Setting Biblical Psalms to music has been an ongoing project for Yelena Eckemoff since 1990. Most intensively Yelena worked on the Psalms' project from 1990 to 1996, when she created over one hundred original settings. Twenty one of them were performed by the Cincinnati Conservatory graduate, soprano singer Charlene Smith of Burlington, NC, in 1992-1993. Collaboration with Charlene resulted in a number of live performances in Burlington and Greensboro, NC, and two hours of digital recordings, featuring the voice of Charlene and Yelena on piano.
Limited edition of these recordings was sold out and is no longer available. However, Yelena plans to re-release many of them in her future Biblical Psalms' series as well as make them available through digital downloads stores.
Some of the Yelena's Psalms settings were performed by the various church choirs. The most recent live performance of several Psalms composed by Yelena was in October of 2006 by the "Singers of Hope" Chorus directed by Yelena, as well as by the soloists. The concert was hosted by the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville, NC, and also featured classical and traditional choral music.
For her word-by-word settings, Yelena has chosen the Old King James version of the Bible. Musically, the settings vary from the ones that are written closer to classical music traditions, to the ones that have contemporary sound with the touch of soft rock and distinctive ethnic influences.
From Yelena's Journal: