Daily Israel Report

Meet the Psalms Ensemble - ‘Delving into Psalms is a Journey’

Singer Baruch Brenner is recording an album of original Jewish music based on the Book of Psalms. "With each Psalm you enter a world," he says.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 7/1/2011, 6:00 AM / Last Update: 7/7/2011, 5:11 AM

Singer/actor Baruch Brenner gathered along with several musicians in Tel Aviv last week to record an album of original Jewish music based on the Book of Psalms. He spoke with INN about the feelings he gets when he approaches a text from Psalms.

“The idea here is to take as much text as possible,” he said of the chosen texts. “That is, not to take one verse which usually expresses a very specific emotion, but rather in each song to sometimes take even a whole Psalm. Usually within a Psalm there are several pictures and sometimes even some sort of a plot. I think there was a reason why it was written as a Psalm and not as a single verse.”

Brenner described the process of delving into a text from Psalms as “Fascinating. There’s no other word for it. It’s fascinating from an artistic point of view, from a spiritual point of view. It’s huge, it’s exciting. It’s like you’re entering a journey. It’s not pre-defined specific moment. It’s a journey. You’re entering a world. With each Psalm you enter a world.”

Brenner and the musicians are already performing on stage with their music, and he noted that to him these are beyond performances.

“I’m not the type of person who treats a performance like a performance,” he said. “I think it’s a meeting with people, and an invitation to more people to join us on this journey. That’s what art means to me and that’s what these journeys mean to me.”

Brenner’s album has been sponsored by Dr. Naftali Moses, whose son Avraham David was murdered three years ago in the terrorist attack on the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, and will be dedicated in his memory. Dr. Moses, who commemorates his son’s memory through Jewish music, has helped plan and sponsor a number of memorial concerts featuring various talented Israeli musicians.