Waking Angels was inspired by the poem, "Mercy," by Olga Broumas which isamong a collection of poems on the subject of AIDS by various poets called Poems of Life. Broumas' poem makes reference to the "sea-smoke" rising from the ocean and how it is often referred to as the "breath of souls." The last stanza of the poem alludes to these lost souls that Broumas has been grieving for:
they leave, like waking angels rising
on a hint of wind, visible or unseen, a print,
a wrinkle of the water.
Through the imagery of the music, Waking Angels emanates the mysteriousness, the pain and the ruthlessness of the disease. But, it also provides us with the warmth and comfort of hope and the peace of eternity. One may recognize fragments of the old hymn, "Softly and Tenderly, Jesus is Calling," by Will Thompson which serves to unify the work.