Gleeson began experimenting with electronic music in the mid-'60s at the San Francisco Tape Music Center using a Buchla synth and other devices. In 1968, "upon hearing Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach", he bought a Moog synthesizer and opened the Different Fur recording studio in San Francisco.
He worked with Herbie Hancock in the early 1970s, touring with Hancock – thus pioneering the use of synthesizers outside the studio – and appearing on the albums Crossings and Sextant. Hancock has credited Gleeson with introducing him to synthesizers and teaching him technique. Sextant and Headhunters were both recorded in part at Different Fur studios. Gleeson has worked with many other Jazz musicians, including Lenny White, Freddie Hubbard, Charles Earland, Eddie Henderson and Joe Henderson.
Gleeson recorded a number of solo albums, starting with Beyond the Sun - An Electronic Portrait of Holst's "The Planets" in 1976, to which Carlos contributed the sleeve notes. The album was nominated for a "best engineered recording-classical" Grammy in 1976. Beyond the Sun was followed in 1977 by a more commercial album, Patrick Gleeson's Star Wars.
Gleeson has been involved in the scoring of a number of film soundtracks, including The Plague Dogs, Apocalypse Now, Crossroads and The Bedroom Window. He has scored nine television series, including Knots Landing.
- 1976 - Beyond the Sun - An Electronic Portrait of Holst's "The Planets" (Mercury)
- 1977 - Patrick Gleeson's Star Wars (Mercury)
- 1980 - Rainbow Delta (Passport, reissued on Anthology, 2007)
- 1982 - The Plague Dogs (Original Soundtrack) (CBS)
- 1982 - Patrick Gleeson's Computer Realization of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons(Varèse Sarabande)
- 1998 - Driving While Black with Bennie Maupin (Intuition)
- 2007 - Slide, a chamber music album of jazz influenced minimalism
- 2008 - Jazz Criminal with Jim Lang and featuring Bennie Maupin and Wallace Roney
With Charles Earland
With Herbie Hancock
With Eddie Henderson
With Joe Henderson
- Black Narcissus (Milestone, 1976)
With Meat Beat Manifesto
With Julian Priester
With Lenny White
- Venusian Summer (Nemperor, 1975)
- Big City (Nemperor, 1977)
- Presents the Adventures of the Astral Pirates (Elektra, 1978)
- Patrick Gleeson MySpace page
- Patrick Gleeson at discogs.com
- Patrick Gleeson at AllMusic
- Patrick Gleeson on IMDb
- Danny Sofer and Doug Lynner, Interview with Patrick Gleeson, Synapse (magazine), Vol. 1, No. 5, January/February 1977
- Maygarden, Tony. "Patrick Gleeson". endlessgroove.com. Archived from the original on 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Zussman, John Unger (July 5, 1982). "Jazzing it up at the NCC". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Different Fur Studios: History". Different Fur. Archived from the original on 2011-11-20. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Interview with Pat Gleeson, first page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 21. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Interview with Pat Gleeson, second page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 22. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
Yes, I used [ Moog modular equipment ] until I went with Herbie (Hancock) in 1970. Then I used a [ ARP ] 2600 because I couldn't use the Moog on stage. It was too big and cranky; every time we transported it, we would have to pull a module out, and I knew I couldn't do that on the road, so I started using ARP's.
- "Interview with Pat Gleeson, third page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 23. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Interview with Pat Gleeson, fourth page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 24. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
- "Interview with Pat Gleeson, fifth page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 35. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved 2011-12-10.