The PRISM Quartet, composer/guitarist Nick Didkovsky, and sonic alchemist Thomas Dimuzio perform Ice Cream Time, an evening-length work by Harvestworks Sponsored Artist Didkovsky that uses electric guitar, an onslaught of saxophones, and real-time computer processing to explore the boundaries between human- and software-generated music. Didkovsky is best known for his work with Doctor Nerve, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, and Bang On A Can, and for developing the computer music language JMSL.
[May 19] Ice Cream Time
Nick Didkovsky, Thomas Dimuzio, and Prism Quartet
Sunday, May 19, 2013 @ 8:00 pm
ROULETTE, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn http://www.roulette.org
One of America’s foremost chamber ensembles, the PRISM Quartet is spearheading the US premiere of Ice Cream Time. Ice Cream Time is an evening-length work composed by Nick Didkovsky that uses electric guitar, an onslaught of saxophones, and real-time computer processing to explore the boundaries between human- and software-generated music. Ice Cream Time explores, bends, and shatters musical boundaries.
Ice Cream Time features electronics virtuoso/maverick Thomas Dimuzio, who processes the sound of the ensemble in real-time using unorthodox techniques he developed on the Kurzweil KS2600 sampler. Also in the mix, custom software programmed by Didkovsky using his own computer music language JMSL, which radically transforms the sound of his live electric guitar. The virtuosity of the PRISM Quartet is given plenty of space with a complex, high energy, and deep listening compositions that extend the possibilities of the ensemble.
Commissioned by the world-renowned ARTE Saxophone Quartet, Ice Cream Time was composed by Nick Didkovsky, best known for his work with Doctor Nerve, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Meridian Arts Ensemble, and Bang On A Can. It has been performed in Europe and Quebec, but never in the USA.
Ice Cream Time is available on CD from New World Records (NWR 80667), http://www.newworldrecords.org/album.cgi?rm=view&album_id=81499
Nick Didkovsky is a guitarist, composer, and music software programmer. He founded the rock band Doctor Nerve in 1983 (www.doctornerve.org) and is a member of the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet. He has composed for Bang On A Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, ETHEL, loadbang, and others. His $100 Guitar Project passed a guitar through the hands of over 60 players, culminating in a double CD on Bridge Records, whose profits are donated to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty (www.100dollarguitar.com). His Black Sabbath Guitar Lessons on YouTube have been received with great enthusiasm by metal fans all over the world. His metal band Häßliche Luftmasken premiered in June 2011 (www.tinyurl.com/maskenmetal). With computer music pioneer Phil Burk, Didkovsky created Java Music Specification Language (www.algomusic.com), which is used by composers all over the world. He has taught JMSL at Dartmouth College, CalArts, Columbia University, and NYU. With composer Georg Hajdu, he has created MaxScore, an object that uses JMSL to bring music notation to Max/MSP. His compositions and guitar work appear on over 50 records with releases on Cuneiform Records, SONY Classical, New World Records, Bridge Records, Pogus Productions, Koch Classics, and Cantaloupe. His Punos Music record label serves up his more extreme musical projects (www.punosmusic.com).
San Francisco-based Thomas Dimuzio is one of those unsung artistic figures whose influence and abilities have substantially outstripped his visibility. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound designer, experimental electronic musician, collaborator, and mastering engineer – Dimuzio has been busy doing his thing(s) since the late 1980’s, but is still only known to a small circle of electronic music enthusiasts. A true sonic alchemist who can seemingly create music events out of almost anything, Dimuzio’s listed sound sources on his various CDs include everything from “modified 10 speed bicycle” and “resonating water pipe” to short-wave radios, loops, feedback, and even normal instruments such as clarinet and trumpet. And while his wide range of musical interests make it impossible to pin a label on him, Dimuzio clearly has an insider’s knowledge of older experimental musical forms such as musique concrete and electroacoustic, as well as dark ambient, noise and post-techno styles.
Dimuzio’s pioneering and innovative use of live sampling, synthesis, and signal processing fuel his live performances, which thrive on improvisation and the synergy of collaboration. He has collaborated with numerous artists and ensembles, such as Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, Dimmer, Negativland, Dan Burke/Illusion of Safety, David Lee Myers, Due Process, Matmos, Wobbly, 5uu’s, Mickey Hart, Paul Haslinger and others, and has toured North America and Europe as a solo act. Dimuzio’s critically acclaimed recordings have been released by RéR Megacorp, Asphodel, Seeland, RRRecords, Isounderscore, Odd Size, Sonoris, Melon Expander, and Gench. “His work has a narrative, filmic tug that will draw you into its dark corners, ears alert… brilliant and rarely less than entertaining.” (BBC)
Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America’s foremost chamber ensembles. Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has performed in Carnegie Hall on the Making Music Series, in Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and throughout Latin America under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. PRISM has also been presented to critical acclaim as soloists with orchestras nationwide, including the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, performing William Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso, written especially for the Quartet. Champions of new music, PRISM has premiered over 100 works, many by internationally celebrated composers, including Steven Mackey, William Albright, Chen Yi, Lee Hyla, Greg Osby, Jennifer Higdon, Martin Bresnick, Bernard Rands, and Zhou Long. The Quartet also maintains three annual Young Composer Commissioning Awards in Philadelphia, New York, and at the Walden School in New Hampshire, where PRISM conducts regular residencies.
In 1997, PRISM initiated its own concert series in Philadelphia and New York City, presenting the newest compositions created for their ensemble by both classical and jazz composers from around the world. The series has featured an eclectic range of guest artists, including Ethel, the Talujon Percussion Quartet, Music From China, Miro Dance Theatre, Cantori New York, pianist Marilyn Nonken, saxophonist Donald Sinta, and many of New York’s most progressive jazz artists, including guitarist Ben Monder, saxophonists Tim Ries and Rick Margitza, and drummers Gerald Cleaver, John Riley, and Mark Ferber. PRISM has also joined forces with the New York Consort of Viols, the Chester String Quartet, Opera Colorado, and the Chilean rock band Inti-Illimani in touring engagements.
PRISM has recorded for Koch International, Naxos, New Dynamic, Albany, and Innova. PRISM may also be heard on the soundtrack of the film “Two Plus One,” by Emmy nominee Eugene Martin, scored by Quartet member Matthew Levy, and is featured in the theme music to the weekly PBS news magazine “NOW.”
Members of PRISM are Matthew Levy, Timothy McAllister, Zach Shemon, and Taimur Sullivan.