We had spent five days at the Bali Songwriting Invitational Camp thus far, so immersed in intense collaborations we were practically subterranean, emerging from creative hibernation only to enjoy lunch and a quick glance at the lush jungle landscape in which we were camouflaged. It was time for a break and some sunshine, a few cocktails and (maybe) bad decisions- anything to feel human again, feel reinvigorated, fill up our emotional tanks only to drain them into melody and rhythm.
Thankfully the masterminds behind The Invitational Group, an organization that creates elite songwriting camps in exclusive destinations around the world, understand that rest is a crucial component to an artist’s awakening. After a week of writing we are treated to some much needed downtime. When the day came, we boarded our caravan of SUVs and headed for Canggu beach, expecting a casual poolside hang complete with passion fruit mojitos and a flamingo-shaped floatie. What we got was so much more.
There are days off, and then there are days off at the Semara Beach House, a grandiose 3 acre villa with 105 meters of manicured gardens overlooking the Indian Ocean that was once privately owned by someone- a Sultan, a British Spy, Amal Clooney- whose life is so beyond the scope of your own that it is unfathomable even in your dreams. We were greeted warmly, made to feel at home, and invited to enjoy the amenities of this 7 bedroom spectacle. The beachside gazebo, badminton court, 18 meter swimming pool, overly appeasing staff and on-site massage therapists fit the criteria for a day o’ luxury, but the experience went beyond. The ability to sneak away and find space to be alone among our rambunctious crowd, or just listen to the waves crashing minus corruption from the sounds of traffic or shouts from boisterous beachgoers, was luxury enough. Sometimes the best way to pamper a songwriter is with silence. In that, and all respects, Semara does not disappoint.