In our upcoming event 75 Years: A Portrait of Meredith Monk, Rubiks will be joined by the evocative Invenio Singers. Tamara sat down with Invenio's Artistic Director, Gian Slater to learn a little more about her experience with Meredith Monk.
"If her music wasn't inspiration enough, her whole person radiated love, generosity, openness, grace and adventure."
Can you tell us a little about the history of Invenio Singers?
"I formed Invenio in 2010 for the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festivals Composer’s Commission to perform my new work, 'Gone Without Saying'. I had been dreaming about a different kind of choral music for a while and was inspired to think of the great young singers I could put together at the time. After the success of this first work, both in the performance and in the rehearsal process – I was compelled to keep the momentum going. I felt that the musical possibilities were boundless as was the great potential of these amazing singers. I was immensely excited about presenting this music in different ways –with movement, with costumes, with lighting, acoustically, in different spaces. I felt that this kind of ensemble experience was something that filled a big gap in a singer’s performance life. Most singers will predominantly lead their own ensembles and are rarely invited into other ensembles, let alone ones that use, challenge and develop their musicianship.
Since the premiere of 'Gone Without Saying', we have performed seven of my large-scale works and have collaborated with many diverse artists and across art forms. Invenio performs in different configurations depending on the project, from 3-20 singers. "
Tell us about your experience with Meredith Monk and her music.
My partner introduced me to Meredith's Music via her album, Mercy. The first time I listened to it, I felt this strange combination of confrontation and venerability that provoked a deep curiosity in me. After listening to more of her music, I was lucky to be in New York when a retrospective 4 hour showing of her works was on at the Whitney Museum. It was without a doubt the most profound artistic and musical experience I have had so far. I left the show a different person and the experience has informed many of my ideas and thinking about the voice in particular.
Through an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship, I was also incredibly fortunate to meet Meredith and spend some time with her in her NY studio. If her music wasn't inspiration enough, her whole person radiated love, generosity, openness, grace and adventure.
Meredith's work has a timeless quality- it doesn't ride on the tails of any fashion but is its own universe. It is primal and futuristic at once and breaks everything down to the core essentials of expression, sound, movement, nature and beauty.
Who are some of your female artistic heroes?
Join Rubiks, Gian Slater and the Invenio Singers at the Melbourne Recital Centre on October 23rd , as we celebrate Meredith Monk's 75th Birthday! Tickets available here.