Given an open brief simply to ‘compose a work inspired by the life, work or ideas of Karl Marx’ from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, composers Celeste Oram (New Zealand/ USA), Frédéric Pattar (France) and Robert Reid Allan (UK) each responded in contrasting and provoking ways: two hundred years since Marx was born his ideas resonate.

The concert will be conducted by Michael Wendeberg and will feature soprano Elizabeth Atherton. Celeste Oram’s Pierrot Laborieux [work & The Work] examines the idea of musical work – is a musician’s or composer’s artistry truly free labour? Is the music they create a ‘commodity’ we buy, sell and consume? French composer Frédéric Pattar uses the phenomenon of economic Deflation to sculpt a vivid sonic interpretation of the rise – then fall – of wealth in a capitalist system. And Robert Reid Allan collaborated with Gareth Mattey to imagine Terry Helenson’s Revolutionary Dreams: a man, once boldly protesting Marxist ideals, now confined to a humdrum life in the City. At night, his mind awakens...

 

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