DONALD RUBINSTEIN, composer, songwriter and interdisciplinary artist, made his musical debut at age 25 composing the score for George A. Romero’s cult classic, feature film, Martin. It was named one of the “Top 100 Coolest Soundtracks of All Time” by Mojo magazine (2002). Since then his work has included 27 CDs of original music, numerous film and television scores, music commissions, three large-scale multi-media performance works, four books of poetry, and a recent directorial spate of seventeen, short, experimental films.
Fingers, a duet with guitarist Bill Frisell, was included on Jazziz Magazine’s 20th anniversary CD A Celebration of the Modern Era, along with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Tony Bennet and Charlie Haden. Donald Rubinstein has also collaborated with artists as varied as Terry Allen, Brother Blue, Michel Camilo, John Densmore, James Drake, John Faddis, Vinny Golia, Peter Gordon, Gordon Gottlieb, Steve Gorn, Anna Halprin, Ed Harris, Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, Anthony Jackson, Michael Gregory Jackson, Lloyd Maines, David Mansfield, Jono Manson, Larry Mitchell, Ra-Kalam Bob Moses, Hani Naser, Emil Richards, Hank Roberts, Kiki Smith, and many others.
Donald was awarded a fellowship and residency, via nomination, from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2014. He has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and in multiple one-person gallery exhibitions. There are two new Rubinstein CDs slated for release in 2017.
1. Music Composition for film and television
2. Concert performances of original folk/pop songs, intertwined with improvisations rooted in contemporary jazz and performance art.
3. Gallery / Museum Exhibitions
"Standout songs, beautiful tunes…devoid of transitory trendiness.” Los Angeles Times
“If I were a smarter human being I would now invent a word that would explain exactly how freakin’ cool and original in thought and execution Donald Rubinstein is with his music...discover the genius landscape that Donald Rubinstein has sculpted over the last few decades…This is the first time I ever used the word “important” to describe an album. You need to hear these songs.” Adobe Airstream
“What’s the source of Donald Rubinstein’s strange, jazzy, unique songs? Judging from his well concocted but often twisted work, he must have the oddest muse in the world, and also one of the best. He’s got enough weird poetic/musical genius in his brain to rival Jim Morrison.” Santa Fe Reporter
“For sheer variety and entertainment, Donald Rubinstein’s novel, unpredictable one-man show is hard to match…stunning, house-shaking, hauntingly beautiful.” LA Weekly
“Donald Rubinstein’s sonic pallet spans from the nakedly acoustic to the eerily electronic to the heroically symphonic. There are those, meditators, test pilots and oblivion seekers of every stripe, who seek new horizons, vast landscapes, empty and aching with fresh possibility. Rubinstein is certainly to be counted among them. These compositions haunt, seeming to arise out of primordial emptiness, until suddenly they are gone with the very dawn the composer conjures. Donald is an unequivocal card-carrying visionary, a sonic gardener whose technicolor orchard bears fruit of strange shades and unexpected tones.” John Kruth, “Dawn Imagined"
“Donald Rubinstein works in the higher arts. He composes soundtracks with music ranging from contemporary experimental classical, to jazz, rock and Americana…How does one come to terms with this work? After an introduction of spoken word the first song takes advantage of Lloyd Maine’s splitting steel guitar. He sounds as if he has returned with Joe Ely and The Clash to The Venue in London. Experimental Americana is all with “Strange Eye,” a song with the super clean feeling of a dream machine driven by jazz piano…This is not an easy album, but one which impresses deeply.” Alternative Country Magazine, Netherlands
"Imagine Korngold (composer of the original “Robin Hood”) doing a song cycle, but instead of hiring an old white guy, Duke Ellington shows up out of the grave to play it, cracking his fingers, wanting to raise a little hell fresh out of heaven. That's this. Imagine John Lennon making an album in the late 60s with Yoko that you actually want to listen to more than once. That's still this. You won't be sure how to take it at first - unless you're of a mind not completely pop/rock - but it WILL make you listen. This isn't background music. It's cool, its night. It's looking for an audience a theater of alleys. Yes, performance art you might say. But there are beautiful pieces like "Haven" which defy labeling. I find it freeing and relaxing. A ghost in a sometimes dead world of music baying at the moon…Worth relishing.” Music Dish (Rubinstein, Maya)
“Singer/songwriter, pianist, jazz experimentalist, soundtrack composer, beat-style poet — Donald Rubinstein has somehow juggled all those hats over the lengthy span of his creative career.” All Music Guide
"Great Music!" Sao Paulo Times, Brazil
“Donald Rubinstein: A man on a journey to orbit the outer edges of the atmosphere and dive right to the heart of the human condition. His music and art defy categorization-complex scores of moving sound poetry, folk tunes that bop and rock, storytelling with a deep funky soul. He is a man who creates in a hermitage of thought and feelings filled with crystalline structure and form, buried treasures, ancient memories-ultimately an incredible archeology and encyclopedia of musical forms that invite us into his own Emerald City.” Trend Magazine
"Martin and Pollock both represent the striking musical vision of composer Donald Rubinstein...Preferring to color his own work with relatively smaller ensembles, experimental jazz, exotic instruments, haunting voices and instantly memorable themes, Rubinstein's novel cinematic approach is distinguished by a singular "indie" voice- a cool, rebellious vibe developed long before that term was fashionable." "Donald Rubinstein's Works of Art" by Daniel Schweiger
“Ship to Shore Phono Company breathes new life into Rubinstein/Romero’s obscure, yet beloved classic, “Martin.” The composer of the score — Donald Rubinstein helped to shed the common vampire story by providing a unique and innovative take on atmospheric horror themes...Rubinstein’s jazz leaning makes for a spectacular score...I really can’t say enough good things about it: it’s considered a classic for a reason.” Modern Vinyl
"Donald Rubinstein’s art ranges from sophisticated music compositions to prints reminiscent of the characters in South Park. He is articulate, accomplished, and driven and he has never stuck to just one thing at a time. Almost everything he produces is an amalgam of forms and disciplines and they all have a spark. His works have a tension; a sense of questions asked and seldom answered that hint of the possibilities just outside the boundaries of what we understand.” Destiny Allison, Santa Fe.com
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