It is traditional to read Psalm 27 during the month before and including the Jewish New Year, as part of the season of teshuvah or return. The simplicity of verse 4 always holds my attention and gives me strength throughout the year:
One thing I asked of the Holy Living Essence, this I will seek: that I may dwell in the House of the Holy One all the days of my life.
In this composition, I hope to convey how it may feel to sit with awareness of the Holy Presence. The first movement focuses on the word akhat, which means one: one request, one God, one holy Essence creating and pervading the universe in every moment. In repeating and overlapping that word, the chorus creates a texture to hold and embrace us in that intention.
It is understood that Hebrew is a holy language, and that the words themselves embody the meaning they represent. The second movement plays with the sounds of the words otah avakesh (this I will request). I felt more extroverted energy in these words, and the chorus sings them with joy, conveying a spirit that builds in excitement as the movement progresses. A sustained melody of the entire text of verse 4 holds the central core, while otah avakesh dances around it.
The last movement, shivti b’vet HaShem (that I may sit in the House of the Holy One), returns to a state of calm, integrating the joyous connection with an inner peace, which radiates throughout.