In the poem “Psalm of the Sky,” Rabbi Rachel Barenblat reimagines “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Psalm 23) in a contemporary context. Performers may highlight the many instances of text painting and create contrast between moments of gentleness, boldness, and carefree movement. The last verse of Psalm 23 is included in Hebrew as a coda in a similar style to many prayers sung in Jewish worship; this allusion to Barenblat’s textual inspiration is intended to express the enduring human need for comfort and hope despite changing modes of worship.
Psalm of the Sky was commissioned by the Creative Commissions Project at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, sponsored by the Harmony Fund, and it was premiered by Ensemble X at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. This work is ideal for moderate to advanced high school, university, and community choirs. It is also available for TBB (the original) and SAB (with parts indicated for any size tenor section).