Nick Didkovsky is a guitarist, composer, band leader, and software programmer. In 1983, he founded the avant-rock octet Doctor Nerve. He presently resides in New York City, where he composes, creates music software, and teaches computer music composition at New York University. He is the principle author of the computer music language Java Music Specification Language (www.algomusic.com). He has composed music for Bang On A Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, California EAR Unit, New Century Players, Ethel String Quartet, Electric Kompany, ARTE Quartett, and other ensembles.
His Punos Music record label offers CD releases of his more extreme musical projects. He is director of bioinformatics for the Gensat project at The Rockefeller University.
Didkovsky's work with Doctor Nerve joins the furious energy of rock with intricate composition, some of which finds its origins in rich software systems of his own design. His non-didactic approach to combining human and machine creativity is his unique fingerprint in a musical world that pushes the boundaries of rock music, algorithmic composition, and contemporary music. Doctor Nerve has performed at a number of music festivals, including the Composers' Showcase at The Whitney Museum of American Art,
FIMAV Festival (Victoriaville, Quebec), MIMI Festival
(Arles, France), Creative Time (Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage), Rumor Festival (Holland), Moers Festival (Germany), Festival Musique Actuelle (Victoriaville, Canada), and Festival des
Musiques Innovatrices (France). In 1995 Didkovsky released a score book containing full ensemble scores for all the
compositions from the CD "SKIN".
Didkovsky is a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, which to date has released two CD's, entitled Ayaya Moses and Upbeat (Ambiances Magnetique). Didkovsky has contributed twelve compositions to the ensemble.
His new trio Bone with bassist Hugh Hopper (ex Soft Machine) and drummer John Roulat released their first record on Cuneiform Records. The CD features intricate, high energy compositions and improvisation. Bone recently enjoyed its premiere performance at "December 2006 at The STONE" curated by Bruce Gallanter, and in 2008 performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art.
With Phil Burk, Didkovsky created Java Music Specification Language (JMSL), a language for computer music composition written in the Java programming language. JMSL was premiered at Circuits: The Governor's Conference on Arts and Technology, in Palisades, NY in March, 1998. In 2003, Minnesota Public Radio commissioned Didkovsky to design a JMSL version of the Rhythmicon, an electronic musical instrument originally designed by Henry Cowell and Leon Theremin in 1930. It is hosted at www.musicmavericks.org/rhythmicon and was featured on The Art of the Virtual Rhythmicon (Innova , 2006). Didkovsky has presented papers on JMSL at three International Computer Music Conferences (2001, '04, '06), & the JavaOne Conference (2003).
Didkovsky has received commissioning grants from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer's Commissioning/Music USA, the Jerome Foundation, and numerous privately funded initiatives. He has received recording grants from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and the Aaron Copland Fund. He was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Computer Arts Fellowship to support his work in computer music composition and performance.
His Black Sabbath Guitar Lessons on YouTube have been received with great enthusiasm by metal fans all over the world.
Human Dog, for ETHEL String Quartet and Kevin Gallagher's Electric Kompany (rock quartet). Suite in 11 movements, premiered Oct 2007, NYC. Commissioned by ETHEL with support from The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust.
Slim in Beaten Dreamers, for brass quintet and percussion, premiered by Meridian Arts Ensemble June 6, 2002 at June In Buffalo Festival. Released on CD "Brink" (Channel Classics), 2006
Tube Mouth Bow String, for string quartet, four talkboxes, and four harmonizer pedals. Commissioned for Sirius String Quartet and premiered June 25, 2002 at Pace University. CD released on Pogus Productions, 2007.
Rain on a Frail Cutie (flute, bass clarinet, drum set, piano, violin, 'cello), composed for California EAR Unit, premiered March 21, 2005
Stink Up! (Polyprism 1 and 2), for saxophone quartet, composition based on polyrhythmic tempo modulations. For PRISM Saxophone Quartet, premiered November 19, 2004, Symphony Space, NYC
Birds by their Feet, Men by their Tongue (flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, drum set, piano, electric guitar, electric bass , violin), composed for New Century Players, premiered March 9, 2004 Disney REDCAT.
Ereia (string quartet, guitar, bass, drum set, piano, sop. sax, flute, trumpet, bass clarinet), premiered by Doctor Nerve and Sirius String Quartet, FIMAV Festival, Victoriaville, QC, May 19, 1997. Performed on NBC's "Law and Order, Special Victims Unit". Released on Cuneiform Records (Rune 126).
Amalia's Secret (piano, clarinet, drum set, guitar, bass, 'cello), premiered by Bang On A Can All-Stars, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC, May 8, 1994
Their Eyes Bulged With Sparkling Pockets, for chamber orchestra, premiered by Crosstown Ensemble at Tribeca Hall, NYC, March 25, 1995. Commissioned by Crosstown Ensemble