Richard Wagner / Leon Michener Improvisations on Der Ring des Nibelungen (1869-1874)
Fatima Al Qadiri
Johannes Kreidler Fremdarbeit (Outsourcing) (2009)
Luigi Nono ... sofferte onde serene ... (1976)
Cornelius Cardew Red Flag Prelude (1973)

Fatima Al Qadiri
Michael Cox flute (Kreidler)
Mark Knoop piano (Nono, Cardew), conductor (Kreidler)
Johannes Kreidler moderator (Kreidler)
Leon Michener piano (Wagner)
Lucy Railton cello (Kreidler)
Serge Vuille percussion (Kreidler)
Kerry Yong sampler (Kreidler)

Music and global capitalism: for the artists featured in this programme, the interlacing of these two themes has been a central concern.

Richard Wagner is sometimes considered the first musical Marxist, with Der Ring des Nibelungen tracing its story around a critique of financial greed. In the mid 20th century, political upheavals led both Luigi Nono and Cornelius Cardew to see music as a platform for anti-capitalist agitation.

Two currently active artists who have turned their attention to today's networks of power and wealth are Kuwaiti composer and producer Fatima Al Qadiri (pictured below) and German composer Johannes Kreidler (pictured above). While Kreidler's Fremdarbeit (Outsourcing) offers a blistering critique of contemporary culture, Al Qadiri's darkly compelling futurism draws on the impersonal sonic vocabularies of corporate culture and hi-tech, commodified club genres.

In association with Verso books

Lead photo credits
1: Tom Cawley
2: Dimitri Djuric