A choir of hooded monks, walking in slow procession around the courtyard of Somerset House. The requiem contrasts dramatic scenes of a decaying body with ethereal visions of heaven, and includes traditional texts from the Requiem Mass, as well as Buddhist meditations and 18th century coroners’ reports.
Requiem for the Missing is based on five texts: Psalm 88, The Nine Cemetery Contemplations, Pie Jesu, A Woman Unknown and In Paradisum.
Psalm 88 – The darkest of all the psalms, ending without resolution “You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.”
The Nine Cemetery Contemplations– A meditation taught by Buddha, where practitioners visualise the human body in various stages of decay.
Pie Jesu – A traditional addition to the Requiem mass translated as “O sweet Lord Jesus, grant them rest; grant them everlasting rest.”
A Woman Unknown – Excerpts from a 1760 Westminster inquest, describing the body of a woman found in the Thames near London Bridge.
In Paradisum – the traditional ending to the Requiem Mass, describing angels leading the departed into paradise.