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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.” — Chicago Reader


Luke Gullickson is a composer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter, and improviser. 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.”

A founding member of the infamous Grant Wallace Band (“spidery original bluegrass” — New York Times), Luke cut his teeth among Chicago’s new music community, with ongoing collaborators including Chicago Composers Orchestra and Dropshift Dance. In 2014 Luke launched a boutique record label Two Labyrinths Records with Open, a duet with Spektral Quartet violist Doyle Armbrust (“It’s a stunner” — Chicago Reader). Luke has also left a breadcrumb trail of digital albums documenting his peripatetic avant-troubadour songs performed as a solo artist and under the moniker Golconda (“charmingly mysterious songs” — Bandcamp Blog). 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 in the renowned residency program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Luke has held artist residencies at the Ucross Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Brush Creek Arts Foundation, High Concept Laboratories, Playa Summer Lake, and Joshua Tree National Park. Based in Albuquerque, Luke is a frequent collaborator with Opera Southwest and with Chatter, an innovative concert series presenting classical and contemporary chamber music in intimate venues.


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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After Barbarian Days

A song for tenor, viola, and piano inspired by William Finnegan’s surfing memoir Barbarian Days. Performed live by Grant Wallace Band (Ben Hjertmann, tenor; Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola; Luke Gullickson, piano) at Littlefield in Brooklyn, NY on April 11, 2017, as part of a presentation by Invisible Anatomy. The song is followed by an improvised piano solo transitioning into Ben Hjertmann’s song

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Three-Part Invention no. 1, “October”

From the album Inventions, released 2016; performed by Luke Gullickson, piano; Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola; Ben Hjertmann, pedal steel.

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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.