With Stolen Fire

Work Details

12 minutes

Commissioned by Music in the Round and Showroom Workstation for Ensemble 360 to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Stainless Steel. It was made possible through generous support from Grants for the Arts, Foyle Foundation, Catalyst and funding from a legacy payment by Miss D R Kurzman awarded by Arts Council England.


Flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass.

Programme Note

This work combines film and live music, although the music can exist independently. Created as part of the centennial celebrations of the birth of stainless steel, the film uses re-composed footage from inside a steel mill, sourced from Jack Cardiff’s 1945 documentary entitled Steel (courtesy of the BFI). The sumptuous and theatrical imagery provides a dramatic heartbeat for the music.

The title, With Stolen Fire, is taken from Tony Harrison’s film poem Prometheus, an epic work that visits the Greek legend of Prometheus, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to man. Harrison entwines this with political drama set around twentieth century ‘Promethean’ industries (coal and steel) in Northern Britain. Having visited a working foundry myself, I wanted to convey the overwhelming sense of drama I experienced there, that melded the industrial functionality with something more primordial or even supernatural.

Past Performances

11 May 2013
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield
Ensemble 360

26 November 2013
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Ensemble 360

28 November 2013
Old Laundary Theatre, Bowness-on-Windermere
Ensemble 360

1 December 2013
Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford on Avon
Ensemble 360

14 February 2014
Third Floor Arts Centre, Portsmouth
Ensemble 360

16 February 2014
Bridge House Theatre, Warwick
Ensemble 360