Sticks, Bones, and Dust is written for solo five-octave marimba. The titles of the three pieces have to do with the sounds that are characteristic to each: "Bones" rattle against each other, "Sticks" are brittle and dry,and "Dust" lifts upward and floats away. The title also comes from these lines from the poet George Herbert:
After the loss of life and sense,
Flesh being turned to dust, and bones to sticks.