Grand Theft* David Chesworth (b. 1958)
Text by Paul Carter based on words by Andrea Allerkamp
Grand Theft imagines two (dis-)possessions: of love, of land. The colonisers
make "first contact" with the about-to-be-colonised. They hand over deceiving
mirrors, receive perhaps equally ambiguous arrows. ls this not rather like the
"battleground" of love, the first ambiguous exchange of glances between a man
and a woman? But what will become of desire when all it has to hand is love's
sentimental clichés (piercing arrows, stolen glances, mutual blindness)? Can they
ever see without blinding each other? How, where, on whose terms, meet?
*World Première. Commissioned by The Song Company
David Chesworth's career has embraced just about every area of contemporary
music and its related forms, including orchestral and electronic music for
performance, installation, dance, film and opera. He is the Artistic Director of The
David Chesworth Ensemble which recently released its first CD, Exotica Suite
with Warner Classics. Performances include Melbourne lnternational Festival and
Sydney Spring Festival of New Music.
Chesworth's distinctive compositions and soundscapes have been performed and
broadcast extensively in Australia as well as the Americas, Europe and Japan.
Major festivals which have featured performances of his work include the Festival
D'Automne de Paris, Edinburgh Festival, Covent Garden Summer Festival, Ars
Electronica, Melbourne lnternational Festival, Adelaide Festival, Sydney Biennale
ln 1986 Chesworth completed his first chamber opera Insatiable. Since then he
has worked regularly with Melbourne's Chamber Made Opera: Recital, Lacuna
and The Two Executioners, which received the inaugural Age Performing Arts
Award for Most Outstanding Fringe Pedormance, and with Melbourne lnternational
Festival: Domepiece and Sabat-Jesus which was selected to represent
Australia in th 1994 Paris Rostrum of contemporary music. Southgate, scored for
the 1991 Southgate opening in Melbourne, received an international Prix Ars
For five years from 1987 Chesworth worked with Sound Design Sudio in
Melbourne composing numerous soundscapes for public and exhibition spaces.
He has continued to work in this area recently composing a major soundscape for
the new Museum of Sydney. He has also written for film and the recording medium,
with many radio works, five albums and two CDs to his credit.