Upstroke (2020) 9'
(Percussion octet: two vibraphones and two marimbas)
A bird makes its downstroke with an outstretched wing. Its upstroke is a complicated set of movements: quickly drawing in the wing towards the body, raising the wing, and finally extending it out, all done in such a way that the lift and thrust of the downstroke are maintained.
I think of a downstroke as the exhilarating payoff to the arduous, careful preparation of an upstroke. Upstrokes are the intakes of breath that fills the our lungs with air. They are the lift of the mallet before the strike.