Us & Others

Voices en masse, the power of percussion – this is no ordinary choral work. Visionary vocalist, composer and performance artist Gian Slater and her hand picked group of singers take on Australian contemporary music legends Speak Percussion in a two-night only performance of a brand new work that thrillingly dismantles the boundaries of vocal music.

Us & Others is a new show that harnesses 18 voices and a cracking percussion arsenal in a performance of devastating power, emotion and beauty. Gian Slater’s virtuosic score draws on the influences of Bjork, Carmina Burana, Squarepusher and Steve Reich to create a musical world of rich complexity, melodicism and potent rhythmic power. With the mercurial brilliance of Eugene Ughetti’s Speak Percussion and Slater’s own internationally acclaimed Invenio Singers, Us and Others brings singing, percussion and choreography into a newworld of Australian contemporary music.

Us & Others examines the notions and definitions of community in the modern world and all of its paradoxes of relationships: small, insulated families living in the midst of huge cities; atomized, isolated individuals relating a vast online reality; loneliness amidst globalization, relationships amidst anonymity. While the modern presents these paradoxes of identity and community, the possibilities of new forms of interaction and relationships evolve.

Us & Others premièred at the Malthouse Theatre September, 2011 over two sell-out nights.

The Cast:


Jenny Barnes, Tom Barton, Gideon Brazil, Natalie Carolan, Helen Catanchin, Miriam Crellin, Georgie Darvidis, Edward Fairlie, Bronwyn Hicks, Kate Kelsey-Sugg, Josh Kyle, Louisa Rankin, Jem Savage, Gian Slater, Ben Taylor, Loni Thomson, Gemma Tully, and Auður Zoëga.

Speak Percussion:

Director – Eugene Ughetti.

Dan Richardson, Peter Neville and Matthias Schack-Arnott.

Lighting Design and Animateuring:

Cy Gorman.


‘…The uniqueness of Gian’s vocal writing style was sung to perfection by the Invenio Choir..Gian is doing innovative things for the modern day chorister..’

– Simon Mavin (Blank Tape.)



‘Slater is not just a conductor-composer but a composer-sound engineer, using real breath and meat to produce tape-era special effects. Or perhaps even effects of the digital age. Is not the layering of semi-improvised voices a product of today’s cheap and accessible recording equipment?


The technology that gave rise to Björk’s Medulla and Camille’s Le Fil? If so, then Us & Others, with its focus on the physicality of music-making, is a work of togetherness-making, the establishment of a community of enjoyment that encompasses not only 18 incredibly talented singers and four virtuosic percussionists, but the audience that leaves humming their tunes.’


- Mathew Lorenzon (real time arts)