Trey Gunn (born December 13, 1960) is an American musician, known for his membership in 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 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 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, Italian singer Alice, Azam Ali, Matt Chamberlain, Michael Brook, Bill Rieflin, David Hykes 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 abusive outlets for his artistic expression. This has led him to working with the guitar in a horizontal position across the lap and to the practice of Aikido. 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 and building multi-dimensional media projects.
- Playing with Borrowed Time (1985)
- 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)
With King Crimson (selected discography)
- VROOOM (1994)
- THRAK (1995)
- THRaKaTTaK (1996)
- Deja VROOOM (DVD) (1999)
- The ProjeKcts (4-CD box set) (1999)
- The construKction of light (2000)
- Level Five (2002)
- The Power to Believe (2003)
- Eyes Wide Open (DVD) (2003)
- 1991 Ophelia’s Shadow (with Toyah)
- 1991 Kneeling at the Shrine (with Sunday All Over the World)
- 1993 The First Day (with David Sylvian / Robert Fripp)
- 1993 Darshan (with David Sylvian / Robert Fripp)
- 1994 Damage: Live (with David Sylvian / Robert Fripp)
- 1994 Dream (with U. Srinivas & Michael Brook)
- 1995 Charade (with Alice)
- 1996 Cortlandt (with Sean Malone)
- 1999 Gordian Knot (with Gordian Knot)
- 1999 Zooma (with John Paul Jones)
- 1999 Birth of a Giant (with Bill Rieflin / Robert Fripp / Trey Gunn)
- 1999 The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior (with Bill Rieflin / Robert Fripp / Trey Gunn)
- 2001 Barcodes (with Mike Brannon & Synergy)
- 2003 TU (with TU)
- 2005 8 Armed Monkey (with KTU)
- 2006 Elysium for the Brave (with Azam Ali)
- 2007 V Is for Vagina (with Puscifer)
- 2007 The Arrow(CD/DVD) (with Quodia)
- 2007 Escape Plan (with Stretching Madness)
- 2008 Squeeze Me Ahead of Line (with The Season Standard)
- 2009 Quiver (with KTU)
- 2009 Down in Shadows (with N.y.X)
- 2010 Cocoon (with Inna Zhelannaya)
- 2011 Grace For Drowning (with Steven Wilson)
- 2011 Invisible Rays (with Henry Kaiser and Morgan Ågren)