The Rubberband




The Rubberband is an ad hoc string improvisation ensemble. Originally formed as part of the splinter group project, which forms smaller groups from Nathan Hubbards large ensemble, Skeleton Key Orchestra. Since that time, the Rubberband has had a long career of various failures.



improvisation - Gascia Ouzounian, Al Scholl, Alex Khalil, Scott Walton, Justin Grinnell, Joscha Oetz - live recording from a concert at The Space January 2003 (excerpt)

improvisation (farewell Joscha) - Sunshine Vogt, Jon Garner, Justin Grinnell, Joscha Oetz - studio recording December 2004

improvisation - Kris Apple, Sarah Paik, Sam Lopez, Andrew Gottlieb, Harley Magsino, Nathan Hubbard - live recording from a concert at Spring Reverb 2010 (excerpt)


      The Rubberbands first performance was presented January 2003 on the Other Ideas at The Space concert series in San Diego. The group share the bill with the Spectrum Saxophone Quartet. The lineup that night was bassists Scott Walton, Joscha Oetz and Justin Grinnell, guitarist Al Scholl, violinist Gascia Ouzounian and muliti-instrumentalist Alex Khalil, who showed up with his cello and oud, but ended up playing only the oud. Amsterdam based violinist Mary Oliver happened to be in town and sat in on the second piece of the evening.
      After this, Hubbard stupidly took the reins and made some "big decisions", which resulted in a shift of instrumentation and a move toward notated pieces. This configuration found its lineup in the composition next love (all things want to fly), which was written for string octet and two percussionists. This piece was recorded in the summer of 2003 for the Skeleton Key Orchestra CD (CMCD039A/B) with violinists Gascia Ouzounian and Adam Ainsworth, guitarists Al Scholl and Jon Garner, bassists Scott Walton and Joscha Oetz, percussionists James Burton and Nathan Hubbard. Due to "scheduling conflicts", the cello section was shrunken down to Jarrod Chilton covering all the parts. Thanks for not returning my calls, Alex!

     Towards the closing moments of 2003, the group premiered four new compositions at Dizzy's Jazz Club in San Diego. This was the week of the Cedar fires, so we had a few cancellations due to road closures. The group was - violinist Gascia Ouzounian, cellist Joyce Rooks, guitarists Al Scholl and Jon Garner, bassists Joscha Oetz and Justin Grinnell and percussionists James Burton and Nathan Hubbard.


     The group functioned in this situation for several years, enjoying the addition of violinist Sunshine Voigt and cellist Carolyn Tyler. But after a few years, the demands of dealing with one high maintenance violinist and the never ending difficulties of finding classically trained string players that can or are interested in improvisation wore down Hubbards unflagging optimism in this group. Outside of functioning as the string section for Skeleton Key Orchestra, The Rubberband spent most of 2006-2008 inactive.
      As of  2009, the Rubberband has re-formed into something similar to its beginnings - an ad hoc string improvisation ensemble. Currently we have been performing and recording with a varying line up of - violinists Ray Suen and Kris Apple, guitarists Samuel Lopez, Andrew Gottlieb and Joe Bigham, cellist Sarah Paik, bassists Harley Magsino and Justin Grinnell, pianists Nazo Zakkak and Nina Deering, and electronic/homemade instruments Nathan Hubbard.

previously -

Thursday April 8th 2010 - Spring Reverb - The Rubberband + KaiBorg and Pedestrian Deposits - Desi'n'Friends Point Loma 8pm $10

Thursday January 13th 2005 - String Improvisation Workshop with Mary Oliver - Voz Alta 6-8pm $10 RSVP kindly requested - thisemaildoesn'twork (at) castorandpolluxmusic (dot) com

February 24th 2004 - Splinter Groups - The Rubberband, Skeleton Key Woodwind Ensemble - other ideas at the space - 916 Washington San Diego 8pm $5

October 30th 2003 - Splinter Groups - The Rubberband, Looking West Ensemble - Dizzy's 344 7th Avenue Downtown San Diego 8:00pm $8

January 14th 2003 - Splinter Groups - The Rubberband, Spectrum Saxophone Quartet - other ideas at the space - 916 Washington San Diego 8pm $5


The Rubberband is a splinter group of Nathan Hubbard/Skeleton Key Orchestra. Skeleton Key Orchestra is a multi-platform creative music ensemble formed in 2001 by Nathan Hubbard. The splinter group concept examines the inner workings of the large group by separating the ensemble into smaller groups to focus on musical and social interation, continued investigation into each instruments extended possibilities and the (re)defining of community vs. individual. The formation of The Rubberband in 2003 was the start of the splinter group project.