Beyond drumkit and electronics, the Vibraphone is one of my main instruments. This page is documents different ensembles i have led with the vibraphone as well as thoughts on doubling/substitutions. This page is an outgrowth of a similar page on the Everything After website detailing my background with the vibraphone, as well as different ensembles and blending instruments.

The debut of two long pieces in PHX AZ, Parameters I + II. A really nice moment to perform with so many people I had met in AZ. Still amazed at the lineup. And how hot it was. September 5th 2012. Love to you all.






Performing Eric Saties Vexations in PHX AZ as part of the world-wide vexations happening. This was at Wes Hawkins teaching studio in PHX. We did 30 minute shifts, I played three different shifts over the course of the performance. June 21st 2012. Photo by Wes Hawkins.






Nathan Hubbard/Passengers at the Loft UCSD. Another case of mics and no monitors. Life of a vibraphonist. My 70s Deagan vibraphone.








Nathan Hubbard/Passengers at Winter Cooler. In the middle of the period of writing and performing the Pattern Field series. Nazos last gig with the Wurlitzer before we moved over to the Rhodes, which we found meshed better with the vibraphone. The one gig where I tried to get Nazo to cover synth parts before I gave up and took over those parts.




Nathan Hubbard/Passengers. Kava Lounge January 2011. Photo by Michael Klayman.







Nathan Hubbard/Passengers - beginnings.







David Borgo and Paul Pellegrins Kronomorphic group, this was one of our only two live performances, this one at Porters Pub at UCSD opening for Mike Keneally. Thats my 70s Deagans, the smart-ass sound guy refused my demands to be miked w 57s, he put some condensers on the vibes and then told me he couldn't get me any level in the monitors because of feedback. I should have thrown my water bottle at him. Photo by Jeffrey Kaiser.




Recording for David Borgo and Paul Pellegrins Kronomorphic group, at Studio A at UCSD. A borrowed vibraphone from the music building. Funny story, that. I also snuck in a bit of marimba on a few tracks. Even got to use Steve Schicks old practice marimba for it. Photo by nmh? maybe David Borgo.






Nathan Hubbard/Everything After at SDSU, the final quintet lineup with Rick Helzer on piano. October 15th 2008.







Kris Tiner Trio, second set of the gig below, me doing my old Return To One trick of playing vibraphone and drumkit together. Jeanette Kangas' drums, my 70s Deagan vibraphone. October 12th 2008. Photo by Ellen Weller.






recording session for the woodwind version of Everything After at Brad Dutz's home studio in Tujunga CA. Thats Brads 70s Deagan vibes. date ?. Photo by NMH.














Nathan Hubbard/Everything After, Kava Gallery October 12th 2008. First performance of this lineup. My 70s Deagan vibraphone.








Glatter/Hubbard - Spring Reverb 2008 - vibraphone and organ duo. We have a bunch of these duets recorded and have never released them. April 3rd 2008.








Nathan Hubbard Trio with Alex Cline and Justin Grinnell. Things we learned with Something Strange Is Afoot. My 70s Deagan vibraphone. A one off gig in LA.






recording session at SDSU with Ellen Weller and Scott Walton, I believe we're recording the piece In The Year Of The Lion (for Wadada Leo Smith). Thats the schools Deagan vibraphone, beatup bars and all. Photo by nmh.







recording session with Something Strange Is Afoot. My 70s Deagan vibraphone, also note the tibetan bell and bow on the stand. Summer 2005? My hair looks amazing. Photo by James Burton.









ah yes - the vibraphone and the stick bag. from a live gig @ KFJC in Los Altos Hills - Something Strange Is Afoot. march 27th 2005. Photo by nmh.







The Brian Eisenberg Orchestra. What a strange moment this was. Anyways, playing vibes with a big band is quite a challenge, especially one thats performing acoustically. Usually you have to pound or wait for your moments. This is at SDSU, i'm fairly sure i'm using the schools Deagan vibes. Photo by ?.





Nathan Hubbard/Everything After, the first lineup of this group. Basically the group Something Strange Is Afoot with Melonie Grinnell on piano and vocals. The beginning of my love affair with the sound of the vibraphone and piano together. Same concert as pictured below. March 17th 2005. Photo by Harley Magsino.





The group Something Strange Is Afoot performing at SDSU. This was my "pocket trio", formed after Return To One to investigate modular notation and multi-layered improvisation. I think this is the Jenco vibraphone I purchased with my brother and used for several years. March 17th 2005. Photo by Harley Magsino.




Return To One. This was late period for us, performing as a chamber group on a concert of my compositions. I.e. not our usual situation. I think that is the universities Musser vibraphone. Too many overtones. Killer damper pedal. October 29th 2002.




woah early - myself, Hollis Lee, Matt Bennett and Chad Zullinger perform at Palomar College, circa 1996? I'm pretty sure that is Pat Pfiffners vibraphone which he let borrow to practice on.







Vibraphone is a tricky instrument to blend with. Over the past several years i've lead several groups that were formed to investigate the timbral possibilities of different instruments with the vibes -

1 . Passengers (guitar version, 2007-2008) - vibes and guitar with two electric basses and drums, the same lineup Gary Burton used in 1970's for the classic recordings Ring and Passengers. In my mind, the guitar gives a bit more bite to the attack of the vibes as well as challenging normal notions of vibraphone voicings.

2. Passengers (electric piano version, 2009-present) - vibes and electric piano with two electric basses and drums, a slight change on the earlier lineup. More of a study into how to play acoustic vibraphone over rock drumset and two electric basses.

3. Everything After (woodwind version, 2007) - a look into combining the vibes with flute and the acoustic bass with bass clarinet. For me, the flute smoothes out the vibes. This can be a challenge of orchestration in different ranges of the flute, but the payoff is well worth it - its a beautiful sound.

4. Everything After (piano version, 2004-2009) - Similar to the guitar, the piano has a better attack than the vibes as well as a longer sustain. The wide range of the piano also offers new compositional ideas, playing above and below the vibes and bass.


Using the vibraphone as a starting point, i have utilized several instruments as an doubler. These also serve as an extension, both in terms of sound/timbre and range -

Glockenspiel - The top of the mallet instrument family, the glockenspiel sounds two octaves above where written, has ridiculus ring and a glass-like sheen to its sound. Used to double a vibes line is to double highlight that line. To be used in moderation. Works well as an extension of the upper range of the vibes.

Tone Bells - The cheap second-hand cousin of the song bells (which i can't afford). Tone bells sound one octave above where written. A nice compromise to the glockenspiel, with a mellower sound but not as much sustain. All three together (glock, tone bells and vibes) is wonderful.

Chimes - Intense sustain and a somewhat cliche timbre. In my mind doesn't match well timbre-wise with the vibes, but works well as a substitute.

Marimba - The woody lower brother of the vibraphone. I have always admired people who use the marimba as their main instrument (Thurman Barker for example) because i've never managed to make it work. In terms of doubling i find that the wood vs. metal and very different attack of the two instruments cause serious difficulties. As with the chimes, the marimba as a substitute or as a counter-voice is my preference.

Synthesizer - A recent obsession. I have always shied away from the in-organic nature of synths, but have recently found new vistas by using them as doublers or substitutes. My preference is for cheap analog synths (Casios, etc.) and smaller amplifiers.