Dr. Mark Zaki, Associate Professor of Music
2018 FASC Faculty Research Fellow

Date: Monday, April 9, 2018
Doors open at 11 a.m., lecture starts at 11:20 a.m.
Location: Multipurpose Room – Campus Center



“Below the surface I lie dreaming,
haunting images, in all colours and black.
Sunlit sometimes there is no sun there.
I keep the dream below the surface,
the cracked mask absolute.”
~ Wynand de Beer

While multimedia composition is generally informed by visual art practice, typically taking the form of visual abstraction, non-conventional film, and/or montage, Masks is a multimedia work primarily driven by music and audio. Visual elements are fundamentally informed and complemented by musical events and processes. As a performative piece, all the audio and visual elements are under real-time control of the performer.

Masks offers allegorical commentary on how we present ourselves and curate public personas in the digital age. The work also considers subjects such as authenticity of identity, and how things like self-curation and varying degrees of anonymity may affect personal interaction in a contemporary world. Since one of the objectives is to provoke self-reflection, this piece presents varying degrees of ambiguity. This allows the viewer flexibility in reaching their own conclusions and meaning for the work. This in turn, will hopefully encourage the viewer to consider their own experiences, and possibly see them from different perspectives. 

About Dr. Zaki:

Mark ZakiBuilding on his many diverse interests, composer and violinist Mark Zaki’s work ranges from historically-informed and traditional chamber music to electroacoustic music, intermedia composition, and music for film. He recently was a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United Kingdom. Mark has also been honored with awards from the International Society of Contemporary Music, Musica Nova (Prague), and a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. degree in composition from Princeton University.

His intermedia and video work often considers how modes of perception are changing in modern life. Many of his pieces are populated with uncanny characters that become fragmented in their relationships to their environment and their own identity. His work is influenced by visual music practice and music composition, aesthetically referencing visual abstraction, non-conventional film, and montage.

Zaki’s work has been presented by the NY Philharmonic Biennial, National Sawdust, New Adventures in Sound Art (Toronto), the Boston and NYC Visual Music Marathons, the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, Third Practice (Richmond, VA), iFIMPaC (Leeds, UK), the Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey Concert Series, the Comunidad Electroacoustica de Chile (Santiago), the Not Still Art Festival (NYC), Nuit Bleue (France), the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, SEAMUS, Primavera en La Habana (Cuba), the New Music Miami ISCM Festival, the Cycle de Concerts de Musique par Ordinateur (Paris), and the Pulse Field International Exhibition of Sound Art (Atlanta).

His commercial credits include work on more than 50 films, television programs, theater productions and recordings for companies such as PBS, Paramount TV, Disney, Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures, Sony/Classical, and Chandos. Notable projects include original scores for the dramatic feature film The Eyes of van Gogh, and the Peabody award nominated documentary The Political Dr Seuss for PBS. His film work also includes both onscreen and soundtrack performances in Lasse Hallstrom’s Casanova, the American release of Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva and the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.

An associate professor at Rutgers University–Camden, Mark directs the Music program and the Rutgers Electro-Acoustic Lab (REAL). He has also served nationally as the president of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS).