Melbourne-based Wattleseed Ensemble is a crossover group with a difference. The three instrumentalists – Natalia Harvey (violin), Katie Yap (viola) and Anna Pokorny (cello) – play on gut strings and bring their period instrument experience to bear on a world where Baroque rubs shoulders with folk music, and sometimes more. Their debut tour, which takes place in March 2022, finds them travelling through central Victoria with concerts in and around Melbourne as well. Clive Paget caught up with founding violist Katie Yapto find out more about their program, what excites them about gut strings, and the joys of musical storytelling, from medieval times to the present day.


Wattleseed Ensemble’s tour is called HOME ”. What is the idea behind the name?

I wanted to explore the concept of home and the diverse forms it can take through different types of music. I also wanted to find a way to talk about climate change in a way that brings people together, rather than driving them apart, as much of the rhetoric surrounding it seems to do. Home is a concept that is inextricably tied to being human and it can mean different things to different people. Throughout the concert program,...