Prodigious vocalist and composer Gian Slater is one of Australia’s most sought-after and inventive creative musicians, known for her superb musicianship, pioneering vision for vocal music, and powerful artistic integrity. Slater is widely respected for her agile, pure voice and virtuosic improvisational ability and is also a prolific composer.
She has released eight albums of her original music – In My Head (2004), Our Galaxy (2006), Creatures at the Crossroads (2009), The Differences (2012), Still Still (2014), Empathy Chip– Sylent Running (2008), Gone without Saying– Invenio (2011) and Clarion/Whisper – Invenio (2014).
As a vocalist, she has featured as a sideman or guest artist on many other acclaimed recordings including Ben Hauptmann –(self titled), Christopher Hale –Sylvan Coda, Andrea Keller –Angels and Rascals, Nat Bartsch –To sail, To sing, Kate McGarry – Smile and Ben Monder –Hydra. She also features on film soundtracks by Paul Grabowsky, including The Eye of the Storm and Words and Pictures and has recorded for ABC Kids show Giggle and Hoot.
She was a finalist in the prestigious Freedman Fellowship in 2004 and 2010, The National Jazz Awards in 2005, the Bell Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album in both 2010 and 2013 and was the MJFF Apra Composers Commission winner in 2010. In 2012, she received the Creative Australia Fellowship, awarded to emerging and innovative artists across art practices and was a finalist in the Melbourne Music Prize in 2013.
Gian formed her own vocal ensemble, Invenio in 2010 after receiving a composer’s commission through APRA and The Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival. Gian’s first work for Invenio, Gone, without saying was an hour-long a-cappella work for 14 singers. Since then, Invenio have performed five of Gian’s major a cappella works – Gone, without saying (2010), Us and Others (2011), Self Echo (2012), Clarion/Whisper (2013) and Luminesce (2013).
Gian has also co-composed and arranged works for Invenio with New York based pianist/composer Barney McAll for his project and album release, Graft (2012) and treasured Australian singer/songwriter, Lior.
Invenio have performed for many high profile events including the 2013 Apra Music Awards and the Melbourne Arts Festival’s Notes from the Hard and Beyond, with the Black Arm Band, Rickie Lee Jones, Mavis Staples, Archie Roach and Joss Stone.
In 2013, the City of Sydney and Melbourne design company, Eness, commissioned Gian to compose a choral piece for a Christmas installation in Pitt Street Mall. The work ‘Infinity Choir’ was recorded with Invenio and debuted in November 2013.
Her other current working projects include the Gian Slater Trio, her new band Frostfall, her latest collaboration with Barney McAll Global Intimacy and Andrea Keller’s new project, From Ether. She recently toured to Canada with the Australian Art Orchestra, performing their famous work Passion and also performed with George Lewis and the Monash Art Orchestra as featured guest.
Gian is a passionate educator and lectures in Jazz and Improvisation at Melbourne and Monash Universities as well as guest lecturing at The Manhattan School of Music and the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.