical realms of our connection to the present moment through sound. We will explore all angles of our voice using various tools, while piercing and bringing awareness to all that blocks us from letting our voice simply be. We will discover how singing is not only about ‘singing’ – it is in fact about ‘listening’ and expressing effortlessly all that is inside of us, moment to moment.
“The Vocal Odyssey is not about making anyone a better ‘singer’. Rather, it is about self exploration and self love through a meeting with the spirit of our vocal expression. It is not about what you can do for your voice, on the contrary, it is about what your voice can do for you” – Nessi Gomes
What happens during Vocal Odyssey?
The Vocal Odyssey journey creates a safe, loving and non-judgemental contained space, which will enable you to dive deep to build a close relationship with your voice. During the retreat we will prepare the body and voice daily with gentle warm-ups and stretches to help support, open and strengthen our voices. This will help prepare the foundations so that we are able to unearth our true vocal potential and tap into the unique spirit of our voices.
There will be times to reflect and keep a journal, allowing you to deepen your process and take your next step in understanding the resistances and releases in connecting to your voice. Whether from our primary upbringing, education or our wider society, we have all been conditioned to have beliefs and imprints that limit our creativity and expression. The simple truth is that singing and connecting to our creative expression is our birthright and it is time to reclaim it. We often associate singing with performance, and this can trigger a lot of fear. Rest assured this is not the essence of Vocal Odyssey.
The Vocal Odyssey process, embarked on with a focused intention and sincere longing for liberation, is a wonderful opportunity to have a significant and lasting breakthrough shift in your creative expression.
The deep, loving and fun process supports you to express your naked voice and to bear witness to the transformative potential that this vocal power holds. We can all access this wisdom both via our individual naked voice and collectively as a singing field.
The human singing voice is our most powerful and intimate resource. The Vocal Odyssey retreat is a deep journey that unleashes and frees the untapped sonic power of our voice from the hidden corners that have kept it quiet, silent and buried. It is a space of self-enquiry through our voice and where we will reconnect to the simple, playful and natural way of expressing our authentic naked sound beyond judgments, painful beliefs and limiting conditionings.
Science behind Vocal work
According to Dr. Stephen Porges, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, rituals such as chants (vocalizations) are functional exercise having an impact on our physiology. The Polyvagal Theory  can be used as “an organizing principle to explain how music can recruit the neural mechanisms that integrate facial muscles and visceral state, which in turn promotes restorative affective states and prosocial behavior”. More specifically, the activation of the vagus nerve (i.e., a cranial nerve that originates in the brain stem and connects visceral organs throughout the body with the brain, which is a major component of parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system) through specific voluntary behavior (e.g. vocalization/chants together with breathing and postures) related to core contemplative practices helps in the regulation of fight/flight impulses . These specific practices can facilitate a physiological state mediated by vagal pathways that sooths overarousal, threat distress, and activates affiliative system [1,3]. In other words, the vocal work can be conceptualized as a neural exercise that enhance vagal regulation of the autonomic nervous system  to down regulate defense and promote state of calmness and stillness.
- Porges, S.W. (2017). Vagal Pathways: Portals to Compassion. In Seppälä, E., Simon-Thomas, E., Brown, S.L., Worline, M.C., Daryl C., and Doty, J.R. (Eds).The Oxford Handbook of Compassion Science, 189-202.
- Porges, S.W. (2018). Music Therapy & Trauma:Insights from the Polyvagal Theory. K. Stewart (Ed.), Symposium on Music Therapy & Trauma: Bridging Theory and Clinical Practice. New York: Satchnote Press.
- Stellar, J. and Kelter, D. (2017). Compassion in the autonomic nervous system. The role of the vagus nerve. In Gilbert, P. (Ed). Compassion. Concepts, research, and applications. Routledge, 120-134.
Is Vocal Odyssey something for me?
No previous experience is required for this retreat and all are welcome. It is not limited to those that consider themselves ‘musicians’, ’singers’ or ‘creative’ people. This retreat is perfect for those who wish to go deeper with their voices on all levels.
We all need a closer relationship with our natural expression and sometimes it can get crowded out by the chaos and distractions of our everyday lives.
This retreat will incorporate other elements such as meditation and movement into the daily schedule in order to facilitate this process. It is a journey in which we will all travel through different realms of sound together, and is perfect for those that wish to release blockages and create more intimacy and lightness in their lives.
We will discover how singing is not about ‘singing’ – it is in fact about ‘listening’ and expressing effortlessly all that is inside of us, moment to moment.
What Vocal Odyssey is not?
This retreat introduces the participants to the art of self-exploration through movement, silence and voice exercises, however, it is not a substitute to meditation and/or sound therapy teacher training. Therefore, participants that are seeking to apply these type of practices directly to their work are strongly encouraged to take a specific teacher training course.
Similarly, while this retreat allows participants to explore emotional blockades, patterns and conditioning through their personal practice (which as a consequence may have therapeutic benefits) it should not be considered as a psychotherapy or a substitute for psychotherapy.
Further, this retreat provides an opportunity for personal practice and exploration, and some exercises might be emotionally activating. Should you have any questions about the above-mentioned information, please don’t hesitate to contact the organizers: firstname.lastname@example.org
What to expect ?
- Know yourself better and become closer to your heart, through an intimate encounter with your unique, unexpressed voice.
- Use your voice to enable creativity, connection, communication, expression, self-inquiry, and release.
- Tools, exercises and rituals that help to soften the ego state and liberate the voice.
- Transform how you interact with the world, both internally and externally, in daily meditations to help to overcome feelings of fear, self-consciousness and resistance.
- Initiate a ‘conversation’ with your whole being that holistically combines the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of yourself through the voice.
- Creating a bridge between you and your voice which promotes intimacy. The opportunity to courageously welcome and express all the different colours of your voice, including the light as well as the dark and vulnerable aspects of yourself, and have them held in love and compassion.
- Using your voice beyond words that enables deeply personal information to be communicated without ‘risk’.
- Accessing the power of your voice as a vehicle for awakening and shifting consciousness.
- Self-heal with the power of your own sound; become our own healer using vibrational medicine to turn sound energy into light.
- Access and strengthen your ability to truly listen and embody silence, as well as embracing the group dynamic ‘one voice’ – the oneness we are all part of.
- To connect to the wisdom of your voice.
- Learn techniques that will support you in maintaining a healthy daily vocal practice and a continuation of your vocal exploration.
- Awaken trust, compassion and peace of mind, in a safe, supportive environment with new-found friends who will share this journey with you.
- Lots of heartfelt fun!
About Nessi Gomes
Born on the tiny island of Guernsey (UK), singing and music became Nessi’s way of dealing with challenging life circumstances. From a young age she discovered the ability to transform discomforts and unspoken emotions by exploring sound, and has continued to root herself more and more in the therapeutic value of sonic expression.
Nessi’s creative turning point took place seven years ago upon settling in the community of PachaMama in Costa Rica. The nature of the place has reshaped and deepened her approach towards music, therapy and self-healing.
In the past 4 years Nessi has shared her music and voice retreats in 25 countries. In October 2016 she released her debut album ‘Diamonds & Demons’ and received Best of British Unsigned female artist for that year. Check Nessi’s songs on Spotify!
Nessi Gomes is a musician, and group facilitator with a BA (Hons) in Creative Expressive Therapies in Music (2007), and a certified Holistic Voice Therapist with The British Academy of Sound Therapy (BAST) in Group Voice Therapy (2014).
“Using my voice has helped me on so many levels, nourishing my spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. For 20 years, working with my voice has revealed so much about who I am. It has particularly helped me to connect to the more difﬁcult emotions and give them a channel, allowing this energy to shift and transform. Sound can act as a bridge so that we are able to connect to the joy of our unique expression and to unleash it in its complete beauty safely” Nessi Gomes
About Lino Hermesh
Born and raised in Israel, Lino’s life’s circumstances took him on a long and winding spiritual path, seeking meaning to his life and healing to his own restless heart. After some period spent in India, he had put down roots in the community of PachaMama in Costa Rica where he lived for 12 years. Years of growth, pain, exploration, confusion and bliss. Of inner work, crystallisation, therapy, meditation and celebration.
In the forests of Central America he met his life partner Nessi Gomes. A meeting that changed their life and took them both on a musical voyage of creativity and self growth through some 30 countries in which they shared their work in the past 6 years. Today they are holding a young baby daughter, traveling the world and sharing the voice work. Lino is the co-founder of Vocal Odyssey. A Certified Voice Practitioner (The British Academy of Sound Therapy, UK) and holds a Diploma in Relational Mindfulness/Core Process Psychotherapy (Karuna Institute, UK).
Testimonials of participants
“Everything I experienced those 4 days was utterly mind blowing, extremely challenging, liberating and developing. It changed how I see myself, both as an individual, but also as a part of a group. I would do it again any time and I am deeply grateful” Eyvind – Musician, Composer – Denmark
“An amazing workshop. A unique blend of sensitive facilitation, transformative delving into the psyche and lots and lots of fun… A truly magical experience” Coral – Artist/ Therapist – UK
“This weekend felt like a big serotonin and endomorphic boost. I approached each exercise with fear and trepidation. Can I do this? What will happen? How to surrender? And now after, there is this incredible joy and relief/release to have made it through to the other side. This experience was profound and heart opening” Heinz- Sculptor – Jeweller Minnesota, USA
“A mystical journey into the depth of ones heart and soul, grateful for that experience. Being with Nessi’s vibrations and music its truly a gift” Micole, Yoga Teacher – Italy
The retreat will be hold in a beautiful and sustainable hotel Mar de Fulles situated in the heart of Cierra Espadan (50 min driving from Valencia Airport).
Mar de Fulles is a really special place, since their creators built it to showcase that energetic auto-efficiency, ecological agriculture & sustainable commerce is possible in one luxurious project, respecting the beauty of the nature and its surroundings. In this way 80% of organic fruits and vegetables that will be served are cultivated in the garden of the hotel, the rest is provided from local commerce. There is no use of any products issued from multinational companies, and in order to allow the guests to rest, the wifi is provided only in the lounge area. All the spaces are designed with natural materials such as wood and stone. There is a natural swimming pool, and the whole place is surrender with millenary forest and mountains. For more information about the hotel (in Spanish)click here!
- 1,188 Euro per person in shared room (between 3 and 8 people)
- 1,428 Euro per person in double shared room with en-suite bathroom
- 1,800 Euro per person in private room with en-suite bathroom (limited places)
20% Early bird registration discount until 30th of November 2019
Registration opens on 1st of September 2019 (limited places)
The package includes
- All Vocal Odyssey retreat activities
- 4 nights accommodation in Mar de Fulles sustainable Hotel
- Vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner (vegan, gluten-free, or any allergy options are provided in case needed) + tea/infusion service all day long
- Transfers upon arrival and departure (Valencia airport-Mar de Fulles hotel-Valencia airport)
- Personal retreat time (having time to nap, explore, walk, read, write, swim, and just be)
The price does not include
Travel expenses to and from Valencia or travel insurance
To book your space and for more information please send an email to:
In order to secure your place, we ask for a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total price to be paid immediately, with the remaining balance to be paid 3 months prior to the commencement of the retreat.
Please note deposits and final payments are non-refundable or transferable. There will be no refunds or discounts for arriving late, leaving early, or illness. Also note that bank charges from payments made via Paypal and or international bank transfers, are the responsibility of the participant. All currency calculations are valid on the date payment is received as listed by xe.com
If you cancel your participation for any reason, the cancellation policy that has been mentioned will apply, with no exceptions.
We wish we could compensate people for unforeseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc.), but we have costs already incurred when reserving venues or retreat centres. We have designed our cancellation policy to be as compassionate as possible in the case that your plans change. But to protect yourself further, we strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance. To cancel, you must send an email stating that you wish to cancel.