Picc, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, Eb Cl, 2 Bb Cl, Bass Cl, 2 Bsn, Cbsn, 4 F Hns, 3 C Tpts, 2 Tbn, Bass Tbn, Tba, Pno, Timp, 4 Perc
Performed here by Stephen Story and the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble
Lift is purposefully buoyant music, constantly pushing forward and upward. I tend to associate the word “lift” with the music in a fairly abstract way: in this sense, I’m not necessarily trying to depict any one physical or mechanical activity associated with the word. Over the course of the piece, there is an energetic agility found in the funky rhythmic activity of the melodic lines, which to me gives a feeling of horizontal lift to the music. There are also chords that monolithically stack up as they grow in intensity: I associate these towering structures with a vertical feeling of lift. The contrast that one might feel from shifts in harmony, either to something suddenly lighter or darker, provides a lift to the overall color of the musical landscape.