Patrick Gleeson

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. 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.

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.

He worked as an 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.

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.


As leader

  • 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

    As sideman

    With Charles Earland
  • The Dynamite Brothers (Prestige, 1973)
  • Leaving This Planet (Prestige, 1973) With Herbie Hancock
  • Crossings (Warner Bros., 1971)
  • Sextant (Columbia, 1972) With Eddie Henderson
  • Realization (Capricorn, 1973)
  • Inside Out (Capricorn, 1974) With Joe Henderson
  • Black Narcissus (Milestone, 1976) With Meat Beat Manifesto
  • Actual Sounds + Voices (Nothing Records, 1998) With Julian Priester
  • Love, Love (ECM, 1973) With Lenny White
  • Venusian Summer (Nemperor, 1975)
  • Big City (Nemperor, 1977)
  • Presents the Adventures of the Astral Pirates (Elektra, 1978)