Gian Slater and Invenio.

Gian Slater and Invenio.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Northcote Town Hall
Wednesday, November 28

SINGER Gian Slater's latest project took the audience into a brave new world of vocal artistry on Wednesday night. The performance of her compositions by the vocal improvisation group Invenio explored the ways in which the voice can be harnessed for musical effect.

As well as humming, there were notes and phrases sung in syllables rather than words, held notes that rang out like a drone, trills, deep throat-churning sounds and rhythmic, half-voiced whispers.

Self/Echo was a stark work presented by Slater and four singers, drawing on theatrical devices for visual impact. It began with each singer voicing sounds of different pitches and length until seguing into a unison voice. There were striking counterpoint lines that created the effect of an echo or shadow of the self.

Clarion/Whisper involved all 16 members of Invenio. It juxtaposed lead singing with lyrics against wordless singing. Sections of the group entered with different parts like the sections of an orchestra.

Slater's pure, silvery voice took wide interval leaps and soared into the soprano range, with perfect pitch. The choir produced exquisite harmonies in a rich tapestry of sound that utilised vocal range and rhythmic density.

Together, they brought out the complexity and the striking melodic contours of these rewarding compositions, compositions that are festival material.