Part of the ‘Capital Jazz Project’ at The Street Theatre, Gian Slater’s Invenio presented ‘Gone Without Saying’, the winner of the MIFF APRA Composer’s Commission. It’s a musical presentation by fourteen singers advertised as ‘exploring the notion of communication between and without words for those that love voice’.
It’s certainly a unique presentation. All fourteen singers are excellent musicians able to harmonise accurately with each other in what may have started as improvising around a set piece of music in rehearsal and then has been highly polished for performance. I may be completely wrong about that, but in the absence of a program, it’s my best guess.
Most of the items were performed by the whole group without individuals taking the lead. Sound variations were achieved with changing placement on the stage of the various voices and with the imaginative use of some props that added a unique sound into the mix. In a couple of items with lyrics, Gian Slater’s clear and appealing voice led the group. It was certainly unusual and I admire the musicianship of the singers.
How much you enjoy the performance will, however, depend on personal taste. While acknowledging the cleverness of the concept and the ability of the singers, I found the musical items were not varied enough to sustain my interest. I would have liked to know what to look for in each item. This could have been announced from the stage or included in a program. As a presentation, more variation is needed visually, maybe in costumes and movement on the stage.
Part of the fun of attending performances at the ‘Capital Jazz Project’ is to see something new and stimulating, even if the music doesn’t always match your personal taste. I’m looking forward to next year’s program!
As broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 ‘Dress Circle’ program on Sunday 12 August 2012