Producer, engineer, and musician, Michael O’Connell was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950. After a series of misfortunes including the untimely death of his father, the family eventually settled in Baltimore, Maryland where he began snare drum studies with a faculty member of Peabody Institute and started performing in various music groups.
In 1972, Michael graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and in July of that year married Susan Murray, known now as Renu O'Connell. During the eventful years between 1968 and 1972, he drums with guitarist Chuck Hughes and keyboardist Eddie Sears.
In ’73, Michael and his wife moved to Boston. There, he was a frequent guest in the Berklee College of Music rehearsal rooms where he met bassist John Neves. John introduced him to the legendary drummer, Alan Dawson, and soon Michael began drum kit studies with Alan at his home in Lexington. It was also during this period that he began a deep and long term commitment to meditation and spiritual practice, traveling often to New York to study with his spiritual guide. Through this group he met and played briefly in a band fronted by Omar Mesa. Also at this time Michael developed an abiding love and appreciation of Indian Classical music and started a two year course of study with tabla virtuoso, Shashi Nayak in his home in Allston, Massachusetts.
Deepening commitments to spiritual practice, endurance running, and philosophical study resulted in a long hiatus from music performance and study. However, by the late 1980‘s Michael could no longer deny the pressing need for musical expression. He participated in the formation of a progressive rock group in Arlington, MA., and was introduced to the engineering and recording side of things by guitarist Dave Rizzuti. Michael’s apparent skill and interest grew into his creation of Expanding Sky Music where he began producing, composing, and recording original pieces for various clients in the Boston area from his home studio in Acton, Massachusetts. Michael’s first CD of original compositions was produced here and was a critical success, garnering nominations for best ambient album, and best new artist for 2007 from the New Age Messenger music organization. The album, “Heart of Matter” received a Grindle Award from RadioIndy for audio quality.
During the creation of this album Michael met and began music theory studies with his eventual partner, Stephen Savage. He also met local guitarist Paul Cummings and held the drum throne duties for a jazz funk group they formed.
To create an improved and more spacious recording environment, Michael moved his studio to Littleton Massachusetts and named it Everywhere and Nowhere. Incorporating new ideas in hybrid recording and engineering techniques Michael produced, engineered, and mixed Stephen’s debut album “Future Memory”, also playing drums on four of the tracks.
In 2012 he moved the studio once again, this time to Concord, Massachusetts where Michael continues his fruitful association with Stephen Savage who now holds the keyboard chair for Proof of Infinity, the band. Joining Michael and Stephan are Kofi Vanderpuye on bass, and Gary Jenkins playing guitars. Work on a new series of original music compositions has taken root. Upon the albums completion the group plans to gig in the New England area.
Michael’s evident expertise in recording, mixing, editing music, and music composition come from years of disciplined self study. He has a great fondness for synthesizers, drums, both acoustic and electronic, guitars and various exotic midi controllers. When he isn’t absorbed reading instrument and recording manuals, Michael enjoys Meditation, taking walks in natural surroundings, and reading the transcriptions of the dialogues of Nisargadatta Maharaj.