Jewish Prayer, Words & Music


with Alexander Massey

Hello, and welcome to my website. I am a …

  • composer of sacred music
  • professional singer (opera, recital, folk, jazz, sacred)
  • instrumentalist
  • prayer leader and creative liturgist
  • academic and writer
  • and teacher.
Composer

My Jewish sacred music compositions, instrumental music and arrangements of Yiddish folksongs are used in communities across the UK, France, Germany and the USA. My compositions have been published by Transcontinental (USA) and Reform Judaism UK, and featured on BBC radio, and as world premiéres in the 70th anniversary of the Council of Christians and Jews. In 2013 I convened a panel with the UK Institute of Composing, including Sir Michael Berkley and Rolf Hind to discuss the need to honour and reflect human complexity in the music of  collective worship. I am the founder and curator of the Jewish Music UK Facebook network. Every piece of music I write is deeply wedded to text, its meaning and kavanah (prayerful intention), so with every piece, I include a short essay that shares ideas about the meaning of the words within Jewish tradition, as well as refreshing ways into prayer, text and Judaism. You can listen for free here, and buy the sheet music. All the music can be searched according to categories and themes on this page. You can also see the full music list at a glance to check whether it is for solo, duet, unison/congregation, choir, or a round.

Singer & instrumentalist, prayer leader & celebrant

I have performed for many years as a professional solo singer and multi-instrumentalist, with reviews in national newspapers. I have also been a cantorial soloist and musical prayer leader for a number of communities (including singing throughout High Holy Days as the cantorial soloist), have sung and taught at interfaith gatherings and conferences (e.g. Faiths in Tune, the Jewish Christian Bible Week), and sung for Yom HaShoah events in the UK and France. I am a celebrant for Jewish baby blessings (including b’rit shalom), b’nei mitzvah, and interfaith marriage blessings. If you would like me to perform a concert, help with the music for your service, or be a celebrant, just get in touch.

Writer

My writings include articles on sacred music composition, Jewish themes (e.g. Ritual Well), chapters and edited books on qualitative research methodology, articles on voice, communication and therapy. I have been a contributing member of the Oxford Psalms Network, an initiative of the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

Teacher, Facilitator & Keynote Speaker

I have taught in universities, primary and secondary schools (head of department), the therapy and business worlds, and been a conference keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, including the Association for the Teaching of Religious Education in Scotland, the Guild of Pastoral Psychology, the International Association for Voice Movement Therapy, the 30th Anniversary of the Raphael Jewish Counselling Service [Patron: Chief UK Rabbi Jonathan Sacks], and communication training and teambuilding for Jewish educators at UJIA. I have led sessions for Limmud UK, Reform Judaism’s music conference in its early years, and Liberal Judaism study days. My singing teaching includes trainee and working cantors, and I offer ‘Sacred Singing’ courses to Jewish communities that want to learn and incorporate new music into their collective prayer and chanting/meditation circles.

Get in touch

As you can see, my work and interests are wide ranging – the threads weave together creatively and effectively. If you would like to have a conversation on how might be able to help you, please get in touch using the contact page, or call me on +44 (0)7771 988207.

I look forward to hearing from you.