Mark Zaki is a classically trained composer and performance artist who has carved out a distinctive niche as a creator of interactive electroacoustic and acousmatic music. His compositions include solo works for live electronics and computer-generated pieces, as well as traditional chamber ensembles, mixed media and film music. An accomplished and active violinist, Zaki was one of the first composers to explore the potential of the electronic (MIDI) violin as a creative tool in avant-garde music making. Demonstrating an eclectic range of compositional techniques, his music has incorporated and transformed elements from a variety of traditional and popular musical forms, serial procedures, improvisatory contexts and acousmatic practice into a highly idiosyncratic style.
While much of his music is either electronic in nature or intended for his own use as a performer, Zaki's music has also been performed by the Nash Ensemble of London, Speculum Musicae, San Francisco's Earplay, the New York Bachanalia Festival, the Composers Ensemble at Princeton, violinist Nina Beilina and soprano Dana Hanchard. His recorded work includes credits on more than 21 recordings for the Sony/Classical, Newport Classic and Musical Heritage Society labels. He also holds doctorates in composition and music technology from Princeton University and in violin/viola performance from Rutgers University.
As a violinist and violist, he plays and records regularly with many of the leading period instrument ensembles in the United States, including Concert Royal, The American Classical Orchestra, The Brandenburg Collegium, Apollo's Fire, the Classical Band, The Philadelphia Classical Orchestra and Musica Angelica, among others. As a chamber musician and soloist he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South America. Zaki's festival performances include the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, Rutgers Summerfest and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany.
Looking to the future, Zaki is exploring the use of computer-generated animation and imagery in his work. His present ambition is to realize the incorporation of visual elements into multimedia and DVD based works that include acousmatic material and/or performers with interactive electronics.
His first electronic music CD, Strange Lines and Distances... was released in 1994 to critical acclaim, and he is at work on a new album of acousmatic and electroacoustic music. Currently, he divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City.