Electroacoustic Music

Electroacoustic Music is an experimental genre of music that was developed over the 20th century. Its roots like with pioneer composers such as Pierre Schaeffer, Edgard Varese, and Karlheinz Stockhausen but has grown to encompass a number of styles. In any case, Nick has steadily working in this field since 2003 and have produced a number of significant works (for his largest work to date, Borderlands, see this page. Several recent selections are below.

Fireflies was written for choreographer Kristin Frankieweicz in 2007. The piece makes extended use of subtractive synthesis techniques to create a unique sound world that is very small and reserved while remaining very free and exploratory.

The following notes are by the composer:
There are intimate worlds that can be found all around us if we only look for them.  When we were children, we giddily explored these fantastic worlds without thinking or hesitating; only pausing in our explorations and imaginations when adults called on us to go eat dinner or go to bed.  I believe it to be very sad that these worlds are gradually becoming more and more foreign to me as I mature. 

Music should light up the air around you, fly around your head, and make you chase it into deep the night.  It should mimic the naive adventures of youth and allow people to forget that they are adults.
-Nick Sibicky, 2007

Life and Afterlife is a monumental work for saxophone quartet. It divides cleanly into two large-scale sections, though they are not called movements.  The first of which, Life, is scored for traditional sax quartet.  The second, Afterlife, introduces a pre-recorded stereo CD track electronic sounds and re-recorded/processed saxophone clips.  Additionally in the Afterlife section, the performers are asked to play many passages one-handed on their instruments, while their other hand is used to play various drum, percussion, and piano rhythms.  The soprano sax player doubles on tambourine and rainstick, the alto player doubles on snare drum, the tenor player doubles on cabasa, and the baritone player doubles on both piano and egg shakers.

This piece was written for the Bel Cuore Saxophone Quartet (formerlly known as The Tipping Point Sax Quartet) and has toured all over the world. It is a crowd favorite and ceaseless brings the audience to a standing ovation at its climactic end.

Download the COMPLETE SCORE.

Obsidian was commissioned for pianist Joshua Bennetch in 2010 not as a concert work, but instead as a pedagogical work. Joshua had performed Nick Sibicky's 2006 monstrous piano+disklavier work Pianazzolla in 2008 while working primarily has a piano teacher. So, he asked Nick to write a shorter, easier version of Pianazzolla that he could give to his students to introduce them to the idea of performing electroacoustic music.

Obsidian, like its older sibling Pianazzolla, starts with a dimly-lit ambient soundscape before progressing further and further into demonic rhythms and accented stabs at the piano. Despite the overwhelming richness of the sound, the piece is designed to be easy enough for high-school level pianists to perform in concert.


Orion's Nebula is arranged for eight musicians plus a live laptop part (running a MAX/MSP). It was inspired by the phenomenon of star nebulas which are interspersed with cosmic dust, free gases, and plasma. The role of the laptop is to add “fluorescent space dust” to the overall sound world of the acoustic instruments.  As the work progresses, the listener is brought to differently colored sections of the “nebula.”  Each of these sub-regions is unified by the same thematic materials; similar to how one can see that each region of a star nebula might be different in hue, but always be composed out of the same basic building blocks of matter and energy.

Download the COMPLETE SCORE.

Demo Reel is a series of short excerpts of music from various projects composed between 2003-2005. Included are bits of film score, songs from Nick's surrealist-rock project, Qwas, and chamber music.

Coniferous Carnivorous (above) is for player piano. This vicious, abrasive piano work was written to highlight the advantages and weakness of working with mechanized technologies.

Linear Induction (above) was originally composed in 2007, but the accompanying art-film was added a few years after. Linear Induction seeks to recreate the experiences of amusement park rides (e.g. the long slow descents to the top of log plume, the wild g-force swings of the teacups, the ever decaying momentum of a roller coaster) through abstract sound.