Jailhouse concerto (2010)

Program Notes:

The Concerto is in two movements. The first, creeping vectors, was written while I was in Israeli military jail.

The music begins with a single pitch class, but as the movement progresses, the interval content around it becomes gradually larger and richer, and eventually reaches the largest interval class (tritone) and becomes one pitch class again.

The second movement, Shesh Besh, is inspired by the game of backgammon (shesh-besh) which was prevalent in jail and by the singing in the jail synagogue, where the inmates would all sing in different keys simultaneously. A tune is introduced by the solo piano, which is then sung in variations by the rest of the orchestra in varying numbers of different keys (numbers and intervals determined by backgammon dice-rolls). These are occasionally punctuated by the stomping and shouting we had to do in roll-call (the numbers of stomps again determined by dice-rolls).