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Steeling Fire : Concerto for Percussion and String Orchestra

by Natalie Williams (2022)

Selected products featuring this work — Display all products (1 more)

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

Steeling Fire is a concerto for percussion and string orchestra, based upon the story of the "Women of Steel" and their connection with the Port Kembla Steelworks, near Wollongong in Australia. In the 1980s and 1990s, a group of women fought publicly to gain employment at the steelworks. Their advocacy permanently changed Australian employment law. This concerto is written as an homage to their experiences and their stories.

This concerto uses only metal instruments of the percussion family, as a textural homage to the output of the steelworks. Pitched instruments of a vibraphone and crotales are paired with an array of unpitched metallic instruments, including anvils, cymbals, brake drums and gongs. The work asks for actual metal tools to also be used as percussion instruments, including a set of five hammerheads along with a chime tree made up of hanging drill bits. A waterphone and a wind gong add resonant sounds to the slow-moving central movement, and show the wide range of textures available from the metallic members of the percussion battery.

Work Details

Year: 2022

Instrumentation: Percussion solo, string orchestra (

Duration: 22 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Some improvisatory percussion solo passages

Contents note: I. Dust and Fire -- II. Reverie  -- III. Mechanica.

Commission note: Commissioned by Steel City Strings.. Commissioned by the Steel City Strings for their 2022 season, honouring the "Women of Steel" of Port Kembla, NSW

First performance: by Claire Edwardes, Steel City Strings at Women of Steel (Wollongong Town Hall) on 19 Nov 2022

Performances of this work

20 Nov 2022: at Women of Steel (Berry School of Arts). Featuring Steel City Strings, Claire Edwardes.

19 Nov 2022: at Women of Steel (Wollongong Town Hall). Featuring Claire Edwardes, Steel City Strings.

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