Encinitas and Everything After composition notes
|With apologies - Although all of this music was conceived/written about Encinitas and its surrounding areas, none of it was recorded in Encinitas. However, I can still smell the sea wind and hear the trains in the distance.
The music here within was recorded over a fourteen year period (1999-2013). It includes unreleased music from Hubbard led-ensembles (Return To One, Skeleton Key Orchestra, The Scorpion Decides), collectively led ensembles (Cosmologic, ARC Trio), as well as ensembles only (previously) heard in a live context (Everything After, etc.). Several of these ensembles were only gathered to record this music (Hourglass Ensemble).
The earliest pieces documented here were written in 1992. It wasn't until 2003 or so that I realized that these pieces fit together and began writing pieces in this framework. Originally I thought EAEA would be a double CD. Later I started seeing it as a book of pictures and maps with several CDs included. At points it seemed that EAEA would be a project I would work on for my entire life, collecting pieces and recordings as I went. I thank everyone for not killing me during these recording sessions when I started talking about a "large scale project that might never be finished". With my brief sojourn from Encinitas to the wilds of Arizona in 2011, I began to realize that I had a well rounded overview of what I was working to accomplish and felt it might be time to say "finished".
encinitas and everything after - (2007) - six page score, transposed parts (flute/soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, vibraphone/marimba, bass, percussion)
This piece was performed several times by the woodwind version of Everything After before being recorded on July 22nd 2007 in Tujanga California.
This was the first piece to be written for the woodwind lineup of Everything After, an ensemble that was doomed from its inception but somehow made it into a recording studio. This lineup first performed as a quartet/quintet of Ellen, Gabriel, Scott, myself and Curtis Glatter on a Glatter/Hubbard gig in July of 2005, playing notated works by both myself and Curtis. This group also recorded a piece for my (compositions 1999-2005) double CD. I liked the sound so much, I put the thought of a working ensemble in the back of my mind and finally got it together two years later. By that time, Curtis had skipped town for the wilds of Michigan, so i was honored when Brad Dutz found some time in his busy schedule to play. We had a brief period where we performed several gigs (Harry Scorzos short lived series at the Downey Museum of Art, a terrible gig at Vinblads in San Diego where the booker kept our money) in a poorly conceived "lets rehearse, perform and record in two months" Hubbard plan. Haha - hindsight is 20/20. Originally, the recordings we made were supposed to be part of a CD shared with the piano/voice version of Everything After, but I realized that both these ensembles are more important in this collection. In addition to the performers heard here, I would like to thank Justin Grinnell, Laurel Grinnell and Andrew Pask for helping rehearse and perform this piece during this period.
Originally, this collection of recordings was entitled The San Diego Cycle, but after writing this piece I realized the scope was too broad, and this piece become the "after the fact" title track. Dig that tack piano overdub! Thanks Scott.
(clock noticing the few moments left) - (2007, revised 2011) - transposed parts (bass/piano, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone)
This piece was debuted January 2008 at the Trummerflora Collectives Other Ideas at Kava Gallery concert series. Since that debut, the piece was expanded and re-orchestrated for the ensemble heard on this recording. This performance was recorded summer 2011.
There have been several periods of my life where uncertainty seems to be the overriding factor in everything. This piece comes from one of those periods, I can clearly remember the focus before and then the floating possibilities of different directions and options. The title comes from a fragment of poetry, and the two main themes that show up several times in the piece appeared fairly easily. I guess the harder work is placing these things within a body of pieces and a group. This piece was written for the first lineup of the group Passengers, back when we were functioning as a Gary Burton cover band. It was revised when Lee Elderton and myself made plans to meet and record for a weekend in San Diego June 2011, this recording comes from that session.
Indianhead Canyon - (2003-2004) three page score, everyone reads from score (clarinet/tenor saxophone, trombone, guitar, acoustic bass, percussion)
This modular piece was first heard on the Cosmologic recording III (Circumvention Music ?). For this release, the piece has been remixed and re-conceptualized, modifying the introduction (descent) and middle section (the swing) by adding more field recordings and giving them more breathing room.
Indianhead Canyon is a small nature preserve close to my fathers house where I have spent countless hours, from bicycling as a teenager to hiking with my children in my 30s. Its different levels, transitions and sections provide many different options on how to traverse the terrain. Plants have grown over many of the trails from the 80s, the deserted cars at the top are gone, the drainage pool which seemed so cool years ago is now covered in vegetation, and the swing seems to be broken or re-built every few months. And the dawgdamn yuppies that have over taken the neighborhood let their dogs shit everywhere. But the big hill is still (always) the challenge, the valley floor provides multiple levels of interaction, and the south side drop from the top still scares me. I will take the upheavals for what remains. For this performance, the favorite hiking route for Julia and myself provides the structure of the modular sections - descent into Indianhead Canyon, the big hill, strange meeting at the top, the swing, steep hill past the drainage pool, exit to fox point.
The hooting and hollering during the swing section is Elliott William Hubbard on the swing. With thanks to Craig Pattison for many a sunburnt afternoon, several disagreements and a friendship.
Walled Garden - (1994) - one page lead sheet
Although composed in 1994, Walled Garden lay dormant until being re-discovered in a folder of forgotten compositions in 2004. Since that time, this piece has been performed numerous times with the ensemble Everything After among others. This recording comes from a recording session of that group in summer 2007 and includes lyrics written in 2011.
I was very happy to discover many years ago that there was a back entrance to Quail Botanical Gardens, and would regularly sneak in and spend time wandering the grounds, noting the change when crossing over from the dry west side with cacti and fruit trees, over to the east side with all its shade, waterfall and lush vegetation. My favorite was always the walled garden, with its perfect canopy of trees and small fountain off to the side. Originally Kelly and I were going to be married there, but we ended up with too many guests and had a wonderful ceremony on the lawn. Things have changed at the gardens over the years, in my opinion for the worse, for some reason the last few years seem to be about changing the name, bringing in as many people as possible and making lots of money. It definitely takes away from the serenity that the gardens used to offer. Regardless, this piece reminds me of driving the old yellow truck in the back gate, and the wonders of being alone.
Dedicated to Ruth Larabee, founder of the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas California. And thanks to Stella Hubbard for reminding me of a time when over the hill meant "east of encinitas".
three castles - (2006) - six page score, transposed parts (flute/bass clarinet, vibraphone/bass)
This piece was originally scored for percussion ensemble and was debuted at Grossmont High School on May 19th 2006 (I was teaching percussion there at the time). Since then, I have created several different arrangements, including one for traditional big band. This arrangement for quintet is my favorite, recorded July 22nd 2007 on a very hot afternoon at Brad Dutzs home studio in Tujanga California.
Do you remember in the 1980s, when the walk from the picnic grounds to the first castle seem like it took half the morning? And then a bit older, with a bunch of people you barely knew, when its was more playground than new wonderland. And then even later, when you were old enough to look across the valley and see the third castle, let alone dream of how to make it over there. I imagine that Laurie Hill would like this piece.
This piece has gone thru several different names, but I finally settled on "three castles" as a reflection of the toll time takes on monuments. We should all go hike San Dieguito Park today. With thanks to Chris Prescott.
San Dieguito River - (2002, revised 2003) score, transposed parts (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, two electric guitars, two basses, piano/accordian, drumkit/percussion)
Debuted on a Skeleton Key Orchestra performance at Dizzy's San Diego December 2002, this piece was recorded during the sessions for Nathan Hubbard Skeleton Key Orchestra (Circumvention Music 0222) May 2003.
Inspirations - The twenty-seven miles that the San Dieguito River takes from the Anza-Borrego Desert to meet the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, Sandy Lees tales of riding her bike to down the unfinished Interstate 5 to visit Stella Hubbard in the 1960's, and Stella Hubbards sweeping painting of the San Dieguito River Valley with storm clouds approaching. And probably Dorothy Hubbards story of that painting and its ramifications.
Box Canyon Overview - (2005, revised 2011) - for piccolo/flute and ten percussion, ? page score, parts (piccolo/flute, 1. suspended cymbal, guiro, large clapper, 2. small and large tam tam, marching machine, 3/4. snare drum, suspended cymbal (two players), 5. large floor tom, tom tom, bongoes, thundersheet, 6. sandpaper blocks, bucket of marbles, large clapper, 7. airhose, concert bass drum, medium bass drum, chimes, 8. vibraphone, 2 brake drums, 9. marimba, 10. three timpani, bucket of marbles, 2 brake drums)
Box Canyon is a small canyon located at the east end of the San Marcos Creek Watershed, famous for its cliff diving potentials from the steep ledges into the water basin at the bottom. The dangerous nature of the place has led to quick calls to the police by neighbors, and the city has done its best to quaren off the area with fences and brush. In fact, urban legend tells us that Christopher Harris shattered his heel jumping from the high ledge, dragged himself out of the canyon and knocked on a neighborhood door, asking whomever answered to call a medic for him.
To be honest, I have never been down the cliffs into the canyon. My viewings of the canyon come from many drives down Cadencia Street, peering out the window for a quick view. Hence, I have chosen to shy away from any high energy, "leaping off the cliff" musical histronics, and instead focus on thoughts of watershed, sediment and echos.
This piece was debuted by students at Grossmont High School on May 19th 2006 (I was teaching percussion there at the time). Originally, I considered this as the prelude to a multi-movement piece that was never completed. With a few years hindsight, I realized that (with a few revisions) the piece was complete as is.
watershed - (2013) - two page score, this arrangement for voice, field recordings, circuit bent electronics and percussion
Somewhere around 2012, i found myself living in AZ and visiting Encinitas for a summer holiday. Feeling like an outsider in your hometown is something that everyone should experience at some point. I spent an afternoon exploring east la costa, trying to find the perfect spot to take a picture of Box Canyon for this collection. At some point i found myself at the bottom end of Box Canyon, where the water drains down down a concrete creek and into (i assume) a storm drain to get it thru the valley to Los Batiquitos. What a fucked up situation. Anyways, i realized at that moment the order of this volume and that my original idea of a 4 hour release was not going to work. I also realized that there needed to be a musical interlude connecting box canyon and los batiquitos, much like that dawgdamn concrete culvert does. So here we have the wonderful Gina Berrett helping us understand why people would build a storm drain to hide a creek, and then build a golf course over it.
los batiquitos - (2011) - for multiple samples and various instruments - two page score, transposed parts and various extras
Composed over many months in 2011, this piece started its life from a sample of string players improvising in a hallway circa 1999. The various layers of composed pitch material and pulse information slowly became apparent as I dug deeper into the piece. As the piece develops, you hear solos from Lee Elderton, Kris Tiner and Michael Dessen.
This piece takes it name from the Los Batiquitos lagoon, which forms the northern border of Encinitas. As a child, I used it as a barometer - wet in winter with crane and fish, dry and cracked mud in summer as the sun beat down. And different now, after the widening of La Costa Blvd. on the south side, after the dredging of the 1990s and the building of hiking trails on the north side, the defining lines of man and wild are a bit easier to spot.
Rural legend tells that the first Spanish settlers/priest baptized two "locals" in the lagoon when first traveling through the region, giving the lagoon its name. Despite these claims, this piece focusses on the long trip the water takes from the San Marcos watershed, down thru Box Canyon, into the lagoon, under the freeway and train tracks, and on to the Pacific Ocean. For Dave Golia.
Sand, Wind and the Vast Pacific Ocean - (2002, revised 2003) - transposed parts/score (one for strings, one for winds) (soprano saxophone, clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, violin, electric guitar, cello, acoustic bass, harp, piano/accordian, drumkit/percussion)
This piece was debuted on a Skeleton Key Orchestra performance at Dizzy's San Diego December 2002. This piece was recorded during the sessions for Nathan Hubbard Skeleton Key Orchestra (Circumvention Music 0222) May 2003. It also includes recordings of the ocean in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii recorded July 25th 2003.
I always hated the beach as a child. Too much sand, ugh. It wasn't until I was old enough to drive myself to the ocean (at night) that i began to understand its power and grace. Whether it was a late night swim with Stephane and Michele at Cardiff State Beach, or post-recording burritos and talk on the benches above Moonlight Beach with Curtis, that respect grows stronger each passing year. Anyways, all this talk has made it seem like these sounds, recorded a few years back, somehow correspond or showcase the ocean. They don't. But there is a similar forward motion and understanding, like the wind pouring in off of Swamis or perhaps standing on North Ponto with Kelly. When my children scatter my ashes into the jetty at Ponto Beach, I hope they quietly hum the main melody of this piece to themselves. Although it was written before I met him, I thank Phillip Wachsmann for the reminder.
waterlilies - (2004) - for voice, piano, vibraphone, acoustic bass and percussion - five page score
This piece was debuted November 18th 2004 at Dizzy's San Diego and since that time has seen multiple revisions and extensions. This piece was performed numerous times with the ensemble Everything After. This recording comes from a recording session of that group in summer 2007 and includes lyrics written in 2011.
In part inspired by the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas California. Or perhaps just the glean of sunlight off the water, with Koi silently filtering about the bottom. Too many afternoons alone in Encinitas. All these dreams must fly.
in her garden - (1999) - two page score
Originally for solo piano, this piece was first heard on the Return To One recording Promises (Castor&Pollux Music 001). The piece was re-orchestrated for a trio performance in Portland Oregon in March 2008, and this recording comes from that performance.
This piece was inspired by a painting of flowers by my Great-Grandmother, Stella Hubbard, and is dedicated to her memory.
one rainy night - (1998) - two page lead sheet
This was the first piece I ever presented to Return To One when Lee Elderton joined the group, and it is perhaps the most performed piece of that group. For various reasons we never released a recording of this piece. This track started out as a performance from a birthday concert in 2000 at Galoka, it was originally slated for release on Hopes and Dreams (Circumvention Music), but cut due to time constraints. After listening to many other recording I have of this piece, I decided to make a giant cut and paste project out of all my favorite parts, giving a broader look into the different avenues we investigated over numerous performances. There are also a few recordings of group improvisations used as textural fodder, and all of the shorter percussion samples are taken from these performances.
For Kate Conklin.
in her garden II - (2000) - for soprano saxophone, vibraphone, bass clarinet and bass - four page transposed score, everyone reads from score
A re-scoring / re-imagining, originally written for Return To One during the twilight of that ensembles life when I was writing more "chamber-esque" pieces for the group. Most of that music got transferred over to the woodwind version of Everything After, whom you hear on this recording, a live performance at the Downey Museum of Art, on a series curated by the wonderful Harry Scorzo. This was the first concert this group played and the debut performance of this piece.
following the moon - (2005, revised 2005-2007) - three page score
This piece was debuted in an incomplete form at a concert at San Diego State University March 17th 2005. Since that time the piece was revised, expanded and finished and has been performed numerous time with the ensemble Everything After. This recording comes from a recording session of that group in summer 2007.
Given time to see / Finding time to leave / Almost time / Follow too soon.
trust + respect = friendship - (1998) - for wind ensemble, 16 page score, parts (piccolo, two flutes, two clarinets, two bass clarinets, two oboes, two bassoons, four trumpets, four horns, three tenor trombones, bass trombone, three tubas, digeridoo, percussion- I. 5 timpani, crotales; II. (two players) airhose, snare drum, bass drum, marimba, xylophone; III. bamboo wind chimes, bongos/two toms, xylophone; IV. glockenspiel, two triangles, three suspended cymbals, three brake drums; V. vibraphone (with bow), coilspring, maracas, rachet; VI. two bell plates, small thundersheet, gong, tam tam, marimba; VII. chimes)
This piece was written for a fourth year college music theory project, scored for wind ensemble and large percussion section. The original score had notated percussion interludes between the three main sections. It was performed once at SDSU with full instrumentation, including Anne Whatoffs' F# didgeridoo, which i wrote the piece around. After that performance, i condensed the score down for Return To One to perform it as a quartet, leaving the percussion interlude sections open for improvisation. We performed the piece often, documenting it on the release Hopes and Dreams (Circumvention Music 0000). Several years later, the woodwind version of Everything After performed the piece several times during that groups short life. I have to admit that performing it so much over the years, I have grown a bit sick of it, realizing that i've written much better structures and melodies over the years. At certain points of working on this collection, I cut this piece from the lineup. It is only in the final year or so that I have a better view of the piece and where it fits in.
When I bought a recording rig to record the first Skeleton Key Orchestra CD (circa 2003), one of the first projects i started was to track the original orchestration of this piece. This meandered on for a few years, getting a few parts recorded but never finishing. From these recordings, you hear Lee Elderton and Ward Baxter both on soprano saxophone (a key structural part of the piece), some of the brass section and Greg Buhlert on bass. After the open vistas of RTO improvising on this piece, I wanted to keep something of all the possibilities offered with the open sections, so I spent quite a bit of time processing and editing a collection of field recordings as new interludes. Most of these were gathered from a walk around SDSU - buses, performances in the musical hall, people walking thru montys, etc.
And of course, somewhere during this time a harddrive with the session on it went down, and I lost most of what got recorded, mostly various brass and percussion parts. Apologies all around. In 2013, with some of the earlier files found on a backup disc, I began re-tracking the piece, and realized that The Scorpion Decides was the perfect ensemble to deal with this whole mess, using the field recordings as stepping off points for their open improvisations.
Thanks to Sean Conway for building an F# didgeridoo for this recording. Thanks to David Ward-Steinman for taking my $10 recording fee and then never bothering to record the original performance of this piece.
The piece has been presented with different names over the years, but this one feels right, a reminder of old musical comrades and new directions. For Lee Elderton, Ward Baxter, and Josh Jones.
for DPH - (1999) - for improvising trio and tape, fifteen page score (everyone reads from score - tape, woodwind, bass and percussion), CD (15:23), audio realized August/September 1999
Composed for the ensemble Return To One at a point when we were still a trio, this piece uses quite a few different notations as well as leaving room for solos from the group members. This is the third and final recording of this piece. The first recording (featuring Lee Elderton, Josh Jones and Nathan Hubbard) has never been released and the second recording (featuring Ward Baxter, Justin Grinnell and Nathan Hubbard) is heard on the CD (compositions 1998-2005) (Circumvention Music 00000). Below are program notes from the debut (and only) performance - Monday, October 4, 1999 at San Diego State University -
"After forty-seven years of running a contracting business in Encinitas, the city of Encinitas decided this year to cancel my grandfathers company's lease, thus forcing them to move. I decided to start taping some of the sounds of the yard as a way of remembering something that has been a major part of my life. During this time in my life, I was listening to and studying pieces by Kenneth Gaburo, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Tony Oxley for electronic tape and various instruments. I decided these tapes I was making would make an interesting piece. The tape was digitally recorded to mini-disc and later, using a four-track recorder, was overdubbed, looped, recorded backwards and pitch shifted. As well as a wide variety of sounds (including oil compressors, gas compressors, tractors, engines, back-up sirens, a creek and various crows and birds), the voices on the tape are - Don Hubbard Sr., Marty Jens, Jim Jenson and Nathan Hubbard. The piece originally started with political overtones but listening to it now, as a finished product, I believe it is simply a statement that things change. For my grandfather and my father."
Since the time this piece was composed, Jim Jenson, Marty Jens, and Don Hubbard Sr. have all passed on from this Encinitas coil. This performance is dedicated to them.
the hill - (2013) -
The hill refers to the grassy hill overlooking Dieguino Junior High School, it was (and still might be) the spot that the smokers, stoners and other "bad kids" congregated before school. Being a loner and music geek at this age, I naturally gravitated towards these people. Looking back, it seems so easy how you fall in with similar minds, but i wonder if it is that easy. What ever way it happened, i look back fondly on that time period and all of us trying to figure out how we fit into this Encinitas coil. By the time high school hit, I was in a different world, and didn't reconnect with many of these people till my 30s.
This piece uses a sample of Tommy Maher and myself jamming in my garage circa 1989 as a starting point, from there the track was built up with several layers of notation and different performers from both CA and AZ. I am very happy to have Tommy on this recording, as he is one of the first people i ever played music with.
For Kristian Smock, Suzy Zucker, Rich Sanderson, Levan Ridick, Ben Todd, Danny Cantrell, Paul Martus, Aaron Hill, Evan Zumbrennan, but mostly Cassandra, where ever you are.
memory, darkness and the western wind - (2001, revised 2003) - for improvising quintet, piano and tape, two page quintet score, one page piano score, CD (3:22), audio realized July 2001
Written for the group Cosmologic, this piece was originally conceived of as a studio piece so that Scott Walton could play both the piano and bass parts. It was later expanded to include guitarist Al Scholl, and was recorded during the sessions for the Cosmologic recording III (Circumvention Music ?). Designed to broaden the sound language of Cosmologic, it includes a notated piano interlude and the full band improvising with pre-recorded audio. This audio was constructed out of processed florescent light and clock recordings with pitch shifted brake drums entering towards the end. This section was conceived as a stepping off point for extended improvisation and a chance to have all of Cosmologic play percussion. Inspired by a strange evening in Tijuana when Greg Buhlert and I went to see/hear Pan Sonic at Don Loope - my truck was broken into and someone stole my backpack and stickbag, containing minidiscs from a recent RTO tour and a book of my poetry. This led me to think about the RTO minidiscs, which I never got to listen to.
This piece is dedicated to Justin and Laurel Grinnell, two of the few people to attend the concert documented on a lost mindisc.
The Greatest Story Never Told - (2011-2013) - samples culled from San Dieguito High School marching band competition judges tapes 1982-1993. Includes The New Fight Song (2013)
By the time I graduated from San Dieguito High School in 1994, Superintendent Bill Berrier had spent close to 8 years cutting the music program bit by bit, laying off teachers and wiping out budgets, all as a means to fire my band director Douglas Campbell. What strange grudge Berrier held against Campbell, I will never know, but this piece was put together as a way of looking back on those formative years, the late night rehearsals, carrying heavy drums strapped to our backs for hours on ends, etc. And also the closed doors and glass ceilings I constantly encountered from athletic directors, vice-principals and band boosters. All of this while us students furiously worked on saving the music program and raising awareness on what was going on.
Originally, this piece was a cut-up of cassette tape samples of SDHS performing at competitions and various judges comments. But I quickly realized that the addition of Ogd_S(11) Translation Has Failed would add new dimensions to the piece, and that the cutup production aesthetic of that group would offer new options. Most of the samples are culled from a SDHS performance at the Vista High Tournament in 1983 as well as several performances circa 1992-1993. The radio samples are all lo-band AM, collected late summer thru fall 2013. "What we want is a leader".
I should mention that when I arrived at SDHS as a freshman, my man Francisco taught me the drumline cadence, which he learned from his older brother. We were never able to figure out how far back this cadence went, but it was passed down to each new generation with slight changes and developments. Thinking back on it now, it was really the only thing that was "ours", and I felt that a recording of the cadence would be an integral part of completing this piece. However, none existed, so I very happy when almost all of the members of the drumline agreed to the idea of meeting in 2013 to record, some 20 after our adventure ended. The closing ensemble heard on this recording is (most of) the drumline circa 1993, assembled in one place for the first time since high school. I have added to this a new fight song, written as i worked on the piece, and heard earlier in the piece in ensemble formation. Anybody want to start a petition to have San Dieguito Academy adopt it?
Looking back is not always pleasant, but old friends are the best. Why isn't Ben Reinbold on this track?
This piece is dedicated to Douglas Campbell - among many lessons learned, thanks for teaching me a five stroke roll and how to conduct in 3/4.