David Chesworth Ensemble : Vanishing Tekopia

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David Chesworth Ensemble : Vanishing Tekopia


David Chesworth probably strives to reach the heights of Brian Eno, who clambers for the cerebral kudos of Michael Nyman and Nyman probably does not care about either. Vanishing Tekopia is the most recent attempt by Chesworth in his climb up the ladder to the pinnacle of high art. It is a very uncompromising climb to maximise his chances, he has even designed a phonetic language that the singers have “mastered”. Oh dear, the pretentious alarm bells are ringing clearly.
However this view would be overly dismissive of a lavish production which is a long way from the rudimentary Clifton Hill Community Music Centre days. Chesworth calls upon the likes of Helen Mountfort and old Essendon Airport partner Robert Goodge to help out a talented Ensemble. Once you manage to overcome the sheer silliness of titles like Dee Dong Dong, Apoh Jenah or The Bundana Strumm you can give the music a go. And a pleasant listen it is, once the hurdles of intellectual barriers are overcome.

A new world symphony of sorts, but very much reliant on olde worlde charm, Chesworth pitches this project as “… both a requiem to and a consequence of the process of cultural absorption and assimilation.” Easy for him to spout such ideals to mere mortals who are not surrounded by dictionaries and philosophical works. Yet these are serenely beautiful melodies which, taken for what they are, can be affirming and sparkling. And all the while, ringmaster Chesworth directs and instructs the marimbas, vibes, cello, mandolin and various non-Western instruments with great effect.

One can succumb to the beauty of Vanishing Tekopia in its entirety and be glad for it by the end. Then again it could merely be a snide piece of absurdist theory.


Best Track: Dee Dong Dong
If You Like This, You’ll Like These: GAVIN BRYARS, MICHAEL NYMAN
In A Word: Refreshing