Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paul Rubenstein: Microtonal Music on Homemade Instruments

We first wrote about Paul "Ubertar" Rubenstein in 2009 when he was leading microtonal guitar-building workshops for New York children. They would then jam on these groovy home-made instruments, writing original songs to most charming effect.

His new album is solo - no kids - but it serves to demonstrate the man's compositional originality. Microtonal doesn't mean "out of tune," not if it's done right. In this instance, as with the Kraig Grady records we featured earlier, avoiding the usual Western do-re-mi scale doesn't me
an ear-wrenching atonality, but a gentle Zen-like Asian feel. Percussives plink and plonk, chime-like keyboards tinkle, and sometimes an electric guitar-like object (perhaps the "alumitar," pictured right) shreds over it all. Track 5 has some fantastic harmonic interplay, and Track 6 should be a hit, sporting the most irresistible melody in 5/4 time since the heyday of Dave Brubeck. Tasty, tasteful, and tuneful.

The new album "Solo Trios" is now available from Spectropol Records (or listen/buy from the Bandcamp page), but His Ubertarness has given us permission to post the entire album... at 128 kbps. That's right: if you want it in hi-fi, you gotta buy it. As well you should - the NY school system has made the questionable decision to cut his music classes. So the man is available to do scores, soundtracks, whatever you need. Maybe even parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs, tho those would be some pretty weird bar mitzvahs. What would Aunt Myrna think?! Anyway. Thanks muchly to Mr. Rubenstein.

Rubenstein "Solo Trios"

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