"Metal Work" for accordion and percussion, completed in Berlin in November 1984, has its roots in the establishment of the accordion as a serious instrument in Finland over the past decade. Matti Rantane was the supreme pioneer of this cause, and his unrelenting work has opened the eyes of Finish composers to seeing the possibilities of the accordion. Matti Rantanen initially approached Lindberg for a solo piece, but he composer could not resist the temptation to couple the accordion with various metal percussion instruments, over fifteen in all. While writing "Metal Work", Lindberg was working on his great orchestral work "Kraft", in which metal sounds also play an important role.
"Metal Work" proceeds in vivacious splashes through lyrical and aggressive moods. The metal-tongue sound of the accordion and the various metal percussion instruments form an intriguing duo. The work begins with a shimmering unison of crotales and accordion, and there are unison passages later in the work as well. These alternate with passages of juxtaposed and superimposed dialogue. The work concludes with solemn deep strokes which the accordionist participates in, playing the tam-tam. This magical conclusion foreshadows certain passages in "Kraft".