The Jewish Pope, 2016 (15′)
for NOW Ensemble (flute, clarinet, electric guitar, double bass, and piano)
The Jewish Pope is inspired by an ancient folk legend about a Jewish boy, stolen from his family in the ghetto, who is raised in the church and rises to the position of Pope, before casting off the glory and returning to his own people. Commissioned by Malashock Dance in San Diego, the work received its premiere alongside original choreography by John Malashock in June 2017. The Jewish Pope is my first direct exploration of the Phrygian Dominant scale — the “Jewish scale” in the context of traditional Jewish music — and is an effort to bring the world of that music into dialogue with my own compositional voice, all while adapting this strange, ancient tale for our own time.