Assistant Professor of Music Mark Olivieri is awaiting the premiere of his new work, “Spent,” for piano, violin, and snare drum at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 9 at 8 p.m.
“Spent,” explores the blurring of distinction-like many post-modern works-of combining disparate musical rhetorics. Romantic Bel-Canto aria-like phrases are superimposed against hip-hop and electronica break-beat rhythms. Sections of the piece are unmistakably post-minimal, but then suddenly delve into a steady, visceral tango-like ostinato. Other times, rock-inspired drumming mixes with Baroque style counterpoint and harmonic progressions.
Olivieri’s work treats the limitation of a single percussion instrument as an opportunity to expose the many timbres capable on the snare by using varying mallets, sticks and brushes, as well as extra-musical, or “experimental” techniques on the instrument. It is a work with a personality crisis… in a good way.
“Spent” was commissioned by Kate Jordan Dance, a Washington, D.C. dance company. “Spent” will be premiered by The Melville Trio with Nicola Melville on piano, Andrea Veroce, of the acclaimed Great Noise Ensemble on violin, and percussionist Dennis Mariano, whom Olivieri has worked with for more than 20 years as a drummer in The Mark Olivieri Quartet, on snare.
Joining the music department in fall 2010, Olivieri earned his B.M. from Heidelberg College and his M.M. from Ithaca College. He received a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of Buffalo. At the Colleges, Olivieri has taught courses in “Hip-Hop Culture” and “Introduction to Music Theory,” and leads the Colleges’ woodwind ensemble. Olivieri also serves as artistic director for Vision of Sound, a touring music and dance company, and as co-artistic director for the Musselman Arts Triathlon at the Smith Opera House in Geneva.