Inspired by the natural water recycling process known as The Living Machine, Cleansing Waters is a musical realization of the way dirty water is purified by filtering it through plants and bacteria. It was written in memory of Alex Chun, and dedicated to all those involved with the Living Machine at Oberlin College in Ohio.
The piano provides the watery undercurrent for sustained melodies in the wind instruments that move through different emotions: from calm, to more turbulent, then dying down to almost nothing, and building up to a cascading waterfall, before ebbing off in silence. The water begins once more, but this time it is recycled, the watery accompaniment now being in the wind instruments, with the sustained melody in the piano. With the cleansing process now complete, the music resolves serenely.