The young American composer Steve Rouse, currently on the faculty of the University of Louisville, wrote Into the Light as he was grappling emotionally with the suddenly diagnosed terminal illness of his 32-year-old brother-in-law in 1991. The composer relates the work (particularly the serene second movement) to the after-death experience, the search for release through enlightenment, and the concept of God. Many other composers have responded to the human struggle for spiritual enlightenment. Thomas Canning's Fantasy on a Hymn is based upon a simple hymn composed by Justin Morgan (1747-1798) in response to the death of his wife, Amanda.
American jazz artist and composer Dave Brubeck's work,Joy in the Morning, was written in recollection of the solace he received from Psalm 30 while in the hospital facing bypass surgery.
Also included on the disc are works by Alan Hovhaness (Mysterious Mountain) and Richard Strauss (Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24).