Stolen began as a six-minute piece composed for the Yale/Norfolk New Music Workshop, premiering at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Connecticut) in June 2014. At the request of guitarist Solomon Silber, the piece was used as the foundation of an large-scale 45-minute suite for solo electric guitar and chamber ensemble that was composed in early 2015. This piece was further refined through a residency at Avaloch New Music Institute in the summer of 2015, and recorded at Cedar House Studios, for release in 2016.
The piece is based on a poem by Australian writer Richard James Allen, A Scheme for Brightness. The piece takes its form from the poem, mirroring the wild chaotic opening, before moving into a more introspective middle section. The final section of the piece reflects the resolution in the final lines of the poem. The pitch material for the entire piece is derived from a single motif that references the “gleaming grain of golden sand” that Allen describes as a “piece of matter, with the universe in it”.