Wattleseed Ensemble

gut strings | timeless storytelling


Melbourne-based collective Wattleseed Ensemble brings some of Australia’s most exciting young performers together, combining their expertise on period instruments with wide-ranging repertoire and a love of storytelling through music.After their debut in the midst of the COVID pandemic at the online Port Fairy Spring Music Festival in November 2020, they have performed for Musica Viva Australia, the Melbourne Recital Centre, and the 3MBS festival Music, She Wrote. In March 2022 they embarked on their first tour, HOME: a concert that explored the incredibly diverse, yet unifying concept of home that each person, and each piece of music holds. At its centre was the premiere of a new work by Melbourne-based composer Matt Laing, an ambitious and thought-provoking piece based on the changing environment of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.In 2024, Wattleseed will tour REJUVENATION: a synthesis of baroque and folk tunes weaving a story of fragility and re-emergence. Wattleseed eagerly anticipates returning to regional VIC and furthering connections with that area.Wattleseed’s raison d’etre is to bring diverse audiences together in harmonious contemplation of music, and the things that make us human. From Hildegard von Bingen, they flow seamlessly into the high Baroque, folk music and contemporary Australian works, creating fascinating and intimate sound worlds. Wattleseed is dedicated to fostering meaningful connection with the VIC regions through advocacy and education.



A thought-provoking concert for baroque string trio exploring the idea of homeHOME spans repertoire from the medieval to the present, crossing from classical to traditional folk music.Home is a concept that is inextricably tied to being human, and can mean many different things to different people. Throughout the program, we will explore a spiritual home through music by Hildegard of Bingen and JS Bach; a national home through traditional folk music; and finally extend this to the idea of our planet and environment being home, through a new work by composer Matt Laing, commissioned especially for this tour, called From Home. This stunning work focuses on the place Matt considers his home, the Fleurieu Peninsula just south of Adelaide, and describes its change over time. From musical responses to the ancient granite of the cliffs, to a young bird struggling into the wind, From Home reflects on the past, look forward into the future, and capture the moment of choice we have now.


Rejuvenation tells the story of fragility and re-emergence—green shoots after fire.Wattleseed’s gut strings evoke ancient sound-worlds, full of ritual and mystery. That is their home, and that’s where their program begins, with music of Telemann, Purcell, Francesca Caccini and Christopher Tye telling stories of renewal. From there they explore folk music of Australia, Scandinavia, and Ukraine, including the heart-rending Ukrainian traditional song Plive Kacha Po Tysyni and Melbourne fiddler Jess Foot's charming original tunes.In a time of great change, the final works on the program find comfort in ritual—the repeating harmonies of Brooke Green’s Spirit of Daphne and Erlebach’s Ciaconna soothe and transform both players and listener.

Katie Yap | viola

Brisbane-born Katie Yap is known for her deeply personal performances as a modern and baroque violist; and a flair for thoughtful, narrative-driven programs as a curator, debuting as festival director in 2021 for 3MBS’ ‘Music, She Wrote’ festival. She plays with ensembles around Australia, including the Australian World Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and Genesis Baroque Orchestra. She is always happiest playing chamber music, and is a founding member of the Chrysalis Harp Trio, and the co-artistic director of Wattleseed Ensemble.

Meg Cohen | violin

Meg is a violinist with a multi-faceted practice. She specialises in both modern and baroque violin, curating new projects and delving into chamber music. Trained in Sydney and now based in Naarm, Meg performs regularly with the Melbourne Chamber and Symphony orchestras, Genesis Baroque, and the Australian Haydn Ensemble. Meg has performed at all major festivals and venues across the country, and recorded with ABC Classics. She is the co-artistic director of Wattleseed Ensemble.

Laura Vaughan | viola da gamba

Melbourne-based viola da gamba specialist Laura Vaughan is a dynamic and well-recognised member of the early music movement in Australia. Passionate about the unique sound world of the viol, Laura is committed to bringing this exquisite repertoire to audiences around the world. She is also one of the few exponents of the rare lirone and baryton.
Laura can be heard regularly on ABC Classic FM as soloist and chamber musician and has recorded solo recordings for the Move and Paladino labels. She works with Australian early music ensembles including the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes,The Australian Haydn Ensemble, Bach Akademie Australia, Van Diemen’s Band, and Latitude 37.

Nick Pollock | Theorbo, baroque guitar

Nick Pollock is an Australian multi-instrumentalist specialising in early plucked strings. Starting out on electric guitar, he then progressed to the renaissance lute, theorbo, baroque guitar, baroque lute, archlute, cittern and gallichon. A dynamic and versatile performer, Nicholas is equally at home playing guitar in a punk band as performing the intimate lute works of John Dowland.
Nicholas is in demand as a continuo player and regularly performs in Australia and abroad with leading Australian early music and contemporary ensembles such as Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Emma Hunt | violin

Emma is a versatile freelance violinist with a love of chamber music, having grown up playing the violin in her hometown of Geelong. She completed a Bachelor of Music at Melbourne University under the tuition of William Hennessy, during which time she was awarded the C.D. Hume scholarship and won the Australian Youth Classical Music Regional Competion. She then went on to study at the Australian National Academy of Music with Adam Chalabi. She now has a diverse performance career, playing with many different orchestras, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. She is passionate about chamber music, and is known for her unique caramel sound and her love of harmony. In her spare time, she is an avid gardener, and is in the process of transforming her back yard into a permaculture oasis.

Natalia Harvey | violin

A strong, unique artistic voice, Natalia Harvey is one of Australia’s foremost and most versatile young violinists. She is a laureate of national and international solo competitions, including the Gisborne International Music Competition and the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition.
A passionate chamber musician, she plays with the Australian Octet and is a regular guest with ensembles including the Flinders Quartet. Natalia has an active orchestral life - she is a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and is currently Principal Second Violin of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Anna Pokorny | cello

Anna graduated as a cello student of Howard Penny from the Australian National Academy of Music in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Western Australia where she studied with Dr Suzanne Wijsman, and in 2013-14 undertook further postgraduate performance study at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland with Professor Niall Brown.Throughout her study Anna performed in master classes with David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Maxim Vengerov, the Borodin String Quartet, Doric String Quartet, Brodsky String Quartet and Eggner Trio. In 2012 she was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist.Since 2012 Anna has had the pleasure of performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, ACO Collective and West Australian Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she has appeared in concert series and festivals across Australia including the Perth International Arts Festival, Metropolis Music Festival and Bangalow Music Festival.


Processional of Embodied Souls
Live at the Melbourne Recital Centre

Da Lounge Bar
Live at Music, She Wrote 2021

Katie plays Aftermath by Emily Sheppard


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We live and make music on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people, and we acknowledge their elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty has never been ceded.

© Wattleseed Ensemble 2023
Images by Albert Comper