South Korea, 2021, modern classical

정재일 (Jung Jae Il)Psalms: Jung Jae Il of Parasite OST fame understands that the Davidic Psalms are not merely pretty poetry. They are songs, often, of lamentation, loneliness, and despair, which is why the track order of this album is so brilliant. Take track 5, for example, a pretty little choral piece in which the vocals harmonize out a peaceful little “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?”, which is then followed by the full weight of that question in the next track, with groans and shrieks of despair. This contrast is revisited many times between an peaceful, beautiful opening choral piece, introducing the psalms, with the next tracks, employing drone and dissonance, cutting to the often bitter, even sometimes manic, heart of these ancient songs exploring man’s fragility, the inevitability of death, and the brief span between waking and sleeping. Take a walk through the Vale of Tears.

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