Trey Gunn

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Trey Gunn
Trey Gunn playing Warr Guitar with KTU at Tampere Jazz Happening 2005
Trey Gunn playing Warr Guitar with KTU at Tampere Jazz Happening 2005
Background information
Born (1960-12-13) December 13, 1960 (age 61)
GenresExperimental, art rock, jazz fusion, progressive rock, progressive metal, world music
InstrumentsWarr guitar, Chapman Stick, bass guitar, vocals
Years active1983 – present
Associated actsKing Crimson, The Trey Gunn Band, Quodia, TU, KTU, UKZ

Trey Gunn (born December 13, 1960) is an American musician, known for his membership in the progressive rock band King Crimson from 1994 to 2003, playing Warr Guitar and Chapman Stick.


A native Texan who now resides in Seattle, Washington, Gunn began his musical life at the age of seven playing classical piano. His interest in music grew through various instruments: electric bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards, and the touch guitar. He moved to Eugene, Oregon, and played in punk bands while he completed a degree in classical music composition at the University of Oregon.[1] He then moved to New York City, where his professional career began.

He spent some time as a student of Guitar Craft with founder Robert Fripp and appeared on several Robert Fripp and the League of Crafty Guitarists recordings. From 1988 to 1991, he toured playing Chapman Stick in the UK and Europe, with Toyah Willcox, Robert Fripp and Paul Beavis, at first under the band project name "Fripp, Fripp" who by the second tour became Sunday All Over the World. They recorded and released one album in 1991 entitled Kneeling at the Shrine. In the same year and with the SAOTW line up, he also played stick on the solo Toyah album Ophelia's Shadow, produced by Toyah who was to later guest on his album, The Third Star.

In 1992, he was asked to join David Sylvian and Robert Fripp in a collaborative project that toured the United States, Europe, and Japan. The band released The First Day and Damage – a live recording from the Royal Albert Hall in London. During this period, Gunn also recorded his first solo album One Thousand Years.

In 1992 and 1993 with Fripp, Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya, and Paul Richards, he toured and recorded as The Robert Fripp String Quintet.[2]

In 1994, Gunn joined King Crimson. With King Crimson he played Chapman Stick and subsequently diverse types of Warr guitar and was part of the "double trio" formation opposite Tony Levin. In 1997, King Crimson fragmented into smaller configurations known as the ProjeKcts. Gunn, along with Fripp, participated in all of the ProjeKcts performances and recordings. In 1999, the group mutated into a four-piece – Belew, Fripp, Gunn and Mastelotto. He left Crimson after "The Power to Believe" tour in 2003. Over the course of his decade with the group, he participated in thirty-three King Crimson CDs, two DVDs and hundreds of performances.

He has also performed and recorded with a number of other musicians: Tool, Puscifer, Robert Fripp, Sean Malone and Gordian Knot, David Sylvian, Vernon Reid, John Paul Jones, Eric Johnson, Alice, Azam Ali, Matt Chamberlain, Michael Brook, Bill Rieflin, David Hykes of the Harmonic Choir and many more. He has released a number of solo albums, as Trey Gunn and as the leader of The Trey Gunn Band.

Years of working with broad-necked instruments like the Warr guitar affected Gunn physically and he had to seek less damaging playing methods for his artistic expression.[3] This has led him to working with the guitar in a horizontal position across the lap and to the practice of Aikido and Brazilian Jui-Jitsu. In 2003, Gunn founded the multi-media group Quodia with Joe Mendelson where he contributed more vocals than in previous projects and less Warr guitar. In 2004, he and Pat Mastelotto started collaborating with Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen, forming KTU out of their respective duos TU and Kluster. In 2012, he began working with Jerry Marotta in the group The Security Project.

In addition to helping run a label based in Seattle called 7d Media, he is currently dividing his time between his solo work, film and television scoring, coaching artists in the creative process at Original Voice Coaching and building multi-dimensional media projects.


Solo albums[edit]

  • Playing with Borrowed Time (1985) (cassette)
  • One Thousand Years (1993)
  • The Third Star (1996)
  • Raw Power (1999)
  • The Joy of Molybdenum (2000)
  • Live Encounter (2001)
  • Road Journals (CD-ROM) (2002)
  • Untune The Sky (CD/DVD) (2003) (compilation)
  • Music for Pictures (2008)
  • Modulator (2010)
  • I'll Tell What I Saw (2010) (compilation)
  • The Waters, They Are Rising (2015)
  • Punkt 1 (2020)
  • Firme (2020)
  • Life on Hisarü 9 (2020) (with Markus Reuter)

Score Books[edit]

  • Trey Gunn - Scores (2014)
  • King Crimson - THRAK (2017) (full band transcriptions + tabs)
  • King Crimson - The Discipline Era Transcriptions (2020) (full band transcriptions + tabs)

With others[edit]

Date Artist Title
1991 Toyah Ophelia's Shadow
1991 Sunday All Over the World Kneeling at the Shrine
1993 Robert Fripp / California Guitar Trio *as Robert Fripp String Quintet The Bridge Between
1993 David Sylvian / Robert Fripp The First Day
1993 David Sylvian / Robert Fripp Darshan
1994 David Sylvian / Robert Fripp Damage: Live
1994 U. Srinivas & Michael Brook Dream
1994 King Crimson Vrooom
1995 King Crimson Thrak
1995 King Crimson B'Boom: Live in Argentina
1995 Alice Charade
1996 King Crimson Thrakattak
1996 Sean Malone Cortlandt
1999 ProjeKct One Live at the Jazz Café
1998 ProjeKct Two Space Groove
1999 ProjeKct Two Live Groove
1999 ProjeKct Three Masque
1999 ProjeKct Four West Coast Live
1999 King Crimson Déjà Vrooom (DVD)
1999 King Crimson The ProjeKcts (4-CD box set)
1999 King Crimson The Deception of the Thrush
1999 Gordian Knot Gordian Knot
1999 John Paul Jones Zooma
1999 Bill Rieflin / Robert Fripp / Trey Gunn Birth of a Giant
1999 Bill Rieflin / Robert Fripp / Trey Gunn The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior
2000 ProjeKct X Heaven and Earth
2000 King Crimson The Construkction of Light
2000 King Crimson Heavy ConstruKction
2000 King Crimson Level Five
2001 King Crimson Vrooom Vrooom
2001 Mike Brannon & Synergy Barcodes
2002 TU (Trey Gunn & Pat Mastelotto) Thunderbird Suite
2002 King Crimson Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With
2003 King Crimson The Power to Believe
2003 King Crimson Eyes Wide Open (DVD)
2003 King Crimson EleKtrik: Live in Japan
2003 TU (Trey Gunn & Pat Mastelotto) TU
2004 TU (Trey Gunn & Pat Mastelotto) Official Bootleg
2005 KTU 8 Armed Monkey
2006 Azam Ali Elysium for the Brave
2007 Puscifer "V" Is for Vagina
2007 Quodia The Arrow (CD/DVD)
2007 Stretching Madness Escape Plan
2008 The Season Standard Squeeze Me Ahead of Line
2008 UKZ Radiation
2009 KTU Quiver
2009 N.y.X Down in Shadows
2010 Inna Zhelannaya Cocoon
2011 TU (Trey Gunn & Pat Mastelotto) Live in Russia
2011 Steven Wilson Grace for Drowning
2011 Morgan Ågren, Henry Kaiser, Trey Gunn Invisible Rays
2012 The Security Project with Jerry Marotta The Security Project with Jerry Marotta
2014 Leon Alvarado/Jerry Marotta Music From An Expanded Universe
2014 John Crispino Seconds Before Landing II - Seconds Before Landing
2015 King Crimson THRAK (box set)
2015 Leon Alvarado Persistence
2016 N.y.X The News
2016 The Security Project Live 1
2017 The Security Project Live 2
2017 The Security Project CONTACT
2018 The Deep Energy Orchestra Playing With Fire
2019 King Crimson Heaven & Earth (box set)
2019 The Security Project Slow Burn
2020 The Deep Energy Orchestra The Return
2020 with Markus Reuter Life on Hisarü 9


  1. ^ "Trey Gunn homepage". Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Robert Fripp String Quintet". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "Trey Gunn interviews on Outsight Radio Hours". Retrieved May 5, 2012.

External links[edit]