Sewanee University Dance Professor Courtney World invited me to shoot a dance for film with several of her students. Courtney and I researched creation stories and local shape-note music. We decided it would be filmed at this place I'd been to called "The big red barn". I had a conversation with a priest about the many ways of dying, how sometimes the person is prepared and other times it's very sudden, about the liturgy and lack thereof around death. Then Courtney and I narrowed in on the beautiful transformation of death as our theme. Courtney, having dealt very personally with death herself, came up with the particular stories and choreography, and I filmed and edited it. We filmed it early December (many people die between October and March). The dancers were freezing cold, and we're very, very sorry.
We were graciously given permission by the Sand Mountain singers to use a recording of "Idumea", but when I wasn't sure whether it was going to work out, I found this version by Sufjan Stevens which he put in the public domain.