Vagus Correspondences is an ongoing collaborative performance project by performer/composers Kathryn Williams (flute) and Jessica Aszodi (voice). The “vagus nerve” is the longest and most complex cranial nerve, responsible for vital sensory activities and motor information within the body. Vagus’ musical materials are derived from correspondences that Jess and Kathryn keep up across their travels, writing to each other most days with instructions for physical exercise, ideas for pieces, advice for how to conduct ourselves in the world, or confessional journal entries. We seek to influence one another’s bodies, habits and techniques through a cross-fertilization of physical, artistic and psychological actions. The first workshop for the piece produced a hyper-personal, high intensity music theatre work, in which Jess and Kathryn clicked their heels, read each other’s journals, held their breath under water after intense exercise, played their instruments and did an awful lot of clapping. Further iterations of the piece are slated for performances in Australia and London, later in 2019.
Jessica Aszodi and Jane Sheldon recently co-directed the next International iteration of New York City's acclaimed Resonant Bodies Festival. Presented in partnership with the Carriageworks and Sydney Chamber Opera.
Resonant Bodies Australia featured newly devised performances from Australian and International vocal artists from across the spectrum of exploratory vocality on August 31st and September 1st at Sydney's Carriageworks. It vocalists Rully Shabara, Sofia Jernberg, Deborah Kayser, Sonya Holowell, Mitchell Riley & Ariadne Greif.
Supported by the Australian government through The Australia Council for the Arts.
In Fall 2017 Jessica is an HCL resident artist.
“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.
In 2017 Jessica returns as associate artist for the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM). She is hard at work co-ordinating a number of projects featuring exciting International and Australian artists, but you'll have to wait until July 20th for the official program announcement to see who is coming.
Jessica Aszodi and Jane Sheldon co-direct the first International iteration of New York City's acclaimed Resonant Bodies Festival. Presented in partnership with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Recital Centre, and supported by the Victorian government through Creative Victoria, Resonant Bodies Australia will feature newly devised performances from Australian and International vocal artists from across the spectrum of exploratory vocality.
A paper by Jessica about realizing a new work by Alexander Garsden:
"The singing subject is both site-of and author-of her practice. This practice-based, artistic research unpacks the entangled process of making new music, conscious that the performer-author is the site where embodied problem solving takes place. The principal focus of the paper is the author’s realization of Alexander Garsden’s [ja] Maser, for voice and electronics, created by recording and reconstituting vocal elements using traditional compositional and performative methods as well as studio recording and granular synthesis..."
Grafter is a work for two vocalists, live electronics, and hanging speakers. An early 15-minute version of Grafter was premiered as part of the Resonant Bodies Festival in New York in September of 2015, which we (Jenna Lyle and Jessica Aszodi) continue to expand as we tour it as a multivalent evening-length work. The process of expanding Grafter exploits two very different vocal practices and backgrounds, as we exchange methods of vocal production and sensation in the body to craft a holistic work utilizing the physical body as a responsive apparatus to physical and environmental stimuli. Grafter represents the objectification of the performer’s experience of her own body and that body in space, with other people. As she moves toward the audience, sound production methods and the environment surrounding the voice progress through a series of changes that highlight spatial depth as an analog to personal relation.Read More