Didkovsky, Nick (actually, Nicholas Russel)

views updated

Didkovsky, Nick (actually, Nicholas Russel)

Didkovsky, Nick (actually, Nicholas Russel), American composer, performer, and programmer; b. Bronxville, N.Y., Nov. 22, 1958. He studied at Dartmouth Coll. (1976–78), Brown Univ. (B.A. in mathematics, 1980), and at N.Y.U. (M.M. in computer music, 1991), numbering among his composition teachers Christian Wolff, Paul Nelson, Vincent Martucci, and Gerald Shapiro. After college, he worked for a time at The Kitchen and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in N.Y., then moved to Woodstock, N.Y., where his concept for the “avant metal/mutant jazz/thrash combo” Doctor Nerve was born. The group was formally banded after his return to N.Y. in 1985, with its personnel largely unchanged to date: in addition to Didkovsky, Greg Anderson, Yves Duboin, Michael Lytle, Leo Ciesa, and Rob Henke, and Marc Wagnon. Divkovsky writes his own software and his works, variously described as raw, raspy, cogent, and extraordinarily musical, are often computer-composed.


ORCH Their Eyes Bulged with Sparkling Pockets for Chamber Orch. (N.Y., March 25, 1995). CHAMBER : G u i t a r Q u a r t e t : Black Iris (1989); Black Irish Deconstruction (1991); Four Gestures for Ebow and Slide (1992); Antaeus (1994); Just A Voice That Bothered Him (1994); She Closes Her Sister with Heavy Bones (1994); To Laugh Uncleanly at the Nurse (1994); Egil the Skald (1996); Out to Bomb fresh Kings (1996); We’ll Ask the Questions Around Here, Parts 1 and 2 (1996; also for Guitar and 2 Percussionists); No Meat No Belfry (N.Y., May 5, 1999). O t h e r : Beta 14 ok for Guitar, Trumpet, and Saxophone (1991); In His Feet Were Burned Because of Many Waters for Guitar, Vibraphone, Bass, and Drum Set (1991); They Were As If They Also Which Pierced Him for Guitar, Bass, and Drum Set (1991); Three Curiously Insubstantial Duets for Guitar and Saxophone (1991); Recursive Systems, Part 1: Towers of Hanoi for Drum Set (1992) and Part 2: Pascal’s Triangle (1992; also for 2 Trumpets); The Ballad of Dean Mellberg for Guitar, Saxophone, and Drum Set (1993); Eyes Bigger Than Her Forehead for Guitar, Saxophone, and Drum Set (1993); Amalia’s Secret for Piano, Drum Set, Guitar, Bass, and Cello (N.Y., May 8, 1994); Did Sprinting Die? for Guitar and Bass (1994); Ironwood for Drum Set (1995); I Kick My Hand for Guitar, Bass, and Drums (1996; also for 2 Guitars and for Solo Guitar); We’ll Ask the Questions Around Here (1996; also for Guitar Quartet); Caught By The Sky With Wire for Cello and Percussion (N.Y., April 14, 1997); Ereia for String Quartet, Guitar, Bass, Drum Set, Piano, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Trumpet, and Bass Clarinet (Victoriaville, Quebec, May 19, 1997); Overlife for Guitar and Percussion (San Diego, Jan. 16, 1999); One Wooden Leg, Stuffed for Guitar and Drum Set (Vandoeuvre, France, May 22, 1999); The Corpse Was Born Half As Long As Life for Guitar and Drum Set (Vandoeuvre, France, May 22, 1999); The Round Nose of Some Twenty Years for Guitar and Drum Set (Vandoeuvre, France, May 22, 1999); Two Languages Take Twice As Long for Guitar and Drum Set (Vandoeuvre, France, May 22, 1999); The Man Who Hated Pets for Guitar and Drum Set (Grenoble, France, March 21, 2000). Piano : ”Schubert’s Impromptu in Eb Maj, Opus 90 (an. Minsky Popolov)” for MIDI-controlled Piano (1991; N.Y., Sept. 12,1997); Our Soldiers Are Soft Pianos for Any Number of Pianos (1995). GAMELAN: Phase 10 (1985); Don’t Be A Hog (1986); Phoneme Music for Gamelan, Voices, and Computer (1990). COMPUTER AND LIVE PERFORMER(S) : MetaMusic/ MetaText for 5 Instrumental Performers, Voice, Computer Voice Synthesis, and MIDI Piano (1989); Fourier Music for Solo Performer with MIDI Instrument and Computer (1990); Lottery for Any Number of Performers and Computer Network (Oakland, Calif., April 1, 1990); Rainy Day Markov Chains for 2 Performers, one with MIDI Instrument (1990); Fast Fourier Fugue, computer solo (1991); Slippers of Steel for 2 Instrumental Performers and 2 Networked Computers (1991); Yudishthira’s Quartet, computer solo (1999); MandelMusic…, solo computer (1999); A Loop’s A Loop’s A Loop’s A…, computer solo (1999); What Sheet Herd for Erh Hu (Chinese fiddle), Voice, and Computer (Warwick, N.Y., Feb. 26, 2000). OTHER: Various works for Doctor Nerve (Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vibraphone/ Keyboard, Trumpet, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, and MIDI Vibraphone; 1981–94), including Don’t Be Hog (1984), Nerveware No. 2 (1989), Armed Observation (1991), Trash (1991), Preaching to the Converted (1993), Plague (1994), and Take Your Ears As The Bones Of Their Queen (1994).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire