After having turned professional as a drummer in 1980 and touring on the working club scene for a few months, I left the UK. In Paris I developed a mini drumset (20 years before the modern Jungle Kits of today) and played with rock groups, jazz, theatre and solo. I also performed in all kinds of locations. Developing my identity and creativity. All through the 80's I performed all over Europe from Norway to Yugoslavia. Recording for various labels in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
In 1990 I hammered out my first gong. This opened up a whole new world for me and I constantly worked on my metalcraft with guidance from metalworker friends and a Norwegian blacksmith who after a long time of observation gave me a masterclass in forging techniques. I learnt welding and started creating steel sculptures. In 1995 I had my first solo exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark with steel sculptures, gongs and mobiles and since then I've exhibited in Norway, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, England and Wales.
After a very vivid dream in the early 90's I saw a drummer playing a percussion set with a living bronze dragons wing. I knew I had to try and make this into an instrument. It was in 1997 that I finally forged my first Dragon Cymbal. This led to a new direction of creating cymbal and gong sculptures which opens up new possibilities with sound and a different approachto performing on these sculptures.
My percussion set eventually becamea sculpture in itself, incorporating forked (wood) branches for the stand with a forged iron beam that everything is bolted onto.For practical reasons I built a lightweight set around 20 kilo's.Which is about as light as I can get it with the sounds I need. I've also started to use aluminium for drum shells and drum rings, I recently have started to use sticks, branches or bamboo which I aquire on location to assemble pyramid gong stands. Since 1999 I have made my own sticks and mallets from branches that I find in woodlands and forests in different countries.
I'm working constantly with sculpture. Mostly cut and forged stainless steel, ocassionaly forged iron. My sonorous sculptures are now mostly forged in stainless steel, although I still work with bronze for certain works. I create all the forms I work with by cutting and grinding, hammering and fire.
I'm developing my solo performances with my percussion sculptures and gongs, moving towards a trancelike experience with resonant metal sounds and powerful rhythms. I'm involved with the English group Cipher with Theo Travis and Dave Stuart and visual artist Jim Boxhall for Elemental Forces project for the East Midlands Arts Council in England.
I still perform with some of Europes best improvisors. Dietmar Diesner, Frode Gjerstad and Ad Peijnenburg. Percussion duo recording projects with Paal Nielsen Love and Erik Qvick. Contemporary percussion with Trevor Taylor and Dirk Wachtelaer in Kortrijk Percussion Ensemble. I'm also working more with frame drums and bohdran and rediscovering my Celtic roots. Recreator will be recording and performing more in the future and Metal Moves will be performing on new sculptures with more trancelike, powerful energies in unusual locations - such as castles, forests, docklands, industrial zones and old buildings.
Steve Hubback's biography:
I'm from Barry in South Wales on the Welsh Riviera. I started playing drums in my bedroom when I was 15 and upset all the neighbours.
My favourite LP at this time was Deep Purple's "Fireball." At 16 I had to work, so I worked on ships for 2 years including lighthouse supply vessels, freighters and research vessels. Then all sorts of jobs, like grave digging, this did my head in, especially after an horrific experience with a half decomposed stiff.
At 19 years of age I attended Barry Jazz Summerschool and that was the catalyst that sealed my destiny. After seeing and hearing Tony Oxley play, I really started to work. During a workshop with Phil Waschmann and Evan Parker (I didn't have a clue what was happening)Evan's playing opened me up to sound exploration and colour.
After this I started a Jazz and Rock club at the Barry Hotel. Wednesday nights for Jazz and Friday for the rock. The Jazz club promoted all kinds of jazz and quickly gained a good reputation. Various organisations wanted to be involved, but they did not want to help financial. The Welsh Jazz Society put on Don Weller and Bryan Spring Quartet and Sam Woodyard. The rest was done without support, just wits and good intentions. The manager of the hotel was not always delighted with some of the colourful characters that participated in these events and it all came to a sudden close after a certain local musician was cought red handed helping himself to a generous glass of cognac behind the bar.
In 1980 I got my first professional gig with a comedy show band from Birmingham called "The Funnybones." The music just was not happening, but their humour on the road was quite amusing.
Anyway, after the first 2 weeks of being in the band, the money went down and soon after I was getting less than I would on the dole. So I quit during a tour in Scotland.
1981. Then I was in Paris where the seeds of culture were planted in my soul. I played with "The Jive", a rock n roll trio with rather mischievous characters. We played at culture centers in the Paris suburbs. The Jive only lasted a couple of months, and then I met guitarist Bob Goffo Goffman at Les Halles. We made a trio with an Argentinian contrabass player, he vanished for a while (he actually was arrested an invited to spend a week in Jail for not having his papers in order) so while the bassist was in jail we met the amazing poet/guitarist/songwriter and singer Joe Hamilton and we formed "Splat!" and became a cult band on the Paris underground. I remember this French geezer who became our manager, after some disastrous bookings, he was fired. Some time later I noticed our ex manager begging in the metro. Then we ended up living in two rooms at Place de Innocents with an ex-millionaire, who had gone from owning a castle to, well, living in two rooms that were certainly not to the standard he had once known. I must say he took it all very well and had good humour.
"Splat" was an experience with entertaining activities happening every day, it was also good to be playing and developing my skills every day. I also met and worked with the legendary African singer/guitarist Razz Johnny. I played percussion with Italian dancer Loredana Celi.
My first experience with avant garde theatre. Did a gig standing in for Sam Woodyard one night in Versailles with Bob Vatel. He was great, a really good guy. I developed my mini drum set 16 inch bass drum, 8 and 10 inch toms, 10 inch snare or Sonor orchestral piccolo snare. This was way before the new Jungle kits of today. For 10 years you couldn't even buy 10 inch snare wires. I had to make my own.
I played all the time and really developed my drumming and musicality. Discovered Italian cymbals Ufip, Tosco and Zanki and
played Ufips up until 1990, when I started making my own cymbals. I also played at The Cardiff festival in 1982 with Keith Tippet and Alan Wilkinson.
Played in various groups with Fellow Welshman Dave Hoppo Hopkins and Goffo.Until 1985 I formed "It's My Head" with Goffo. We did various concerts in Scandinavia. After Goffo quit in 1986 the great Norwegian photographer Per Talleraas (we met on the train from Copenhagen to Oslo and were the only two people to be searched by the Swedish customs officers, a most unpleasant experience) joined as viual artist. Projecting his Slides and super 8 films and in 1987 I persuaded the Swedish phenomenon Jorgen Cremonese to join on guitar. He's still one of the most incredible guitarists I know. We played major events in Scandinavia and recorded the now legendary "It's My Head" (grey) album on Urania records which is now classed as Romantic Gothic! and is still getting reviews.
1986. I got my first record deal in Berlin with "Dossier records" and released my first solo LP "Be Alright When I'm Dead"
Played extensively all over Europe, festivals, concerts. Played drums for a Solkorset installation that was televised in Aarhus.
1987. I joined Morten Lervigs Atlantis Transit and played interesting venues parks in Copenhagen, Carlsberg glyptoteket. Studio broadcast for national Danish TV featuring sceneography by Per Victor and we recorded one album "Tabor" for "Olufsen Records". Played at the "SULT Festival" in Aarhus with Henrik Jespersen. Performed a solo concert at "Druga Godba festival" in Ljubljana which also featured David Moss, Jon Rose, Elliot Sharp and the legendary Taxi Pata Pata.
1988. Lots of different musical work including a 14 day tour of East Germany (DDR) with Dietmar Diesner, one of Europe's best and most creative saxophonists. "It's My Head" co headlined UR Festival at Hennie Onstad Senter outside Oslo.
1989. Concerts with Atlantis Transit. It's My Head Participated with Harald Viuff, Loredana Celi, Z'ev, Bird Yak and Kix on the infamous Mad House. I remember 2 hours before the show opened, a large pool of water had been constructed using chairs as the rim and a heavy
tarpaulin tucked over them. A vast amount of water had been pouring in and at the critical moment, saw while eating my dinner,
the whole thing break apart and a tidal wave came at the diners. This greatly upset everyones meal and a high stress situation arose,
trying to clean out the water, not get electrified and rebuild the pool. The audience experienced something unusual, which is that we insisted that everyone be given free wine to enjoy during the show.You can imagine the results.
1990. Started to learn gong making - which then went into cymbal making. Learnt welding and blacksmithing and started to create sculptures. My gongs and cymbals were played by great musicians such as Paolo Vinaccia, Marilyn Mazur and Joe Lovano. Played a solo support concert for Bill Brufords Earthworks in Aarhus. Last "It's My Head" performance at Huset Aarhus during the jazz festival. The line up on this occasion was me and Kim Gronborg. Performed at Aarhus Jazz Fest. Worked with Harald Viuff and Oivind Weingaarde on Icarus, large outside performance and I destroyed a rented cement mixer before the show. Had a 3 meter spiralling flame coming out of the barrel - Awesome! Just so happened that this mixers drive cog was solid rubber which melted and the whole thing seized, an expensive experience that the video crew missed.
1991. Performed on Solkorset events, solo percussion performances and worked on metalwork.Performed with Pipaluk in Vibration.
Circle of gongs and dancers at Ridehuset in Aarhus.
1992. Toured Scandinavia with The Directors. Played 2 nights at Soothed By Music Festival in Aarhus. Became a part of Amorfus with Bastiaan Maris, Geo Homsey, Barry Schwartz, Shelley Cooke, Barney Haynes, Kim Gronborg and Robyn Lubeker. Made the worlds biggest gong, 155 kilos, 4mm thick, 2.5 meters diameter.
1993. Went to Eindhoven to create an exhibition of gongs at de Fabriek. Performed with The Directors - Jon Klette and Tony Moore. Exhibited giant gong at Parkens Anatomi Sculpture Park in Aalborg. Together with guitarist Egill Johannsson and Didgeridoo player Ewin McKinnon composed and recorded music for the documentary film "Van" by Jan Haugaard.
1994 Concerts in Scandinavia and Nthe Netherlands as solo percussionist. Worked on sculptures. Recording with Tony Moore and started on the first Metal Moves recordings. Performed at De Onderwereld in Eindhoven with Taif, Tony Moore, Stok and Geo Homsey. This event featured a propane dragon, triggered by my bass drum with the flames shooting out of the water. The dragon was built by Stok and Geo Homsey.
1995. First solo exhibition at Aften Galleriet in Aarhus. Gallery was packed with people and performed with Tineke Noordhoek and later with Tony Moore. BBC Radio broadcast with Tony Moore in London. Performed in Berlin and Oslo. Selected sculptures at Oslo Jazzhouse.
1996 I spent a month in South Korea with Lim Dong Changs World is One Ensemble which featured fellow Welshman Tony Brooks. This was a fantastic experience and we met many amazing people including the Buddhist master drummer Kim Dae Hwan.
Later that year I created Sea Sculptures for Kolding Fjord and performed in Kolding Harbour (on a raft) and Copenhagen with The Hydronorts. Bastiaan Maris, Geo Homsey, Stok, Barry Schwartz, Harald Viuff and Paul Burwell. Created first ever gong sculpture in Wales.
1997. I toured with Frank Castro and Gum Drum. The 97 Swiss tour was was of the funniest weeks of my life, really funny crew. Four drummers and Frank doing voodoo/Shaman performance. Later did a 2 month European tour with Gum Drum. Large solo exhibition and Metal Moves concert at 2B in Eindhoven.
1998. Exhibitions in The Netherlands and Germany. Solo concerts -2 weeks solo exhibition at Rastatte in Aachen. Composed and recorded music for the film "Gracias a la Vida" by Marret Jansen.
1999, Recorded in Stavanger with Frode Gjerstad. Exhibition of gong sculptures at Gallery Sting and exhibited steel sculptures at Gallery Neo.
2000. Metal Moves played at Montreux Jazz Fest, Effenaar and Tromp in Eindhoven. Performed with Assif Tsahar at Zuid Nederlands Jazz Fest in Eindhoven. Started recording with Ad Peijnenburg. Formed "Recreator" with Nick Le Beat and Theo Travis. First concert in Iceland for Purpuri fashion show with Jord Bifast.
2001. Concerts and recording in Norway with Frode Gjerstad. Worked with Dirk Wachtelaer and Trevor Taylor in Kortrijk Belgium, recorded and performed at Happy New Ears Festival as Kortrijk Percussion Project.
2002. National Icelandic TV broadcast on Mosaig with Jord Bifast. First Recreator concerts in Belgrade - Refract Festival and at a park in Utrecht. Metal Moves live national Dutch TV broadcast on Vrije geluiden on VPRO. Metal Moves concert at Oslo University.
2003. Exhibition of sculptures at Oslo University. Metal Moves played at Rock am Sogn Festival in Oslo. Welsh Film maker Tom Swindell starts filming documentary of my work in Oslo. RecordedgOff The Map in Oslo with Paal Nielsen Love. Exhibited a percussion sculpture at Washington Gallery Penarth in South Wales. Smaller sculpters at Gallery Fold in Reykjavik..
2004. Founded the Festival of Wonerous Sounds (Undraverk) in Iceland with Sif G and Erik Qvick. Festival featured Metal Moves performing on a new set of sculptures in Stainless steel (stainless steel generously sponsored by Malmtekni in Reykjavik) Z'ev performed solo. Erick Qvick performed solo and Trevor Taylor performed on the incredible Sculptures Sonores by Francois and Bernard Baschet.
Metal Moves performed at Southend Jazz festival in England. Created 3 stainless steel sculptures for Coed Hills Rural artspace in Wales. The 2 sonorous sculptures Traveller and Dragonchyme are permanently installed there.
2005. Exhibition and solo performance at Red Biddy Gallery in Guildford England. Working together with Cipher, Theo Travis and Dave Sturt and visual artist Jim Boxal for a large scale concert for East Midlands arts Council. First book of sculptures Fire and Steel published by Soundworld in England. Creating new sculptures and working on solo trance drumming. Filming me making gongs and sculpture forging at Coed Hills in July. Finish filming the documentary with Tom Swindell in August.
I“ve been fortunate in my career to have worked with some of the greatest musicians and artists. Including Per Talleraas, Jörgen Cremonese, Alan Wilkinson, Dietmar Diesnar (we toured DDR for 2 weeks, 1 year before the fall of the wall) Rasmus B Lunding. Atlantis Transit, Akemi Kuhn, Lim Dong Chang ( toured for 1 month with Mr Lim in South korea 1996) Bastiaan Marris. Barry Schwartz. Chico Mcmurtry. Solkorset with Robyn Lubeker and Kim Grönborg. Tineke Noordhoek. Daved Moss. Andrea Centazzo. Nick Le Beat. Theo Travis. Frode Gjerstad. Jörš Bifast. Tin josefsdotter. Tony Lang. Ole Warming (friend to artists and an expert socializer) P O Jörgens. J D Jensen, H M Viuff. Öivind Weingaarde. Hugh Metcalf. Arnt Hjörtkilde. Frank Castro and Gum Drum (One of the funniest weeks of my life was touring Switzerland with this group, I had stomach pains from laughter). Edward Vesala (we never worked together, but he did accept an invitation to one of my parties in Aarhus,it was an honour to have him as a guest of honour). Dave, Hoppo Hopkins. The Jive. Splat with Goffo. Ad Pijnenburg. Dirk Wachtelaer. Trevor Taylor. Birgit Lökke Larsen. Tony Brooks. Marie Kavatzu. Jon Klette. Tony Moore. Ans, Kathinka and Yonina Meilan. Hasse Poulsen. Assif Tsahar and Miyoko Katako.