Curtis Glatter/Nathan Hubbard
Circumvention 043 (2005)





Curtis Glatter
Nathan Hubbard

vampyr (27:39)
mobile:alabaster (24:28)
meikyu (19:25)

Rivulet is an accumulation of Glatter/Hubbard's collaborative efforts in composition and improvisation for percussion duo. The pieces on Rivulet use percussion and electronics to create a soundworld inspired by the works of filmmakers Jean Cocteau, Carl Dreyer and others. The pieces seek to find new answers to questions of how sound and image relate. While the pieces are not "soundtracks", often the structural outlines and modes of interaction come from the filmmakers' works and aesthetics. In Vampyr, the performers' interaction with each other and their shifting background forms the momentum for the pieces. Mobile: Alabaster uses overlapping textures as a recompositional tool to give the piece graduated forms of expectancy. Meikyu makes use of cutup techniques, where the form (plot) is presented in different orders - giving the options for different views of the same story.

purchasing - Circumvention Music - Bandcamp


reviews of Rivulet (CMCD039)
"Rivulet" Circumvention Music
San Diego-based duo began a long-running and fruitful collaboration in 2001, following Curtis Glatter's exodus from Michigan. This release embodies the main emphasis of their work, in the compositional/improvisational performance of new music for silent films - creating artful & imaginary soundtracks for the cinematic works of Carl Dreyer, Jean Cocteau, et al., with the use of percussion (Glatter) + electronics (Hubbard) - and otherwise reconfiguring the relationship between sound, image and audience expectation. Ever-shifting background unease, and an interaction of mounting momentum (#1); the use of texture + overlap in gradual recomposition (#2); linear interruptions of a scissored nature allowing for cut-up tale telling (#3) & a universe of alternatives……..
Way out, even without the visuals. Mitch LeMay KFJC Los Altos Hills CA
Curtis Glatter is a member of Nathan Hubbard’s Skeleton Key Orchestra. In addition, the two percussionists have been working together as a duo since the early 2000s. Rivulet is their debut album. It consists of three compositions written in 2001-2002, premiered between 2001 and 2003, and recorded in the studio throughout 2004. Each piece is designed as a soundtrack to silent films by Carl Theodore Dreyer (Vampyr), Jean Cocteau (Mobile:Alabaster) and Akira Kurasawa (Meikyu). I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a “usual” percussion duo, but this pair surely is not a usual percussion duo. Glatter and Hubbard play an extremely large assortment of instruments, from tuned percussion (vibraphone, glockenspiel, etc.) to all kinds of trash metal and found objects (including music stands and shovels), but also prepared piano, chord organ, turntables, samples of previous gigs, field recordings, and megaphone. Vampyr is a shocking workout in the art of extremes, bouncing to and fro between trashy two-men bashing and supernaturally quiet episodes of whispers and atmospheres. Mobile:Alabaster is less manic, structurally more complex and generally more immersive. Here, musicianship and composition skills shine as the piece builds bridges between free improvisation, musique concrète and chamber music. Dominated by bamboo xylophone and vibraphone, Meikyu is by far the most melody-driven piece of the set -- a good thing, since by then the listener is getting tiresome of pie-plate drum kits. Simple cycling motives are intertwined with field recordings, electronics, and prepared piano to form evocative soundscapes that sadly lack the narrative development found in Mobile:Alabaster. Rivulet offers a perplexing yet stimulating listen. Of course, and even though that is not all this album is about, a good predisposition toward the percussive realm is strongly recommended. - François Couture/All Music Guide
Curtis Glatter/Nathan Hubbard Rivulet (Circumvention/Trummerflora)
Two percussionists (and that means they each play more than a dozen instruments in each piece) who really know how to take sound into new places. Not for the meek or those who don't wish to be challenged. If you've got the patience, however, you will find some truly glorious noise. - Aiding and Abetting
All About Jazz Italy - Vittorio Lo Conte - translation by Bablefish
The two last recordings of Nathan Hubbard, operating artist on the West Coast, are respective a pair with the percussionista Curtis Glatter and a collection on CD of its compositions of the last years, executed from various ensembles with all the possible combinations orchestrates them, from the quartet of sassofoni to that one of percussions passing for pianoforti it prepares to you and orchestras with it arches.
The pair with Curtis Glatter not only draws inspiration from the musical world: it is introduced like ideal sonorous column of works of the cinema and of the theatre, like the dedications to Carl Dreyer, Akira Kurosawa and Jean Cocteau they make to intuire. A rich music of effects and spazii, new in the way in which the percussivi instruments they come uses you, in way sometimes separated, to evoke however rich feelings of expectations, like along "Vampyr", with atmospheres that resist the tension for along time, evocative of facts and personages who space at the same time in the fantasy of executory and asccoltatori. The brano dedicated to Jean Cocteau è più legacy to the jazz like ritmico aspect, an pleasant change of march after along rambling in tries of an outlet of light in the previous brano and on "Meikyu" an unusual one succeeds in vibrafono to pull before on melodie that all it comes wrapped in with of concrete sounds that dull from tapes and instruments prepare to you. An unusual sonorous landscape that sure troverà in tuning many listeners to the search of new cues.
These two works could wake up the interest of coreografi and directors and serve like unusual sonorous column for their works.

The two multi-instrumentalists and Sampler, Phonographer and Sound-experts Curtis Glatter and Nathan Hubbard created a truly avant-garde work with "Rivulet." The 3 Tracks on the CD were played in between May and December 2004. Both musicians used many instruments, above all miscellaneous rhythm-instruments, that use her/it/them not only in the classic sense, for it considerably. Field Recordings are to be heard, sounds of the outside world, with microphone picked up and mixed at the laptop.
The over 27 minutes-long "Vampyr" opens the horizon of the CD. No sound, no sound of the strange one(s), almost ambient of working sound-art works disturbingly or incorrectly with it at the place. Steps, wind and other sounds as well as the sound of the instruments turn into an unexpectedly interesting sound that is pleasantly and in all the noise hearing-agreeable and catchy, if one is sufficiently curious to listen the sounds for her/its/their duration. "Vampyr" is an atmospheric radio play, stages sensitively and from complex tonal music-language, that recoils before harsh, loud sounds in no way and gives just as exciting Field Recordings also to quietest type's area. Interestingly the mounting of a classic choral work, not to recognize the verfremdet, is, but as bombast-motive in the sound-orgy fits. At the quiet moments, whispers, Reifenrollgeräusche, are trot, is to be heard squeak and rustle, and sounds, that sound, as somebody digs a ground on or about. Crazy piece music, not without joke and already not at all exhausting, and very entertaining.
"Mobile: Alabaster", over 24 minutes-long, is less interesting in the comparison to it, the Track begins very well on that occasion. A slanted-masterly drum-solo, to it sound-peels and all sorts of other sound-structures does the excited, emotional mood.Amazingly however, into what it turns. The grade becomes melodically and harmoniously, loses her/its/their ultra-fast played virtuosity and becomes melody-happily thickly and even corny - at least for this level. With pop-music or general electronics, that is not to be confused, the music is avant-garde purely. However, the piece loses in this context unfortunately. "Meikyu" as 19-minütiger graduations of the CD, repetitiv-minimalistisch begins what is some exhausting. A little variable, loud and clear vibraphone-figure dominates the entrance, under-mixes from Meeresrauschen. Loses the mastering vibraphone-figure and the motive for itself after some minutes melts, "Meikyu" becomes be meditative and sound-beautiful, melodic soft and airy, however, a harsh grade has.Curtis more smoothly and inspired musicians and "Rivulet" be Nathan Hubbard an exceptional sound-object. The gifted and inspired duet created a beautiful, wild work, that doesn't convince me completely personally. The surprise and tension of the work is however incredibly and even at the "softer" moments not without strength. Grand art-music for interested of extravagant sounds. - Ragazzi

translation courtesy babblefish



tech info/recording thoughts
The Glatter/Hubbard recording Rivulet was recorded over about a years time, during which time we changed our minds several times on the concept and scope of the project. The pieces were recorded in sections and slowly put together, often overdubbing on top of ourselves or processing previous performances. My main setups changed for each pieces, but in general, they are as follows - Vampyr mainly features me playing frame 1/electronics and samples, often from old gig recordings, field recordings, prerecorded tape pieces or records. I also play quite a bit of found percussion and various cymbals (mostly in the section Das Blut), as well as concert bass drum in the Bone Box section. Mobile: Alabaster makes use of my solo kit (16" bass drum, 14" floor tom, 14" Ayotte snare, a junior conga, a small 6" PVC tom and various cymbals) and sampler. In addition, the section The Profanation Of The Host uses conch shell, tamalin frame drum and voice. Meikyu makes use of (mostly) tuned percussion, vibraphone, prepared piano, toy glockenspiel, tibetan bells, street light reflectors and chord organ, in addition to several field recordings used as foreground and background thru-out the piece. This record was recorded at the space, DPH Studios and Termite Studios, as well as using several site-specific spots (most notably the parking structure IV @ SDSU). I recorded, mixed and edited the record, Steve Langdon mastered it, we used my mixed media work rivulet for the artwork and Ward Baxter did the layout.