For this set of excerpts filmmaker Nikila Cole reversed the order of the excerpts to be Resurrection, Absence, and Presence.
(Cancer) deals with
the discovery of breast cancer by the victim and by the family
and friends. In each movement the singers are asked to execute
different hand and body movements, and here the gestures reflect
the spread of the disease and the search for comfort. The modal
language of the music is gradually distorted as the impact of
the disease becomes clear.
(Confusion) is a
response to death, marrying the utter logic of death with the
rational-irrational emotional response. The (rational) handbell
parts use all twelve tones of the diatonic scale, each set with
a different rhythm, while the (irrational) vocal parts consist
of fragments of conversations overheard in a campus coffee shop,
interrupted by shouted exclamations . In this movement the gestures
are nervous and repetitive, emphasizing the irrational singing,
talking, and shouting, which culminate in a statement of denial.
Resurrection can be taken as an acceptance or
a rejection of death. In live performance, on the last gesture
each singer is asked to make and maintain eye contact with an
audience member while reaching out to him or her. For the audience
and the choir, the result is either extreme discomfort, or a
shared intimacy, both of which are part of our dealing with death.