About the Work:
Walt Whitman's poem, "In Midnight Sleep," left a mark in the back of my mind from the time I first came across it many years ago. I had always desired to set the text to music, but it never quite came out right. In 2014, a series of events occurred regarding police brutality and the subsequent deaths of civilians. These events caused many protests and a violent uproar from this nation's people. Riots erupted across the country and it seemed as if our society was being ripped apart at the seams. Whitman had the misfortune of witnessing the seams come apart in his own time. Having served as a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War, this poem is a reflection of his thoughts and what he saw during a period of unrest. While my mind was troubled with the events surrounding Ferguson and Eric Garner, this text came back to me as if it were a vision. In this vision, I saw people that I knew and loved waging war against one another. Senseless violence surrounded me, and it was then that this poem truly spoke to me.