Patrick Gleeson

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Patrick Gleeson
Born (1934-11-09) November 9, 1934 (age 89)
GenresJazz, electronic music
Years active1960's to present

Patrick Gleeson (born November 9, 1934) is an American musician, synthesizer pioneer, composer, and producer.


Gleeson moved to San Francisco in the 1960s to teach in the English Department at San Francisco State.[1] Gleeson began experimenting with electronic music in the mid-'60s at the San Francisco Tape Music Center using a Buchla synth and other devices. He resigned his teaching position to become a full-time musician. In 1968, "upon hearing Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach", he bought a Moog synthesizer and opened the Different Fur recording studio in San Francisco.[2]

He worked with Herbie Hancock in the early 1970s on two albums (Crossings and Sextant) and subsequent tours, pioneering synthesizers as a live instrument.[2][3] Hancock initially hired Gleeson as a synthesizer technician and instructor, but ended up asking him to become a full-time band member, expanding the ensemble from six to seven musicians.[4] Hancock has credited Gleeson with introducing him to synthesizers and teaching him technique.[3] Sextant and Headhunters were both recorded in part at Different Fur studios. Gleeson has subsequently worked with many other Jazz musicians, including Julian Priester, 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.[2] Beyond the Sun was followed in 1977 by a more commercial album, Patrick Gleeson's Star Wars.

He worked as a producer and engineer on the 1978 Devo album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, part of which was recorded at Different Fur. He sold his interest in Different Fur in 1985.[5]

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.[6]

In 2017 Gleeson retired from film and television scoring and returned to live performance, both as a solo artist and with a trio (Michael Shrieve, drums, and Sam Morrison, reeds).


As leader or co-leader[edit]

As sideman (partial listing)[edit]

With Paul Kantner, Grace Slick)

With Charles Earland

With Herbie Hancock

With Eddie Henderson

With Joe Henderson

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)

Further reading[edit]

  • Danny Sofer and Doug Lynner, Interview with Patrick Gleeson, Synapse (magazine), Vol. 1, No. 5, January/February 1977
    • "Interview with Pat Gleeson, first page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 21. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
    • "Interview with Pat Gleeson, second page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 22. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 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 April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
    • "Interview with Pat Gleeson, fourth page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 24. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
    • "Interview with Pat Gleeson, fifth page". Synapse. January 1977. p. 35. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2011.


  1. ^ Gleeson, Patrick. "Bruce and I". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Maygarden, Tony. "Patrick Gleeson". Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Zussman, John Unger (July 5, 1982). "Jazzing it up at the NCC". InfoWorld. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  4. ^ See Stuart Nicholson's notes for the 2001 Warner Bros. CD reissue of Crossings
  5. ^ "Different Fur Studios: History". Different Fur. Archived from the original on December 3, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  6. ^ Battino, David; Richards, Kelli (2005). The Art of Digital Music. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books. p. 36. ISBN 0-87930-830-3.

External links[edit]