From the Hungry Waiting Country

Review by Harriet Cunningham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14/1/19


CD review


Singers Jenny Duck-Chong and Alison Morgan, aka Halcyon, have been quietly getting on with making tricky and beautiful things for two decades now. For this, their latest CD, they return to the music of Elliot Gyger, a composer, colleague and co-creator who has been with them throughout their journey. It is a potent combination: Gyger juggles words, notes, jokes and observations, meanings and warnings with uncanny skill, creating something at once complex and as clear as still water; Duck-Chong and Morgan take his ideas and make them dance with deceptive ease. In fact, there's so much going on, so much to delight in, to be moved by, that, in spite of its clarity (and a superb recording), it's hard to listen to the whole album in one go. The mood ranges from playful – setting words favoured by Gyger's daughter, aged 20 months – to ominous, in his bleak and unblinking setting of A. D. Hope's Australia. Like the finely crafted poetry Gyger sets to music, each track is a musical poem warranting close listening and contemplation. So now I'm going to go back and re-listen, one track a day, reading the evocative words and basking in a Halcyon daze.

Harriet Cunningham

The review appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald