Gian Slater + Invenio

Formed by the gifted singer/composer, Gian Slater in 2010, Invenio is large ensemble of improvising and contemporary singers who experiment and extend upon the typical vocal group or choral environment through conceptual composition, extended vocal technique, fluid improvising, choreographed movement and inventive performance. Their debut CD, Gone, without saying, was comissioned by the Melbourne Fringe Jazz Festival, is a remarkable large-ensemble work. 

Gone, without saying.

“i shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell” – Michael Polanyi 'The Tacit Dimension' 

Communication between, before, without words. knowledge that exists without language, feeling that is not available to words – truth so deep and formless that we cannot calcify its mists into utterance, or so clear to us all that it goes without saying. a desire, a consolation, a joke, a complicity, an argument, a hurt, a loss. we share a wordless space which is vital yet incomplete, essential yet thwarted. intentions are lost or misunderstood. we fill silences, but long for moments of space to say what we really mean.

Invenio was formed in March 2010 to perform a large-work commission piece that Gian composed for the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival. They performed the composition ‘Gone without saying’ at The Edge in Federation Square to rave reviews and a standing ovation. Since then, they have premiered Gian’s second large work ‘Us and Others’, composed for 18 singers and 4 percussionists from SPEAK Percussion led by Eugene Ughetti at the Malthouse Theatre to sell-out audiences. They have also performed at the Sydney Opera House Studio, Dancehouse Theatre, The Melbourne Town Hall as well as featured performances with singer/songwriter Lior and the Melbourne Arts Festival’s Notes from the Hard and Beyond at Sidney Myer Music Bowl with the Black Arm Band, Ricki Lee Jones, Mavis Staples, Archie Roach and Joss Stone.

Gian carefully handpicked the members of the group from a pool of exciting young contemporary singers. They have all completed or are finishing their bachelor of music degrees at an array of Australian music institutions – (Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University, Australian National University, Adelaide Conservatory and WAAPA).


Gian Slater the rarest of singers – a complete musician and true virtuoso, whose mastery of her instrument is in total service to a powerful emotional immediacy in her music. She possesses a highly mobile and accurate voice with an uncommon improvisational ability, and the harmonic and technical awareness and clarity of intention more commonly associated with instrumentalists. At 28, she has already developed an extended body of original compositions and recordings and is a sought after vocalist in many diverse settings.

She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2003 with a Bachelor of Music Performance – Improvisation (voice), where she received numerous awards and scholarships. She was a finalist in the prestigious Freedman Fellowship (2004 and 2010), The National Jazz Awards (2005) and the Bell Awards for ‘Best Jazz Vocal Album’ (2010) and was awarded the MJFF APRA composers commission (2011).

As a composer and bandleader, Gian has recorded 3 albums, In My Head (2005), Our Galaxy and Creatures at the Crossroads (2008). She has recorded for ABC Jazz track (2003) and was featured on Andrea Keller’s ABC Aria nominated album Angels and Rascals (2005). She formed a band with US based pianist, Barney McAll, called Sylent Running, releasing their debut album Empathy Chip’\ (2009). Gian has featured in the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Stonington Jazz and the Brisbane Powerhouse Jazz Festival.

She leads her own vocal ensemble Invenio who have performed two of her large works – Gone without Saying (2010) and Us and Others (2011) and with the Black Arm Band, New York Jazz pianist Barney McAll and Singer/songwriter Lior. Her Trio will be releasing their album Still-Still at the beginning of 2012.

Gian lectures in voice, choral and aural studies at all three of Melbourne's major music universities (Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and NMIT) and has been artist in residence at WAAPA in Perth. 


Invenio is… 
Gian Slater, Jenny Barnes, Tom Barton, Gideon Brazil, Natalie Carolan, Helen Catanchin, Miriam Crellin, Georgie Darvidis, Ed Farlie, Bronwyn Hicks, Kate Kelsey-Sugg, Joshua Kyle, Louisa Rankin, Jem Savage, Ben Taylor, Loni Thompson, Gemma Tully, Auđur Zoëga

Gone, Without Saying – Gian Slater + Invenio (Listen/Hear Collective)


Empathy Chip – Sylent Running

Creatures at the Crossroads – Gian Slater with Will Poskitt

Our Galaxy (EP) – Gian Slater

In My Head – Gian Slater




"It was a fantastic collaboration of unique vocal and percussion techniques. Wordless singing is an incredible thing to hear at length, at times it drew me into a beautiful lulled state of mind." – Simon Mavin, Blank Tape, September 2011


Category: Artists