Record company AMC, which produced the album titled "In Those Days, At This Season," used old recordings, had the sound digitally improved and added background music performed by a philharmonic orchestra.
This process of audio manipulation has apparently disturbed many buyers, who flooded the company with questions and complaints: "How is it that the cantor knows to wait for the orchestra? There must be some sort of spell here – is this séance? Does the Halacha allow tampering with the voices of the dead?"
Yitzhka Rashi, AMC's production director, said it was hard to explain why the album stirred such an agitated response, although it was not the first of its kind to be issued.
Ad contributes to confusionAccording to Rashi, what might have caused the confusion was the fact that old, low-quality vinyl tracks have been cleaned up and now sound as if they had been recorded recently. Another possible reason for the misunderstanding may have originated in the advertisements for the new CD saying "the great masters of cantillation come to life."
In any case, the numerous complaints forced the company to publish a notice clarifying that the album was based on old recordings:
"There isn't the slightest hint of a séance or of raising the dead here, nor any form of magic God forbid, only the wonders of present day computer technology," declared the announcement hung outside the company's offices and in the streets of Bnei Brak.
One of the tracks that must have triggered some confusion among listeners combines into one track three separate performances of the same song by three different cantors.