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Luke Gullickson

Albuquerque, NM         

“Pianist and composer Luke Gullickson is part of a new breed of new-music figures who make the boundaries between once-disparate stylistic approaches as porous as they want. Not only does he ignore the traditional wall between serious composer and performer, his wide-open ears allow all sorts of unique approaches to mingle with his fluid writing.”

​— Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader


Luke Gullickson is a composer and pianist based in New Mexico. His projects stretch from indie-folk songwriting toward broader and quieter forms of chamber music inspired by place, geography, language, literature, shamanism, and divination. The Chicago Tribune described his recent music as “a sonic wash of various intensities and allusions.”

Luke plays piano and guitar with the infamous Grant Wallace Band (“spidery original bluegrass” — Steve Smith, New York Times) and releases albums of peripatetic avant-troubadour songs under his own name and the moniker Golconda (“charmingly mysterious songs” — Will Robin, Bandcamp). He is also proprietor and cartographer-in-chief of Desert Rhodes, a roving outdoor piano sketchbook and inclusive microcommissioning project. His recent projects under the name Luke Gullickson Trio explore rangy concepts of band formation and small-group musical interaction.

An occasional theater music director and erstwhile wilderness guide, Luke holds an MM in composition from the University of Texas at Austin, with additional study at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and the Banff Centre, where he received a TD Jazz Fellowship and wrote an album of cold-weather Bob Dylan covers. Luke has held artist residencies at the Ucross Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, High Concept Laboratories, and Joshua Tree National Park. He is currently doing graduate work in piano at the University of New Mexico.


music by Luke Gullickson • movement by dropshift dance • Andrea Cerniglia and Julie Brannen, dancers; Doyle Armbrust, viola; Luke Gullickson, piano • recorded at High Concept Laboratories, Chicago, June 2015

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Wolfli Songs

Four disembodied folk carols for singing pianist, after the art of Adolf Wolfli • Luke Gullickson, piano/voice • recorded by Ben Hjertmann, produced by Luke Gullickson

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Agloe, New York

from Mountweazel Songs (2015) • Luke Gullickson Trio • art by Shawn Cheng

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles June 26 2014 | By Luke Gullickson
April: Texas, New York, and the Oppositions

Sometimes it feels like life is a tug of war—between east and west, life and career, social and personal, work and play, urban and rural, composer and singer-songwriter, professional and...

Articles June 19 2014 | By Luke Gullickson
March: Virginia and the Dancers

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts sits on a hillside from which little is visible but trees. The setting fosters extended walks and quiet minds. The place itself almost...

Articles June 12 2014 | By Luke Gullickson
February: New Mexico and the Holes

There is freedom in the holes. The holes remind you that the universe is still expanding, the world is still a work in progress, and there is space for your...

See more of Luke Gullickson's articles on NewMusicBox.