Mark Steven Brooks was born in New York City in 1955 and grew up in nearby Rockland County, New York. He received a B.M. in composition in 1978 from the Manhattan School of Music and M.A. in music from Wesleyan University in 1984 and has received numerous grants and awards for his work. He has composed over 100 works for a variety of media including non-western instruments and electronics and his music has been heard throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe, Australia, Scandinavia, Israel and the Far East. In addition to composing and teaching, Brooks performs on guitars, electric bass, keyboards and percussion and has appeared at New Music America, BAM, Lincoln Center, The Knitting Factory and other new music venues, and has recorded for the Tzadik, Folkways, GSOL, XI, Strangemusic and Elaterium Records labels. Brooks has composed for, and recorded and toured extensively with, Gamelan Son of Lion.