Biography

Steve is from Barry in South Wales where his musical career began in 1978 playing in local rock and rock and roll groups and later attending the Barry Jazz and Improvised music Summer School where he met and was inspired by Tony Oxley. Gordon Beck.  Evan Parker. Alan Holdsworth. Phil Wachsman. Trevor Tomkins. Roy Babington. Keith Tippet. Alan Skidmore. Fred Van Hove, Peter Brotzmann and many other great musicians. It was a life changing experience.

He started a jazz club in Barry in a big hotel which became well known in Wales and soon after a Friday night rock club in the same venue. After turning professional Steve  left Wales for Paris in early 1981 which was a fantastic cultural and learning experience. During his time in Paris he first played in a rock ‘n’ roll group and later in the rock group Splat with Goffo and Joe Hamilton.. He also began performing solo and performed surrealist theater with Italian Artist – dancer/sculptor Loredana Celi who is an amazing artist and Steve learnt a lot from Loredana about working with visual and movement as well as sound. In 1983 Steve also had the opportunity to perform in Versailles with the legendary Bob Vatel. ‘He saw me playing in Paris and invited me to play a concert with him and that was a fantastic experience for me.

In the mid 1980’s Steve founded and led It’s My Head originally with rock guitarist ‘Goffo’ from London. Peformed in Denmark. Norway and Sweden. Goffo left in 1986 and Steve invited the phenomenal Swedish guitarist Jorgen Cremonese to join the band. The highly acclaimed debut LP was recorded in Aarhus with Danish guitarist R L Lunding from the band Picnic and the rest at Jorgen Sangsta’s Urania Studios in Gothenburg Sweden with Jorgen Sangsta contributing a rythym track on Mime For The blind. Steve played drums, motorized guitar, keyboards and made recordings of live smashing glass and metal sheets dropped from a stairway in an abandoned factory and recorded angle grinders cutting steel which are all intergrated on the recordings. Jorgen Sangsta played lead guitars and keyboards. Norwegian photographer Per Talleraas had joined the group in 1985  bringing his film and slide projections and his photo’s were always used on IMH covers and art. Most of the live performances were in Scandinavia and included a legendary performance at Hennie Onstad Senter outside Oslo.

In 1988 through Dossier Records in Berlin Steve toured for 2 weeks in the DDR (East Germany) with Dietmar Diesner and performed solo at Druga Godba in Slovenia. Steve was also was in the original line up of the Danish chamber group Atlantis Transit.

In 1996 invited to tour South Korea as part of Lim Dong Chang’s ‘World is One’ ensemble. That was an incredible experience. ‘ I learnt a great deal about movement and breathing and space in music through Lim Dong Chang. 

In 1996 together with Danish artist Harald Viuff co founded The Hydronorts in Denmark for very large scale performances. Steve created a series of floating sculptures along with Paul Burwell from Bow Gamelan Ensemble. The sculptures were moored in Kolding Fjord for the Summer of 1996. Later that year The Hydronorts gave large scale performances in Copenhagen harbour which included The Hot pipe Organ – Bastiaan Maris, Geo Homsey and Stock and high voltage sculptor Barry Schwartz.

In 2000 An invitation to participate in The Kortrijk Percussion project led by Belgian master drummer Dirk Wachtelaer and which featured English drummer Trevor Taylor. Dirk was working with his electronic sounds. Trevor Taylor was playing Sculptures Sonores by the Baschet Brothers and Steve was performing on his sound sculptures and percussion creations.

In 2002 In Iceland was founding member of the Icelandic group Jord Bifast together with Egill Johannsson and Siggi Hrellir. Due to logistics Jord Bifast only performed live in Iceland. That same year Steve formed Recreator together with Nick Le Beat and Theo Travis (Soft Machine and Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree).

Since 1999 Duo performances and recordings with Dutch pioneer sax and reeds improviser Ad Peijnenburg. Also in 1999 Steve began performing and recording with Norwegian saxophonist and clarinetist Frode Gjerstad.

In 2008 Steve was invited to perform on The Large Hot Pipe Organ at Robodock in Amsterdam and Blast in Birmingham. ‘I was playing electric drum pads to trigger the explosions in the pipes which was strange as the sound was generated a few seconds later. In London  recorded together with Paul Clarvis on sound sculptures and gongs on the soundtrack of State of Play (Russel Crowe, Ben Aflack and Helen Miren) Music was composed by Alex Heffes.

In 2009 Steve began performing with the highly respected Celtic harpist Nadia Birkenstock. Their first performance was at the International Harp festival in Selstad outside Barcelona. They have continued since then as The Glow Within. Performing in Germany. Czech Republic. Italy. Netherlands. France. Spain and Portugal.

I grew up listening to all kinds of music. The first impact music had on me was hearing the Beatles when I was 6 years old. When I was 14 Deep Purple made Fireball which had a big impact on me and I still regard as one of the best rock albums ever and I still listen to it. Influences and inspirations are so many. Here are a few: Deep Purple. Gentle Giant. Chicago – Danny Seraphine and Terry Kath. The Beatles. Black Sabath. Good Habit. Frank Zappa. Andrea Centazzo. Alan Stivell. The Chieftains. Man. Buddy Rich. John Coltrane. Christian Vander. Greenslade – Andy McCulloch. Tony Oxley. Jon Christensen. Daniel Humair. Milford Graves. Alan Holdsworth. Paolo Vinaccia. Terje Rypdal. Hawkwind. Iron Maiden. Samul Nori. Kim Dae Hwan. Lim Dong Chang. Tibetan Ritual music. Einstürzende Neubauten. Iannis Xenakis. Karlheinz Stockhausen. Edgard Varèse. Gert Mortensen. Les Percussions de Strasbourg. JS Bach. Alessandro Scarlatti. Antonio Vivaldi. Antonio Lotti and many more.

Performed/recorded with:

R L Lunding. Splat. Marie Kawatzu. Bob Vatel, Dietmar Diesner. Per Talleraas. Atlantis Transit. Frode Gjerstad, Andrea Centazzo, Loredana Celi. Luca Luciano. Raffaele Barbato. Birgit Lokke, Tineke Noordhoek, David Moss, Paal Nielsen Love, Z’ev. Large Hot Pipe Organ – Bastiaan Marris. Geo Homsey. Stock. Jeffrey Funt. Chico MacMurtrie. Barry Schwartz. Paul Burwell. Alan Wilkinson. Tony Orrell. Ad Peijnenburg.  Dirk Wachtelaer. Vanishing Pictures. Tin Josefsdotter. P O Jorgens. Cyrille Oswald. Rodrigo Reijers. George Cremanschi. Antez. Frank Castro and Gumdrum. Joao Pais Filipe. Rui Leal. Filipe Texeira. Henrique Fernandes. Paulo Mesquita. Cortez Lamont III. Robert Glassburner. Gustavo Costa. Alberto Lopez. Carlo Garof, Antonio Bertoni, Stephan Pastor, Geert Tiersma, Peter Brotzmann, Duo with Paulo Mesquita, jörð Bifast with Icelanders Egill Johannsson on guitars and Siggi Hrellir on electronics and atmospherics, Theo Travis and Nick Le’Beat in Recreator and with Theo Travis and Dave Sturt in Cipher, Geuan -Celtic music from Belgium. In 2010 began performing with the great Celtic Harpist Nadia Birkenstock as The Glow Within. Since 2011 I have performed together with the outstanding English sax player George Haslam in various groups and for the last 5 years with the Prague based group Freetime who have evolved into something quite unique. Freetime are George Haslam: Tarogato and Baritone sax. Steve Hubback:  Percussion. Aida Mujačič: piano and voice. Jozef Láska: Contrabass and Bass guitar.

Some of the musicians who perform on Steve’s creations include:

Paolo Vinaccia. Dame Evelyn Glennie. Carl Palmer. Birgit Lokke, Paul Clarvis, Marilyn Mazure. Paal Nielsen Love. Chris Whitten. Snorre Bjerck. Michala Østergaard-Nielsen. Andrea Centazzo. Peter Fairclough. Alessio Riccio. Tineke Noordhoek. Knut Finsrud. Thomas Eiler. Welsh National Opera. Gerhard Keimer. Trevor Taylor. Tony Orrell. Gino Robair. Ondrej Smeykal. Carlo Garof. Giorgio Borghini. Davide Merlino. Antonio Bertoni. Jorge Soto Flores. Yuri Pavlovski and Troitsa. Andor Gabor. Job Verweijen and Bill Smith.

Publications:

Fire and Steel: Book about Steve’s music and metal creations. Soundworld Publishing England

Featured in Percussion Profiles. Book featuring innovative percussionists. Soundworld Publishing England

Gongs and Tam-Tams: A Guide for Percussionists, Drummers, and Sound Healers by Philip McNamara

Sound Healing with Gongs by Sheila Whittaker

Steve is also to be featured in the new cymbal book by Trevor Taylor

Sponsorships

Malmtekni Reykjavik Iceland 2004

Paiste Nottwil Switzerland 2006

Soundtracks

2007 State of Play movie.

1998 Van – Danish documentary by Jan Haugaard. Music by Everything Exists.

Festivals and events

2019 Les Fêtes Gauloises de Cambrai France with The Glow Within

2018 Celtica Courmayeur Italy with The Glow Within

2018 Seduced by Harps Adelburg Belgium with The Glow Within

2017 MIA – Encontro de Música Improvisada de Atouguia da Baleia

George Haslam Tarogato
Bruno Gonçalves Guitarra
Steve Hubback Percussão
Luis Senra Saxofone Tenor
Luz Prado Violino
Cortez-Lamont III Guitarra

2017 Elfia Arcen. The Glow Within

2017 Serralves Festival Porto with FIMP

2015 Amplifest, Porto – Exhibition

2014 Metalkymist exhibition at STRADE BIANCHE in Pitigliano Italy

2014 Free Jazz Festival Prague. George Haslam Freetime

2014 Down The Rabbit Hole Ewijk NL – as Blacksmith

2013 Design Week Milano with Amaro Creative Industries as Blacksmith and Gong Maker.

2013 Down The Rabbit Hole Ewijk NL – as Blacksmith

2013 Free Jazz Festival Prague. Trio with Cyril Oswald and George Cremaschi

2012 Metalkymist Exhibition at OKO, Opava Czech Republic

2010. 1 month exhibition at The Globe in Prague. Mobile sculpture placed in the forest at Tapely Park. England

2009 First concert with Nadia Birkenstock at International Harp festival in Selstad Catalonia

2009. Beltine Festival – Telc, Czech Republic. Exhibition of Mobiles and Solo performance

2008 Exhibition of outdoor sculptures at Half Machine. Copenhagen. The whole instalation was later stolen

2008. Large Hot Pipe Organ at Robodock in Amsterdam.

2008. Blast in Birmingham. Large scale industrial event. Steve performed on an electric drumset that triggered the Large Hot Pipe Organ.

2007 Dark Metalcraft Exhibition at WEI in Eindhoven

2006. Created a garden of Stainless steel sonorous sculptures
– Jardin d’illumination – In the forest at Coed Hills Rural Artspace in St Hilary, South Wales.

2005 Red Biddy Gallery. Shalford. England. Selected works.

2004 Coed Hillls Rural Artspace. Wales. Sound sculpture installed in the forest

2004 Paris Art gallery. Southend. England.

2004. Salurinn: Kopavogur. Iceland

2004. Galleri List: Reykjavik

2003. 2 Steel sculptures in statue garden – Gallery De Waalstoep, Rossum, Netherlands

2003. Steel sculptures and 1 bronze sculpture at Galleri Fold. Reykjavik
Performance and exhibition of percussion sculpture at Washington Gallery. Penarth. South Wales

2001 Steel sculptures and percussion sculptures at Wartekk, Basel, Switzerland

2000. Montruex Jazz Festival with Metal Moves.

1999 1 month exhibition of Gong Sculptures at Cafe Sting Gallerie. Stavanger, Norway

1996 Hydronorts large scale performances and installations in Kolding and Copenhagen and installation of Sea sculptures in Kolding Fjord

1996 South Korea with Lim Dong Chang Ensemble

1992 Amorphus in Aarhus and Copenhagen with Bastiaan Marris, Geo Homsey, Barry Schwartz, Barney Haynes Shelley Cook and Kim Gronborg

1990 Aarhus festweek

1988 14 days tour of East Germany (DDR) with Dietmar Diesner

1988 Aarhus Percussion Festweek with It’s My Head – The Joy of Life project with invited guests including Andrea Centazzo, David Moss, Kaev Glieman, Oivind Weingaarde, J D Jensen. P O jorgens and Marie Kawazu

1987 Druga Godba Ljubljana. Solo percussion.

1986 SULT Aarhus. Solo percussion and guitar.

1986 Berlin Atonal Festival with It’s My Head.

1982 Cardiff Jazz Festival – Cardiff Castle with Keith Tippet and Alan Wilkinson

This is what people say about Steve Hubback’s work:

Nadia Birkenstock Celtic Harpist Alsace July 2020


“I remember I signed the first contract for playing with Steve Hubback at an International Harp Festival before we even had one rehearsal together; I was so impressed and convinced from what I could see in his videos, his creations, his way of approaching sound and creating atmospheres on many diffferent levels of perception that I just knew it would be a great fit with what I do on the Celtic Harp. I am very honoured to say that I played some of my most magical concerts with this masterful, creative percussionist and I hope for many more concerts to come.” Nadia Birkenstock (German harpist and singer), July 2020

Gongmaster Sanj Hall New Delhi April 2020

Steve’s sound sculptures stand apart – a true work of master craftsmanship. His work, especially with bronze and brass will amaze you; though he can turn different varieties of metal into a beauty with richness of sound and warm sustain. If you are a sound healer or like healing vibrations at your home, I will highly recommend that you add at-least one of his unique sound sculptures.

Aaron Meli Wales 2019

Steve Hubback has been making the most exquisite spinning conch gongs and other textural pieces for decades. I first heard his work in 2004. It wasn’t long before I purchased my first Hubback original gong sculpture. When I heard the spinning conch gong I already owned over a dozen original pieces but I simply had to invest. I bought two of these in different keys. They sound incredible on their own but together they form a complex soundscape. They have become my most treasured pieces and I work with them at every opportunity.

My advice to anyone considering a purchase is get them whilst you can! These pieces are not only aesthetically beautiful but incredibly tuned and crafted.

Gábor Andor Budapest 2018

Számomra Steve alkotásai egyaránt műalkotások és hangszerek… Hangszerek, melyek aprólékos részletei lenyűgöznek, és műalkotások, melyek hangjukkal ámulatba ejtenek. Minden egyes darabban ott rejlik maga az ember, aki a hang és a kép egységének megteremtésére törekszik.

Steve’s creations for me are both artworks and presence of music … Instruments that are impressed with all the small details, and artworks that amaze with their voices. In each piece, there is the man who seeks to create the unity of sound and image.

Luca Luciano – Napoli Italy 2018

Steve Hubback, dopo essersi fatto conoscere soprattutto come artigiano di idiofoni, e in particolare gong naturamorfi (ne è stato il pioniere), ha deciso di suonare solo strumenti fatti dalle proprie mani (non solo metalli e tamburi, opportunamente decorati secondo la simbologia di suo gusto, ma anche sostegni e bacchette). Vederlo all’opera, mentre vola su pelli e piatti come uno druido che prepara un incantesimo, è un vero piacere. La sua identità sonora è universale e al tempo stesso melodica e sognatrice. Ogni sua performance è una esperienza musicale profonda e personale, assistervi o partecipare a uno sei suoi laboratori è una piccola e preziosa fortuna.

Jorge Soto – Santiago de Chile. 2018

Hablar de los platillos y gongs de Steve Hubback es hablar de una estética, que ningún platillo en el mundo posee. En cuanto al sonido, es excepcional, logrando llegar a lo requerido por cada cliente. Tener un gong o platillo de Steve Hubback es un lujo.

Snorre Bjerck – Bergen, Norway 2012

“A new touch!
As a percussionist I am always looking for new sounds, sustain sounds, rough
earthy and grounded sounds is my aim, in Steve Hubback´s work I found a lot
of what I have been looking for.
Each individual instruments visual shapes and earthy colors is fantastic, and
sounds different from al other metalpicies I have touched before!”
Drummer/Percussionist,
Snorre Bjerck – Bergen, Norway 2012

Paolo Vinaccia – Oslo 2010

I play Steve Hubback’s cymbals exclusively.

Andrea Centazzo – Los Angeles 2009

“I’ve been playing and experimenting with cymbals and gongs
for all my 35 years long career.
I’m friend of Steve since 1986 when we performed
together in a percussion madness he organized.
Only recently I had the privilege to play one of his
handcrafted cymbals and a gong and I was blown away.
The crash he gave me was powerful, clear, explosive
and delicate at the same time while the gong was ethereal,
evocative and strong. Beside the fact that they are
real sculptures worth to appear in any art gallery.
Real pieces of art applied to cymbals and gongs.
For sure he’s the absolute master of contemporary
cymbal and gong making”

Trevor Taylor. England 2011

“I’ve known Steve for about 15 years now, I was amazed when
I first saw his work and the idea of custom designed and hand
crafted cymbals and percussion was too good not to pursue! I
have many many pieces of Steve work now, ranging from cymbals
to gongs, sound sculptures and mobiles.
Steve Hubback is a rare phenomenon, a brilliant musician,
composer, artist, blacksmith and shaman,who has forged
all these disparate artist disciplines into a unified art
and philosophy.

A visionary with the spirit and ethos of Harry Parch,
Hubbacks personality is equally complex and his work is
always tempered with a black irony fueled by his wicked
welsh humour! Nobody goes to more trouble than Steve Hubback
for his art!!

Exciting fresh Original thoughts and ideas in a world of
mass production and mediocrity!!”

Peter Fairclough – Sheffield England 2010

“I used to play ancient hand-beaten Turkish-made K. Zildjian
cymbals exclusively.  Then, in a wonderful moment of synchronicity,
my ancient favourite ride cracked and Steve Hubback got in touch and
told me he’d been making cymbals.  We met up and I took delivery of
an 18″ ride which is now my most played cymbal.  Shortly after,
Steve made a whole set for me, including a beautiful masterpiece
of a 20″ ride.  Everywhere I play, people are fascinated by my
set-up.  They are drawn to the sound and want to know what brand
I’m using but when they see them up close they are also taken
with the sheer beauty of the art-work.  I use the cymbals in
every type of situation; small quiet duo gigs with Keith Tippett,
regular jazz gigs, theatre pit work and recently Ronnie Bottomley’s
Jazz Orchestra, and they sound amazing & unique – a quality I prize.
You can hear them to great effect on my new CD, Momentarily, with
singer Hayley Youell (www.myspace.com/faircloughyouell and
http://www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_60/cd_id_1471).”

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