Lera Auerbach’s “Silent Psalm,” created in symbiosis with her Symphony No. 6 “Vessels of Light,” explores the convergence of mystical Jewish concepts—Shevirat HaKelim (Breakage of the Vessels) and Tikun Olam (Repairing of the World)—with Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken objects, translating to “join with gold.” This artistic and philosophical exploration transcends cultural boundaries, revealing the inherent resilience in narratives of breakage and repair.

In “Silent Psalm,” the musical material of Psalm 121 is deliberately shattered, allowing its fragments to permeate the symphony—a symbolic act echoing the cosmic cataclysm in Shevirat HaKelim. The ten vessels (Hebrew sefirot), symbolizing the harmony of the universe, were intended to capture the light of creation, yet unable to contain its power, the seven lower vessels shattered. This breaking of the vessels is interpreted as a symbol for a world in a state of disharmony. Simultaneously, Auerbach integrates Kintsugi, emphasizing the beauty of transcending imperfection by highlighting breakage.

“Silent Psalm” materializes as a visual metaphor. The bronze musical score, engraved with Psalm 121, stands shattered and reconstructed. In its brokenness, fractures are accentuated by the golden thread of Kintsugi, forming the Magen David—a symbol of spiritual continuity and a call to Tikun Olam. This mirrors profound spiritual reconciliation, where broken vessels become vessels for new, elevated forms.

At the nexus of two distinct yet harmonious philosophies, “Silent Psalm” encapsulates the inevitability of fracture and the transformative potential in embracing brokenness. Auerbach’s intellectual and artistic synthesis prompts contemplation on the universality of resilience and the ethical imperative of Tikun Olam, offering a profound dialogue between Jewish mysticism and the Japanese artistry of Kintsugi. The sculpture stands as a testament to the interconnectedness of these themes, resonating with the continuous process of repair and transformation inherent in our world.