Photo by Catalina Villamizar, 2013
Colombian pianist and composer Ricardo Gallo has written for acoustic and electro-acoustic formats, for short films, videos, and multimedia stage productions, and has performed and written for improvisatory groups. He has published seven albums under his name, his music has appeared in several compilations in Colombia, USA, and Europe, and has participated in recordings of several other groups.
His main projects are his quartet that he leads since 2004 in Bogotá with some of the best musicians from Colombia’s scene: drummer Jorge Sepúlveda, bassist Juan Manuel Toro, and percussionist Juan David Castaño, developing original compositions and a way of improvising that integrates an avant-garde and free language with rhythmic and melodic elements from Colombian traditions. With them he has released four albums: Los Cerros Testigos (2005), Urdimbres y Marañas (2007), Resistencias (2010), and Tribu del Asfalto (2013). These four albums have been published under the catalogue of the musician’s collective La Distritofonica.
In New York he leads since 2007 the group Tierra de Nadie, with seasoned musicians such as trombonist Ray Anderson, saxophonist Dan Blake, bassist Mark Helias, and percussionists Pheeroan akLaff and Satoshi Takeishi. This group performs compositions conceived as a sort of imaginary folklore, providing space for the contribution of its members. With this project he published the album The Great Fine Line in 2010 under the portuguese label Clean Feed Records.
With guitarist Alejandro Flórez they published in 2009 the album Meleyolamente as a debut for the label Festina Lente Discos. This duo has developed original music and improvisations with string instruments from the Andes of Colombia as starting point.
With the RicTer Scale, a duo project with Canadian composer and recorder player Terri Hron, they published in 2013 “intimations”, an acoustic album presenting improvised pieces on recorders of several sizes and acoustic piano. With this duo there are upcoming projects such as collaborative compositions, improvisation including electro-acoustic elements, and collaborations with other musicians and artists.
Gallo has participated in groups led by Ray Anderson and has performed in Portugal, Austria and New York with Peter Evans Quartet, documented in the recording Live in Lisbon (Clean Feed Records, 2010).
He has performed his music in Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada, Kenya, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Chile, Argentina, U.S.A. and Colombia. He has received commissions from Colombia Symphony Orchestra and Big Band Bogotá, and funds for tours and residencies from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, The Banff Centre and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec in Canada.
He finished his undergraduate at the University of North Texas with honors and holds a Masters and PhD in music composition from Stony Brook University.