“I hear your tongue when you talk. I can feel it moving. The resting tension of your jaw. I feel that too. In my body, like you were there as part of me. When I listen attentively to your voice, my body echoes yours. Sometimes, I can’t switch it off. I become so caught up in the physical experience of another person – entering their experience through their voice – I get lost in the other.” The first phase of my residency at HCL will include a series of “sensory interviews” which seek to enter the embodied practices of others through enacting, touching and practicing. Interviewees will consent to try to share something of ‘what their body knows how to do’. The documentations and practice inspired by these interviews will form a body of research which is intended to lead to both creative and scholarly outcomes. In the second phase of the residency I will develop a new solo piece for vocalizing, moving performer, utilizing material gleaned from the first phase, exploring themes of bodily echoes and sensory limit points.
My research starts with the body as a site for discovery and production in vocal music while simultaneously exploring the fluid position of that practice on an interdisciplinary spectrum. As a singer, my self and sound-producing mechanism are indivisible. I’m both the author of and the site of my practice. I try to utilize this knowledge in making performative choices, questioning established habits and maintaining an awareness of subjectivities within the musical context. I’m interested in the way the body, environmental factors and embodied knowledge interact to affect performance and decision-making. I integrate experimentation into my practice and adapt simple methods of documentation and reflection, to support a systematic way of paying attention as I prepare for and reflect upon creation and performance. The newest phase of this research (central to my project at HCL) is concerned with interrogating embodied subjectivities in collaborative practice, developing transferable knowledge-bases between artists, and across disciplinary lines.
Jessica has been a soloist with ensembles as diverse as ICE, the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, Pinchgut Opera, Victorian Opera, Sydney Chamber Opera, and in the chamber series of the San Diego and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. She can be heard on recording for Chandos, Ars Publica and Hospital Hill.
In Jessica Aszodi’s genre-bounding and label-defying career her singing has been described as “..thrilling..” (LA Times), her curatorial approach “…intense…” (NY Times) and her research presentations “…eloquent…” (Tempo). She has premiered dozens of new pieces, performed works that have lain dormant for centuries, devised new collaborative projects, sung roles from the standard operatic repertoire and worked with a constellation of artists from the far reaches of the musical palate.
Jessica has sung in festivals around the world including Vivid Sydney, the Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals, BIFEM, Aldeburgh, Tectonics and Tanglewood. Jessica’s operatic roles include Eve (Stockhausen’s Dienstag aus Licht), Socrates (Satie’s Socrates), Aminta (Mozart’s Il re pastore), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Sesto (Guilio Cesare), Popova (Walton’s The Bear), Rose (Elliot Carter’s What Next?) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). Her early training was in operatic voice at the Victorian College of the Arts under the tutelage of Anna Connolly.
Jessica has twice been nominated for the Australian Greenroom Awards as ‘best female operatic performer’ – in both leading and supporting categories. She is co-director of the Resonant Bodies Festival – Australia, and an artistic associate of BIFEM. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of California, a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Queensland Conservatorium and has written scholarly articles in several books and academic journals.