Mixing session of the Psaltery demo at Piper Projects, circa 1999.
Born & raised in Amarillo, Texas, David Albracht founded the David/Asaph Project in 1999. His musical background includes playing violin in school orchestra, and picking up the guitar beginning at age 16. In 1988, at around the age of 24, he composed a melody with guitar chords to a portion of Psalm 46, which was his first musical composition.
The idea of placing music to the Psalms occurred to him one afternoon while reminiscing of the music sang in the church of his youth. He recalled a beautiful melody that the congregation sang to a portion of Psalm 20, word for word from the biblical text. He also remembered a song set to the entire text of Psalm 100, and then wondered why contemporary music set to the biblical text of the Psalms, word for word, seemed to be uncommon. He thought that perhaps only a relatively small portion of the English translation of the psalter contains meter suitable for contemporary melodic composition. He wondered if it was possible to compose other melodies to the other psalms, and decided to attempt composing a melody to a portion of Psalm 46. He was astonished that a new melody resulted, prompting him to attempt composing melodies for other psalms.
Composing contemporary music to the Psalms has become a life work for David. To date, he has composed music to more than half of the 150 biblical psalms. In 1989, he began acquiring equipment to make home recordings of these melodies. In 1996, David enrolled in recording school at the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio, and used that training to improve the quality of his home recordings. A close friend of David’s, Jan Johnston, heard the music and encouraged him to find a professional recording engineer to remix some of the songs. In 1999, David was referred to musician/engineer John Piper in Plano, Texas.
John Piper remixed 4 songs that became the Psaltery demo. Jan sang on two of those songs, and John added guitar overdubs. The response to the demo encouraged them to proceed with recording a full-length album, completed and released in 2001 in Dallas, Texas. The album, entitled Psalmody, was selected as the “Reviewer’s Choice” top album of the year by the Dallas Morning News. A subsequent album, entitled Pastoral Psalms, released in 2014, featured 14 tracks for 10 psalms, one including the 23rd Psalm. The musical style chosen for the Pastoral Psalms album was all acoustic instrumentation.
In May 2018, the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Voices choir recorded three of David’s psalm-settings at Abbey Road, which included Psalm 66, vs. 1-4, Make a joyful noise, Psalm 48, Great is the Lord, and Psalm 115, Not unto us, O Lord. The songs were arranged for choir and orchestra by Paul Ayres.
In late 2019, David teamed up with producer Jason Hoard of Griffin, Georgia, to record a contemporary Christian music album honoring The Psalm Book of Charles Knowles. Jason brought together some of the most gifted singers and musicians in contemporary Christian music to record David’s compositions of eight psalm-settings corresponding to the eight biblical psalms featured in the book by Knowles. The album release is currently on hold due to COVID-19.
David lives in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. He works as a physician and teacher of internal medicine