Awakening is a major work for brass band that evokes imagery of a sleepless soul coming to life and finding purpose and meaning. The music uses the hymn-tune Finlandia by Sibelius as both motif fragmentations and deeper lyrical connection. The words often associated with this hymn are Be Still My Soul. The coming to life journey for this soul is found through a calmness and stillness in contrast to the emptiness yet perilous nature of before. Emptiness is depicted through mostly diminished chording, while the perilous nature of humanity is heard in the minor melodic statements of the hymn. The final statement of Finlandia is in a more heroic and grandiose style, portraying the life finally finding full meaning and purpose.