Recognised as one of the world's most successful and respected contemporary composers of bagpipe music, Mark Saul continues to push the idiom to new territories and remain accessible to wide audiences. His compositions have appeared regularly on recordings since 1992, and continue to be played and recorded by numerous pipe bands, folk groups and solo artists from around the world.
Mark traveled to Scotland every year from 1989 to 1994 to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships. Mark's international profile has been growing steadily since 1993 with the publication of two collections of his contemporary bagpipe music. Published internationally by UK company Isa Music (Lismor Recordings) the books have continued to prove themselves popular with young bagpipe players the world over, and now Mark's music is being cited as a major influence by a new generation of pipers.
In addition to his traditional music interests Mark had an early interest in electronic music as well as classical and rock. By 1990 his bagpipe compositions were being influenced by his experiences in the world of dance and electronica from the dance party scene in Australia and the UK. By 1992 Mark was creating modern dance/folk hybrid music, predating the many artists to also see potential in this new genre.
From 1994 to 2002 Mark took a break from traditional music and concentrated his musical energy on electronic and rock/pop music. During this period he played with two highly successful electronic/rock pop bands ‘Mumonkan' and ‘Sonic Animation', performing at numerous outdoor music festivals (such as ‘The Big Day Out', ‘Livid', ‘Homebake') and large-scale parties throughout Australia, as well as separate national, and state tours.
Wishing to bringing together his folk music background with his electronic music experience, Mark embarked upon a solo bagpipe project in 2003. This culminated in the release of his album ‘Mixolydian'. Since it's release in 2004 by Scottish record label Greentrax the CD has enjoyed great international acclaim from the public and critics alike, receiving excellent support from UK radio and press with airplay and interviews in the UK as well as consistent popularity with Internet radio stations.
In addition to his musical interests, Mark holds a degree in Graphic Design. He worked as a graphic designer for ten years, and also lectured at RMIT University in Melbourne for five years. He has composed commercial music for television advertisements and films. Since 2008 Mark has been the Head of Pipes & Drums and full-time bagpipe instructor at Scotch College College in Melbourne.
The Mark Saul Band
Keen to perform the music from the ‘Mixolydian' CD to a live audience, the Mark Saul Band was formed in late 2004, with a partnership with UK based booking agent Active Agency to represent the band in Europe.
Since January 2005 the Mark Saul Band has traveled to the UK to perform festivals such as Celtic Connections, the Hebridean Celtic Festival, Glasgow's Piping Live Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Ireland's Celtic Fusion , Eastleigh Festival, and Skye's Fèis an Eilein festival , culminating in a performance to tens of thousands at Edinburgh's Hogmanay Festival in December 2005.
The 2005 tour by the Mark Saul Band was enormously successful with the band receiving enthusiastic audience responses wherever they performed and glowing live reviews in the UK press. The Mark Saul Band was a main attraction of Glasgow's weeklong international piping festival, with a photo of mark featuring on the program cover.
The band's 2006 summer festival tour saw the band perform in Italy, Spain, Scotland (Tartan Heart Festival) and England (Beautiful Days, Burnley Festival, Solfest, Shrewsbury Festival).