Brian O'Neill

Brian O'Neill

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Brian O'Neill

Artistic Director, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica & professional percussionist, drummer, and composer. Also a seasoned product designer (UX/UI).
I'll give you direct and honest feedback on your new album/recording/concept/group within 24-48hrs usually.  I am a composer and direct ensembles and perform as a sideman too. I also run a record label for my band, and am familiar with distribution, legal issues, PROs, and launching a new album. Interested in creative music, especially instrumental art music that blends genres.

Brian O’Neill is a versatile multi-percussionist, drummer and composer based in Boston who has performed at The Montreal Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall among others. A “percussion master and musical polymath” (Boston Phoenix), Brian performs regularly in a wide variety of musical contexts including jazz, classical, world music, and theatre. In addition to freelancing, he leads Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, which performs original global jazz and chamber music as well as the lost music of Esquivel (“deliciously entertaining”—Wall Street Journal). Brian has also performed with Portland Symphony, Albany Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra, Kristin Chenoweth, Donna Summer, the national tour of Motown the Musical, and is regularly heard at North Shore Music Theatre. Follow Brian at or on Twitter/Instagram (@orchestrotica).

Keep up with Brian in English, Spanish or Portuguese, and learn about his addiction to global tambourine techniques at or on Twitter (@orchestrotica) (
music industry, music tech, design, live shows, record label, consulting, music promotion, music marketing, mobile apps, music label, record labels, branding, web design, live events, music writing, music performance, music composition, promoting artists, promoting music, music distribution, startups, event promotion
jazz, world music, startups, future jazz, instrumental, post-rock, nu-jazz, technology
Cambridge, MA USA

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Recent Feedback

Federico Ferrandina submitted media.

Brian O'Neill

I'm not an expert in sync placements and have only done a little indie film / PBS music supervision work in that regard, but I think it's well done! Possible the orchestra is a little too loud at times (despite me being an orchestral musician hah!) I am noticing the mix a little bit; guitar seems to be close-Mic'd while strings etc are not - i.e. I am noticing mixing when I would rather not be. It's not glaring but noticeable. 

Federico Ferrandina submitted media.

Noirabesque by Federico Ferrandina

Brian O'Neill

Screened this on hi-fi headphones. I can definitely hear this being used in a film or sync situation, and in fact, I might argue it sounds deliberately created for that purpose. Emotive. 

I can hear parts of this being used separate from the rest (I think the sections without percussion are better, despite being a percussionist!) so preparing the track with cuts might be smart. 

submitted media.

Oh Holy Night by Chad Rehmann & Cremaine Booker

Brian O'Neill

Have you looked at Tracks and Fields? They do licensing placements; I submit to them sometimes although my own music is pretty obscure. If this song is PD, you may have a chance if they need something like this. I can't say I have heard of recent holiday placement that asks for something like this, but you never know.  

Overall, it's nice, although I didn't care for the "re-interp" of the rhythm of the melody too much (removing the dotted 16th rhythm). There's a lot of production for my taste; since the playing is great, I'd rather have heard it more "straight" without so much overdub and changing of the rhythm. Intonation is really great too and I did like the reharm ideas near the end. 

Derrick Dickey submitted media.

The Gentle Collapse (demo) by Digital Slumber Party

Brian O'Neill


Not sure what your goals are with this track; I don't normally review electronica music or listen to this style, but I will try to give my feedback from the context of a DJ or somebody who might be into this style/genre and review it in that context. I used to produce some IDM when I was younger though, and tend to enjoy DNB from time to time so I'm not totally alien to the style. 

0-1:15 - i like that there are a few different melodic ideas going on, especially at different tempos
1:15 - a little boring (cliche drum production and drum rhythm)

Later, you return to the introduction melodic material which is nice, but I wish it developed a bit more into something else - a bit repetitive (although for a dance mix/club usage, this might make sense). The repeated material is also equally dense; you may be able to do some more layering (or "finish" with all the layers/tracks, but perhaps thin out the beginning a bit so it doesn't sound like a cut and paste job). 

The outro - very strange to me; didn't flow with the song. Interesting in that it's different, but it felt different for different's sake. 

In terms of finishing the tune, I feel like you need a stronger "B" section and you need to work on a closer "C" section. you seem to have good ideas for the A section (form being ABAC overall). 

As a percussionist, I'm very tired of that same snare drum fill you hear on countless tracks: 8ths->16ths->32nd notes, and then the rhythm drops in again. However, one could argue repetition is normal in the genre.

Hope that helps!