"I met Brian O'Reilly when he was musical assistant at Iannis Xenakis' center Les Ateliers UPIC in Paris. Brian worked with composers such as Luc Ferrari and Eliane Radigue, among others. I soon learned that besides his expertise in electronic music, he was also a dedicated visual artist. Eventually, we collaborated on a series of videos to accompany my music. What struck me about his approach was the similarity to my methods. The creation and selection of initial source material is careful and crucial. Then there is a phase of controlled improvisation, seeing how the materials go together in sequence and simultaneously. This is followed by an extended period of extremely detailed editing, with an obsession with details of image quality. The excellence of the final product speaks for itself."
- Curtis Roads
"Although Brian's style of work overtly looks somewhat akin to the VJ improvisational style, on closer look (and hearing) it becomes obvious that it comes from the serious contemporary musical tradition. In the search for "new" audio-visual aesthetics, digital tools are giving the artist better access to real-time with a greater level of precision in audiovisual composition. Brian has brought his work into a rare state of excellence." - Steina & Woody Vasulka
Brian O'Reilly works within the fields of electro-acoustic composition, sound installations, moving images and noise music. Also, he is a contrabassist focusing on uncovering the inaudible textures and hidden acoustic microsounds of his instrument through the integration of electronic treatments and extended playing techniques.
He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago focusing on sonic art, kinetic sculpture and analog video synthesis utilizing the Sandin Image Processor. He also at this time was engaged in independent studies in music improvisation, composition and synthesis. He relocated to Paris in the late 1990s to research the composition methods of the composer and architect Iannis Xenakis. During this time he worked extensively with Xenakis' electronic music system utilizing graphic sonic synthesis the UPIC. After a time of research at Les Ateliers UPIC, he received an appointment as the studio's Musical Assistant, during which he also worked as music assistant for Luc Ferrari on his audio & video installation "Cycle Des Souvenirs" and Eliane Radigue on her electroacoustic work "L'Ile Re-sonante".
He pursued graduate studies in Electronic Music Composition at the University of California Santa Barbara's Media Arts and Technology program, where his collaborations with Curtis Roads began with the project "Point Line Cloud" which won an Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica in 2002. Then relocating to San Francisco he took a position as Operations Manager of Recombinant Media Labs, working on many projects for the Asphodel record label & recording studio. He also has received several international residencies and commissions including invitations to work as a guest artist at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Germany, the SH Festival in Shanghai, KLEX - Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival, LUFF – Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival, All Tomorrow Parties festival curated by Autechre and Signal Culture in New York.
O’Reilly has performed with and worked on projects by Eliane Radigue, Luc Ferrari, Curtis Roads, Zbigniew Karkowski, Otomo Yoshihide, Matmos, Maryanne Amacher, Zeitkratzer, Dennis Wong, Christian Marclay, Toshimaru Nakamura, William Basinski, Yong Yandsen, Fe-Mail, Yasunao Tone, Siew-Wai Kok, Lillevan, Darren Moore, George Chua, Andreas Schlegel, Vladimir Todorovic, Anla Courtis, SAtheCollective, Bani Haykal, Francisco López, The Observatory, Garth Knox, Steina and Woody Vasulka, amongst others.
In addition to his solo performances and works for moving images, he also plays modular analog synthesizer and generates visuals in the duo Black Zenith and contrabass & electronics with the noise-jazz group Game of Patience. Currently, he is a lecturer at LASALLE’s College of the Arts School of Contemporary Music, focusing on electronic music composition, visual music and creative music-making techniques through the use of improvisation.