(concise) Passengers is a quintet (vibraphone/electric guitar/2 electric bass guitars/drums) playing repetitive music that melds slow moving harmonic motion with a motoric rhythmic base.

(longer)  For the last several years, Nathan Hubbard has been presenting concerts under the moniker Passengers, a five piece group playing rhythmic, repetitive music falling into the crack between several genres. For Hubbard, this was move away from the multi-section compositions of his groups Return To One and Skeleton Key Orchestra, into a different but similar space dealing with the notation vs. improvisation dilemma as well as his continuing focus on slowing down his music. This is also a continuation of several groups he has run which use the vibraphone as a starting point.

    NH/P music is written in groups, with multiple pieces focussing on a similar idea. Where the Pattern Field series dealt with cell notation, the Sanctuary series added a large wind ensemble to the mix to extend the thought of breath length, and the Parameters series enlarged the ensemble to 20 performers playing antiphonal melodic phrases. The most recent Boundary Structures pieces brings us back to the five piece lineup, with lattice like overlapping structures that slowly shift and develop, changing perceptions of downbeats and density.

(more) Currently there are six compositional areas -
1. Pattern Field - seven compositions of pitch notation for four voices.
2. Parameters - three extended compositions built from longer pitched rhythmic vamps and/or assymetrical canons.
3. Boundary Structures - six compositions pitch based loops and canons.
4. Sanctuary - three compositions for quintet + multiple wind players.
5. Slack Theory - five compositions of thru-notated music for four voices
6. collected older rhythmic material often written for other groups (Return To One, the Rubberband, etc.).



(complete history)

September 2007-January 2008 - Nathan Hubbard/Passengers first two (three) concerts were presented as a tribute group to Gary Burtons seminal group and recordings of the 1970's (Passengers and Ring, mostly). Hubbard began to write original material for the group at this time, but it never worked out for multiple reasons. However, the group did perform early versions of "Slack Theory IV" and "once more around this burning sphere". See the "early" page for more info.

December 2009 - After a brief hiatus, Passengers reformed with a slightly different lineup/intent/name for Hubbards Three Concerts for the Winter Solstice. The performance was a combination of several older Hubbard tunes that seemed to fit, as well as the first three Pattern Field pieces. This new music found the group taking on a more hocketed sheen, moving away from earlier interests like canons and baroque counterpoint. Energized by the performance, Hubbard began booking performances and working to complete the Pattern Field series.

November 2010-May 2011 - Winter '10/Spring '11 was spent rehearsing and performing the complete Pattern Field series. This period also saw the debut of the Sanctuary Series. Studio recording of the Pattern Field series.

Fall 2011 - The debut of the first two pages of the piece Parameters I and a slow shift from performing the Pattern Field series. Performing work continues on the Sanctuary series. Members of the group record one half of "once more around this burning sphere" for Hubbards never-ending Encinitas And Everything After project.

Summer 2012-Summer 2013 - the debut of complete Parameters I + II + III, more performances with an expanded lineup of 18 or so musicians. Live recording of the Parameters series. 

Fall 2013 - move away from the Parameters piece into a new set of pieces, entitled Boundary Structures. Workshopping, performing, revising. Half of this series was debuted at the Carlsbad Music Festival September 2013, with additional pieces and revisions continuing into winter 2014.