Duncan MacGregor sends a report from Australia

It's Autumn in Melbourne and the evenings are getting darker and colder… the perfect setting for 'Duck Duck Goose' to launch their new EP
 Duck Duck Goose is Jess Foot on oboe  fiddle and cor anglais, and Sarah Wade on Scottish smallpipes, English concertina and recorder.At the launch ain Carlton, VC on Sunday 15th May, they gave us two hours of magical music and from the opening arrangement of Handel’s Water Music there were constant reminders that the barriers between different genres like trad, folk, renaissance, baroque and church hymns, are things we create, while the music itself flows effortlessly between them. At least it looked effortless - combine technical skill on multiple instruments, a shared strong sense of musicality, and an obvious pleasure in each other’s playing, and you end up with a really entertaining evening.
One of the high points was Rosslyn Castle, with guests Louise Godwin (cello), Jack Wilson (Cape Breton style piano & step dance), Matt Horsley (percussion), Kelvin Nicholson (flute) to create a renaissance band, and Sarah piping from the pulpit (standing in for the ramparts of the castle). Another surprise was the combination of oboe and smallpipes. If those barriers between genres are important to you, you could have walked in thinking it was going to be an unusual mixture but as the evening went on it became obvious that it gives Jess and Sarah the ability to play around with some very different musical styles.
As they mentioned during the evening, they can obviously grab Breton music for bombard and binou, but the surprise was how well the punctuated oboe and the drones of the pipes lend themselves to renaissance dances, old English church hymns and Scandinavian folk songs, where the drone of the smallpipes reminds you of the continuous sound of a church organ, or a hurdy gurdy.
Beautiful music, pushing a few mental boundaries, great relationship with the audience, and tea and cakes on the tables at the back; what more could you want? And you have to love an evening where the pianist stands up half way through a Cape Breton medley, dances a reel, and sits back down to keep playing!
Their EP is available via their website www.duckduckgoosemusic.com