Nick Didkovsky: Strings and Things Podcast

On this episode of Strings and Things, we have the prolific composer/guitarist Nick Didkovsky, founder of the rock ensemble Doctor Nerve, and an agent of destruction in the grindcore outfit Vomit Fist.

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While changing the strings on his B.C. Rich Stealth guitar, he tells our host, Patrick Grant, how he uses the programming language HMSL to compose music, and explains the virtues of his single humbucker pickup. Then Nick and Patrick plug into some Vox Amps for an electrifying duet.

Listen to an extended version of “Episode 4 Petromyzontiformes”, the piece featured at the end of the episode:

BONUS! Listen to Nick’s brief demo of the Stealth guitar:

Nick also plays with the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet and composed music for the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Meridian Arts Ensemble, ETHEL, and others. He’s a co-founder of the $100 Guitar Project with Chuck O’Meara. Find out more about Nick and his many musical projects at didkovsky.com.

Kamala Sankaram: Squeezebox and Vox

She’s come a long way from glee club.  Arriving in New York City hoping to one day tread the boards on Broadway, composer/performer/accordionista Kamala Sankaram instead discovered Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and then developed into an eclectic and theatrical new music composer.

A trained soprano, Kamala’s primary compositional tools are voice, accordion and electronics. She’s collaborated or performed with the likes of Philip Glass Ensemble, The Wooster Group, Phil Kline, Daniel S. Goode, Death Comet Crew and The Albany Symphony Orchestra. Her work’s been featured at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival, the Lucerne Festival, and the Music with a View Festival at the Flea Theater. As lead vocalist and songwriter for the band Squeezebox, self-described as “the bastard child of Kurt Weill and Portishead”, she’s been bringing noir-ish chamber electronica to the stage. Listen to Squeezebox at this link.

Composer/performer Patrick Grant sat down to chat with Kamala Sanakaram about her musical roots and her current work in this video:

Kamala created the music for the multimedia musical, Sounding at HERE Arts Center, based on Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea. Her melodic rock compositions propelled audiences into the past memories and inner turmoil of a washed up rock star mourning the loss of a child. Kamala remains at HERE as an artist in residence, where she is working on a multimedia chamber opera called Miranda: “Pop-opera meets Reality TV…where the audience becomes detective, judge, and jury for an unsolved murder. An innovative mix of original music inspired by hip-hop, tango, Baroque counterpoint, and Hindustani classical ragas, Miranda is set during the live taping of a hit Court TV show.”

You can see a clip of Miranda right HERE.

We’re so pleased that Kamala Sankaram is joining us for H2Opus, Fluid Soundscapes by Multiple Composers, an event produced by Patrick Grant & Special Guests for Make Music New York 2010. This special free outdoor performance takes place at Waterside Plaza NYC, 23rd Street & The East River, Monday, June 21, 2010, 7PM – 9PM.

H2Opus will feature music and performances by:
Patrick Grant – composer/keyboard/electric guitar
Kamala Sankaram – composer/voice/accordian
Gene Pritsker – composer/electric guitar
Joseph Pehrson – composer/keyboard
Dan Cooper – composer/electric bass
John Ferrari – drums & marimba
Kathleen Supove – keyboard
Lynn Bechtold – violin
Marija Ilic – keyboard

More info HERE

Jocelyn