Featured Collaborator: Jessica Wells
Jessica Wells is one of Australia's leading composers. Since obtaining a Master of Music in Composition from the Sydney Conservatorium and a Master of Arts in Screen Composition from AFTRS, her career has blossomed as a composer, orchestrator, and arranger for concerts, films, theatre, and album recordings. Her concert works range from solo harp through to full symphony orchestra, and she has written music for film and theatre productions.
Jessica was born in Florida, USA in 1974 and migrated to Australia at the age of 11. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1996 and graduated with first class honours. This was followed by a Master’s Degree in Composition under Dr. Bozidar Kos completed in 1998. After teaching composition at the Conservatorium for four years, she spent time living in Antwerp, Belgium and then returned to Sydney in 2003. She then completed a Masters in Screen Composition at the AFTRS (Australian Film, Television and Radio School) in 2005, and was awarded the Film Critic's Circle Award for "Best Display of Technical Excellence" for her work on eight short films.
Jessica's compositions cross many genres in the classical, commercial and film music worlds. She has worked for some of Australia's best composers as an orchestrator, arranger and copyist.
Her orchestral music and arrangements have been performed by many of the major Australian orchestras (SSO, MSO, TSO, WASO and QSO). She was commissioned to write two pieces for the Victorian Opera's "Seven Deadly Sins" project featuring seven singers and a full orchestra, which was acclaimed as a highlight of the year in Melbourne's art scene.
"Moon Fire" for Carillon and Electronic track has been nominated for an Art Music Award in 2017 and will be performed in Barcelona as part of the Carillon World Congress in July. Jessica was previously nominated for an Art Music Award for her orchestral work "Ainulindale" in 2001.
As a producer Jessica can bring out the best in orchestral recordings as well as smaller ensembles and jazz and contemporary musicians. She has has arranged and produced music for ABC Classics as well as many other individual artist's albums, including Divergence Jazz Orchestra's last album "Fake ItUntil You Make It" and the Wiggles "Meet the Orchestra" album. She has just been engaged to produce a new album for South American pianist and composer Daniel Rojas.
She also co-produces film recording sessions with composers, and is able to help them get the best performances and combinations of elements for delivery to the film mix. Most recently she produced the orchestral recordings of film soundtracks for Nigel Westlake's "Paper Planes" and "Ali's Wedding".
In a new “tour de fierce” collaboration between the The Strange Bedfellows featuring Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen, composer Jessica Wells, director Cameron Menzies and PLEXUS, Ich Auch draws on ancient stories of the female and examines how these depictions still echo in the contemporary world. Weaving myth with legend, past with present, this will be a highly theatrical and timely exploration of how “his” story has co-opted and contaminated hers.
Resolutely confronting and provocative, the cabaret work of The Strange Bedfellows is set apart by the utter conviction and sheer talent of creators and stars Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen.
“Where would cabaret be without them?" – THE AUSTRALIAN