Acoustic/Instrumental

While Nick's purely acoustic/instrumental output is very prolific (includes two full-length symphonies, several suites for solo piano, and an array of chamber music for many different instrumental combinations) his output since 2005 has focused on incorporating electronic media and technology in both the pop and avant garde realms of traditional composition. Please see the pages for EDM, Electroacoustic, Surrealist-Rock, or Software for more examples of more recent work in these genres.

Selected Instrumental Works

Prelude and Fugue was written in 2003. This recording of Prelude and Fugue was performed during the early morning hours by Nick himself in an empty university building where the sound and the architecture could become one.

The "prelude" section sets up a simple motivic idea of echoing individual chord tones to create a sense of calm suspense. The "fugue" section starts at 1'10" with a fugue subject that consists of one note repeated 32 times (in defiance of conventional practice). New voices enter with the subject, but the listener's focus quickly turns to hearing the timbral interactions formed between the voices as they subtly shift their articulations and timings.

The Mentally Unstable Hippopotamus was written for the unusual combination of string orchestra plus 8 timpani drums in 2001. The work was one of Nick's earliest pieces to be influenced George Gershwin, a trend that continued in Nick's "Blues" series.

The programmatic story behind the music tells the story of a young hippopotamus who, despite being awkward and meandering, is also easily offended. The piece is intended to be lightly comical.

The recording above is from a live performance given by The Hartt Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Theatre in 2002.

Blues for Two was part of a series of "Blues" works for different sized ensembles during the year 2002. Blues for two is written as a exploration into using blues scales for classical counterpoint studies. The dreamy, evocative melodies that never quite resolve "correctly." The resulting tension is both playful and myterious.

Jeremy Brimhall, flute, and Sam Cook, Clarinet give the performance on this recording.

Blues for Eight was written in 2002 as the culmination to Nick's "blues" project. In common with the other pieces in the series, Blues for Eight is not a true "blues" in almost any sense of the definition. Rather, the melodies and harmonies often contain "blue" notes to contrast the perky rhythms and whimsical textures. In a nod to the blues style proper, there are 12 measures in Blues for Eight that follow the "12-bar blues" traditional structure but it is somewhat obscured and up to the listener to identify.

For the Love of Athena was composed in 2007, and continues many of the minimalist techniques that Nick developed and extended. It is a re-visiting of many of the ideas put forward in his Prelude and Fugue, although this time instead of being a introspective solo work, it is an ecstatic duet for two pianos. Franklin Gross accompanies Nick in the recording you hear here.

Push and Pull (above) with music and concept by John Sanders & Nick Sibicky, art direction by Sarah Maki, choreography by Karin Stevens, and technical direction by Jen Matthews.

Performed on May 17, 2012, Push + Pull is a one-of-a-kind improvisational performance between art and music students, and professional dancers and improvisers. It is based on loose structures, has no parameters, and offers the audience a unique perspective of an authentic multi-arts collaboration. Throughout the piece, musicians, painters, dancers, and actors will respond to the different movements


Four Figment Fragments (above) was composed in 2005. It occupies a unique position in being one of the very few oboe duets in existence. It is a whimsical work, meant to entertain audiences and performers alike.

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