Whether she finds herself on a concert hall stage or in an underground venue, Jennifer Thiessen seeks a deep authenticity with which to craft her voice. Mixing new sounds with instruments of the past, she is known for improvising and commissioning new works on the viola and the viola d’amore as well as interpreting their historical repertoire. She is singer-songwriter Daily Alice and was suddenlyLISTEN’s Artist-in-Residence in 2020 developing solo music for viola, voice and live electronics.
Jennifer has commissioned and performed solo programs of new works for the viola d’amore: Short Stories for Viola d’Amore (Ottawa New Music Creators), Histoires d’Amour (Innovations en Concert) and Seule Amour/Lone Love (Cluster Festival). She has given recitals of historical viola d’amore music at the Festival Montréal Baroque, the Lamèque International Baroque Festival with harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney, and as concerto soloist with the Oakville Chamber Orchestra.
She released The Space Between Us, a JUNO- and OPUS-nominated album of co-composed music with saxophonist Ida Toninato in 2018 (Ambiances Magnétiques). Her duo Park Sounds with percussionist Ben Reimer premiered their Root Systems program of Canadian commissions in 2019 (Canada Council for the Arts, GroundSwell) and collaborated with pianist Natsuki Hiratsuka on Scenes & Formations in 2021 (Le Vivier, Innovations en Concert, Accès Asie). In 2020, she developed solo music for viola, voice and live electronics as Artist-in Residence with suddenlyLISTEN (Halifax). S[ILK]S is her multi-instrumental duo with Andrea Young whose first composition-recording For You, Alone premiered in 2021 (No Hay Banda).
Jennifer has participated in the creation of new works by Joane Hétu, Danielle Pallardy-Roger, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Jean Derome, Vincent Ho, Karen Sunabacka, Marielle Groven, Michael Matthews, Dan Morphy, Elizabeth Lima, Susanna Hood, Terri Hron, Cassandra Miller, Steven Gellman, Megan Jerome, Jan Jarvlepp, Jen McLaughlan, Pierre-Yves Martel, Leonard Lightstone, Gavin Bryars, Christopher Butterfield, Matthias Maute, Aleks Schürmer, Alexandra Fol, Matthew Rickets, Sarah Slean, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Brian Harman and Jerry Semchyshyn. Sought-after as a collaborator, she has worked regularly with creative and historical ensembles in Montreal and on the road including Ensemble SuperMusique, Ensemble Caprice, Cénacle, collectif9, Clavecin en Concert, Infusion Baroque, Paramirabo, Pallade Musica, Quatuor Bozzini, le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Dan Taylor’s Theatre of Early Music, Trio ’86, Les Violons du Roy and the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra. From 2007-2012 she toured the world in the on-stage quartet of La La La Human Steps performing new music by Gavin Bryars in the productions Amjad and New Work.
Creative works in progress include Winter[City]Speaks: a new work by Toninato/Thiessen (Re:Flux Festival, GroundSwell, Canada Council for the Arts) and participation in a new cross-Canada recording series called UnderStory (Nicole Rampersaud, CCA). She is an avid writer of poetic prose, and of music reviews for such publications as Musicworks Magazine.
After two decades in Montreal, Jennifer returns to her Manitoba home in 2021 with her husband and two cats. From within a multiplicity of artistic adventures she remains grounded in a passion to create meaningful experiences.