A dozen years or so ago I overheard Nate Macy explaining how he had once felt "embraced by God." That line made its way into my play on Jonah, Big Fish Little Worm.
Then, in 2000, I was performing in England, and the producer of the tour showed me a hymnal in which each song was based on a Psalm. Most of the Psalms were written as songs, though we have no idea what they sounded like. I loved the concept so much, that in my personal devotions I sing the Psalms whenever I come to them, just making up rhythms and melodies as I go.
Early this year I performed at a retreat for Tigard Friends Church, where I bumped into Nate Macy again, this time leading worship. He loved God's hug so much he got his masters in spiritual formation. As a part of that degree, he produced an album in which he's created songs based on various genres of the Psalms. He's done a masterful job of finding rhythms and styles (Macy uses several, from Jewish to jazz and a few in between) to bring the ancient lines to vibrant life. Music helps accentuate the depths of despair and the heights of praise.
Psalms Project is available here.