Mark O'Leary (musician)

Mark O'Leary (musician)

Mark O'Leary is a Cork born based Guitarist, Author, Electronic Music composer. He was educated at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. The release of numerous CDs in the past 3 or 4 years has helped him gain a growing following not just in Ireland but abroad as well. His music is released on Leo records, Aucourant, Ayler, FMR, Creative Sources, Cleanfeed, Tibprod Italy, Re:konstruKt record labels.

Levitation with Tomasz Stanko and Billy Hart has received global praise and received 4 stars in Penguin guide to Jazz. His cd Awakening with Steve Swallow and Pierre Favre has also been very well received. His cd On The Shore on Cleanfeed was in freejazz stef top 10 cds of the year and Ron Steed of IMC voted it his favourite cd of the 2007. His cd St Fin Barre's recorded in St Fin Barre's Cathedral in Cork has also been well received. His cd with Cuong Vu and Tom Rainey Waiting, which is a tribute to Irish Writer Samuel Beckett received 5 stars from Freejazz stef and strong reviews from BBC and The Guardian[1]. The cd Television with Han Bennink on Ayler records has also been held as a serious statement in the evolution of guitar/drum duos[citation needed]. His duo with Sunny Murray also on Ayler has been widely praised also. He is also an electronic artist composing soundscapes that can be described as post-industrial ambient /Landscape three have been released on Portuguese label Creative Sources Skyshifter, Fabrikraum and 4 Urban Landscapes, the latter features environmental sounds from Cork City Centre, dialect/dialogue, stonecutting and poetry. He has performed in over 30 countries, in some of the most prestigious venues and festivals, including Kennedy Center, North Sea Jazz Festival, Knitting Factory, Tonic, Vortex, The Loft and Athens Euro-Jazz.

O'Leary specializes in post-jazz music but has also performed Norwegian and Swedish folk music with Nils Okland and Mats Eden and worked with electronic artist Gunter Muller and performed his contemporary classical works with Cikada string quartet. He has toured Europe as a member of Paul Bleys trio and played with King Crimson drummer Bill Bruford, Jack DeJohnette, Peter Erskine, Joey Baron, Sunny Murray Tony Buck and Han Bennink. O'Leary's CDs have received favourable reviews from the British magazine Jazzwise, Downbeat, allaboutjazz, "the Wire" , Sunday Tribune and The Guardian. Mark also has the distinction of having played in duo with Paul Bley, Bobo Stenson and Matthew Shipp He has also performed with Percussionists Terje Isungset, Alex Cline, zev, Alexander Tarasov, Hans-Kristian Kjos-Sorensen and Senol Kucukyildirim He has also performed with trumpeters Kenny Wheeler, Cuong Vu, Tomasz Stanko, Thomas Heberer, Axel Dörner and Jeff Kaiser He has recorded and played with Tortoise drummer John Herndon in a trio with Matt Lux on a fine Leo records release Radio Free Europa. He has also played with Anders Jormin, Palle Danielsson, Michael Formanek, Arild Andersen Lars Danielsson Slava Ganelin and Henri Texier He has toured the Former Yugoslavia as a member of the Vasil Hadzimanov group He has performed in Poland with Tomasz Szukalski, Mihal Miskiewich , Marcin Oles and Barlomiej Oles He has played in a trio with the Akamoon rhythm section of Stephane Galland and Michel Hatzigeorgiu. He has worked with some of the major voices of jazz in BENELUX, Hein Van De Geyn, Teun Verbruggen, Jeff Herr, Jozef Dumoulin and Hans Van Oosterhut He also has worked and recorded with talented Danish musicians Jacob Anderskov, Stefan Pasborg, Jakob Riis, Soren Kjaergaard and Peter Friis-Nielsen He has worked with Finnish musicians Teppo Hauta-Aho Olavi Louhavuori Pepa Paivinen and Markku Ounaskari Mark has also performed and recorded in Turkey with Senol Kucukyildirim and collaborated with Erdem Helvacıoğlu on a soundscape concept recording.

Snow which was recorded in Istanbul and produced in Cork featuring Senol Kucukyildirim Can Ömer Uygan and Murat Copur is a concept album based on a novel of the same name by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk

In late 2008 Mark decided to move in a new direction musically, currently he is working on material in the Rock/Ambient/ and Post-Rock genre's. He has also switched from being a Left-Handed player to playing Right-Handed which gives his new material a fresh perspective. He is also continuing to compose and create electronic music on computer using field recordings with a focus on Urban Environments and their unique cultural, social, linguistic and historic qualities. Mark has also become an ambient guitarist of note creating soundscapes and soundfields by processing his guitar with delay/reverb in conjunction with E-Bow/Bow/Slide and various pedals. In July 2009 Mark created and performed a Sound Piece in celebration of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing at Blackrock Castle Observatory in Cork. In August 2009 a new relationship with the prestigious Aucourant record label has culminated in the release of the cutting edge cd * Grønland which was recorded in Copenhagen with (Stefan Pasborg) on drums and (Jakob Riis) on laptop it features Ambient electronic material that takes its inspiration from Greenland.

Mark is working on a short movie production at the moment for which he is also composing the music, more are planned. He also plans to develop his unique installation concepts One of which, Shipping Forecast was premiered in late August 2009, another opVex a commissioned work was premiered at Wexford Opera House in November 2009 He has been composing and performing minimal techno, which incorporates elements of industrial and ambient music Mark is composing spoken word narratives that he will juxtapose with environmental soundscapes and other ambient sound pieces. opVex installation premiered in New York 2010. Installation pieces Metal and Laundromat were premiered in Varna, Bulgaria in April 2010. Participated in a recording project with Italian Sound Artist Domenico Sciajno, the music features sounds captured by Domenico in Sicily which were processed, edited and developed by Mark. A collaboration with Israeli Electronic musician Yair Etziony is also in the works.

Mark has written a trilogy of novella's which he hopes to publish in 2011.

A concept album paying homage to the Apollo project has been released on tib prod italy, it features audio from the Lunar landings juxtaposed with ambient guitar, synthesizers and percussion.

Mark has also done 2 works of Environmental recordings in his native Cork City as an adjunct to 4 Urban Landscapes. Nature and Markets are a set of audio kaleidoscopic sonic polaroids of Urban nature and commercial activity. He has also recorded a set of works with a maritime dimension using the harbour area of Cork as a sound-source. Astral Fishing a cd which has Finland as its core subject matter has been re-released with two extra tracks Mannerheim and Lintujen kokous. It is squarely in the Post Eno-Hassell idiom but given a fresh perspective by Mark and Finns; drummer Olavi Louhivuori and composer/bassist Teppa Hauta-aho. Conceptual, meditative and atmospheric ambience. Mark has also worked on a maritime environmental project featuring audio from around the cork harbour area. Mark has been invited to contribute two installation pieces to the 15th Anniversary of the Bulart Gallery in Varna, Bulgaria



  • Chamber Trio (with Matthew Shipp and Mat Maneri), 2005 Leo Records
  • Self-luminous (with Mat Maneri and Randy Peterson), 2005 Leo Records
  • Levitation (with Tomasz Stanko and Billy Hart), 2005 Leo Records
  • Closure (with Uri Caine and Ben Perowsky), 2005 Leo Records
  • Awakening (with Steve Swallow and Pierre Favre), 2006 Leo Records
  • Waiting (with Cuong Vu and Tom Rainey), 2006 Leo Records
  • Radio Free Europa with John Herndon and Matt Lux2007 Leo Records
  • On the Shore with Alex Cline, John Fumo and Jeff Kaiser Cleanfeed 091 2007
  • Signs with Alex Cline and Steuart Liebig on FMR records 2007
  • Skyshifter with Gunter Muller on Creative Sources 2007
  • Kadima Collective at White night Mark O'Leary Slava Ganelin and Arkady Gotesman Kadima 2007
  • Shamanic voices Mark O'Leary Terje Isungset FMR Records 2007
  • Flux Mark O'leary Wayne Horvitz Dylan Van Der Schyff FMR
  • Television Mark O'Leary Han Bennink Ayler records 2008
  • Zemlya Mark O'Leary Eyvind Kang Dylan Van Der Schyff Leo records 2008
  • Ellipses Mark O'Leary trio FMR records 2008
  • Fabrikraum Mark O'Leary Creative Sources 2008
  • The Synth Show Mark O'Leary Jamie Saft Kenny Wollesen Leo records 2008
  • The League of Xtraordinary Gentlemen O'Leary Sevket Akinci Umut Caglar Re:konstruKt
  • St Fin Barres Mark O'Leary Leo records
  • Labyrinth Mark O'Leary Matthew Shipp FMR Records To Be Released
  • Ode to Albert Ayler Mark O'Leary Sunny Murray Ayler records
  • Grønland Mark O'Leary Aucourant Records
  • 4 Urban Landscapes Mark O'Leary Creative Sources
  • Atmos Mark O'Leary FMR
  • Støj Mark O'Leary Ayler Records
  • Live in Istanbul Mark O'Leary TIBProd. Italy - 2010
  • Live in Helsinki Mark O'Leary Teppo Hauto-aho Olavi Louhivuori re:konstruKt re:022
  • Snow Mark O'Leary TIBProd. Italy - 2010
  • Astral Fishing Mark O'Leary TIBProd. Italy 2011
  • Project Apollo TIBProd. Italy 2011
  • Astral Fishing (Extended Edition) Mark O'Leary TIBProd. Italy 2011
  • The Best of Ambient Music and Electronic Experimental, Vol. 1 TIBProd. Italy 2011
  • Waves III -To be released 2011
  • The Best of Ambient Music and Electronic Experimental, Vol. 2 TIBProd. Italy 2011
  • Antarctica- To be released 2012
  • Seascapes- O'Leary Sciajno To be released 2012
  • Live in Köln Mark O'Leary 2012

Online Performance


  • Mark O'Leary - Obsession-Snow
  • Mark O'Leary - Astral Fishing - Lintujen Kokous
  • Mark O'Leary - Legacy-Project Apollo
  • Mark O'Leary - Antarctica

Installation Pieces

  • [Shipping Forecast]
  • [opVex]
  • [Laundromat]
  • [Metal]
  • [Fabrikraum]
  • [Welding]


  1. ^ Fordham, John (22 December 2006). "Mark O'Leary/ Cuong Vu/ Tom Rainey, Waiting". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 

External links