Pablo is sitting comfortably in the living room armchair, crossed legs, next to his inseparable mate. He stares down and with the tips of his right hand he makes little music with the thermos. This movement is repeated, he likes what he hears and with a slight smile he looks for the complicit gaze of Gabriel, his father, who returns him a mixed gesture of love and admiration: “Let’s see, Pablo, I’m playing the guitar, humming and you I wrote the lyrics, let’s see what we get. “
Pablo is 35 years old and they were both diagnosed with autism. He speaks very little, less when there are people he does not know, as in this case with the presence in his house of Clarion. He performed alternative therapies, various treatments and was musically stimulated by Perla Gonilski, his pianist mother, and by Gabriel Rubinstein, an economist, but also a musician and singer. “It would be interesting to comment on the pandemic / As for example It would be nice to know what they feel / The parents of people with anxiety“. Pablo surprises with this first stanza that springs up spontaneously.
The Rubinsteins’ exercise is moving: Gabriel is with his guitar on the couch next to his son, strumming and humming, a combo that stimulates Pablo, who with a computer keyboard on his lap he squeezes excitedly. Agile, Gabriel observes what his son types and writes words that form sentences, while he hums, plays the guitar and strokes the boy’s back or neck, an essential touch. “Describing it costs more than doing it, in an hour we can have a song,” says Rubinstein.
Gabriel and Pablo Rubinstein are father and son. The boy has autism but together they managed to make music the language with which they communicate. Photo Emmanuel Fernández
The economist details that the composition mechanics, which they have been oiling for more than five years, are fresh and dynamic. “I am writing what Pablo types. When there is something that I do not understand or does not make sense, I read it to him and I ask him: ‘Do you think that this is okay?‘. And we correct or move on. When the song is over, I go over it to see if he agrees and once we are convinced we record it. “
Father and son made music a bridge that unites two distant shores, that it be their everyday language, their means of contact, communication and understanding. Gabriel polished this engineering to break that barrier, the autism disorder that prevents you from socializing Pablo with the outside world. But how did the entrepreneurship duet? “I was a musician all my life and for about 20 years Pablo He always tells me ‘I want you to play’. And I did songs by the Beatles, Almendra, and he always got hooked. “
Musical maker, Gabriel began to improvise sessions with his guitar and piano, under the watchful eye “and keen ear” of his son and most faithful spectator. “Why don’t you help me compose the lyrics, Pablo? “, He proposed to him back in 2015, in a moment of relaxation, which shook the boy’s drowsiness, which caught on like a tick. “And so, suddenly, it became everyday and I noticed that we were flowing, that I was paying attention, that I was enjoying it and it became our favorite activity. “
Daddy’s living room, Pablo’s refuge
In the large living room of the Rubinsteins, Gabriel is the voice, Pablo the pure image. It is silent but absolutely nothing is lost of what happens, it is a sponge. “He has a great telepathic ability, sometimes his poetry surprises me to writeHis high vocabulary, especially considering that he is not in school, “says his father.
Despite the disruptive presence of the chronicler and photographer, Pablo looks calm, embraced by the omnipresent voice of his father, who does not spend a minute without some affectionate gesture, without being cloying. Perhaps due to his profession, Gabriel denotes a paucity that is diluted when he makes music with Pablo. “The musical resignifies us and it is by far the activity that he enjoys the most and the one that surprises me the most “.
Telepathic ability Gabriel had mentioned, who explains that “Pablo gave me ample proof of knowing what my mother or I think. Although it seems incredible, he captures what I am thinking. For example, if we are on the street or in the car, I tell him that I am looking at something and he perceives it and tells me. He has a very sensitive, very deep perception, but he does it with people with whom he shares a lot. It’s an ability that if you don’t see, you don’t believe, that’s why I don’t want this to lead to confusion. “
“I am writing what Pablo types. When there is something that I do not understand or does not make sense, I read it to him and I ask him. ‘Does it seem like this to you?’ Photo Emmanuel Fernández
Pablo does not move from the chair. He is very comfortable with his mate and does not slacken with the musical movement of his hand with the thermos. And on his face the subtle smile freezes. Gabriel tries another song, already done, called “We don’t say anything.” He sits next to him to generate the connection, Pablo feels that loving custody and they remember the lyrics: “Your desire to think does not shake me / I need to be able to communicate/ It would be very logical for you to look at what I am. “The song written by Pablo, with an oriental melodic style? Can be heard on YouTube.
They do not come out of amazement at the level and meaning of his sentences, Perla, his mother, or Gabriel, with whom Pablo spends three times a week. “I never considered the possibility of institutionalizing it, I have a very intense relationship with my son, I am very attached, as long as I am I would never do it… We explore, discover and meet either in this house, where he likes to be, or when we go out. He loves to drive, we can spend hours enjoying it. “
From getting older it became more difficult, “physically today it would be impossible for me to handle it in some situation in which it does not feel well, because if there is something that you do not like, there is no chance of reversing it, you have to leave where you are, as has happened to us in a paradisiacal cabin in Brazil. I think that a ten-hour plane trip, something that was controllable when it was younger, today would be an insurmountable obstacle. He rightly asks that we be patient with him, as he says in one of his songs, but he has no patience. “
“I never considered the possibility of institutionalizing it, I have a very intense relationship, with a lot of attachment,” says the father. Photo Emmanuel Fernández
The duet made up of father and son has uploaded about 40 songs on YouTube and Spotify, where they can be found on five albums called “Rubi Stones” (short for Rubinstein). Pablo does not cook, he does not travel or bathe alone, he does not tie his shoelaces, but in the musical world he is something else. “He has an absolute musical ear, we spend long hours listening to everything, from Stravinsky, through King Crimson, the Beatles and even a lot of cumbia “.
Pablo types and Gabriel takes notes without stopping humming or playing the guitar so that his son does not stop composing. Photo Emmanuel Fernández
Although the years go by and the physical can take its toll, there is no mental exhaustion. “To Pablo I do not think of it as someone who is sick, but as a different being who comes from another planet, with a very high spirit. I think the term special abilities fits him just right. “Without pretending to be full of praise, he is convinced that Pablo” has a healthy, pure wisdom that it has nothing to do with this vertigo and restlessness in which we are immersed. He knows there is a pandemic but he doesn’t care, anyway when we go out sometimes we sing ‘Despite the coronavirus, we are going to stick together‘”.
He is caressed by music, gives him a good mood, although he does not take the initiative. “Pablo is a leg, he accompanies you, but he doesn’t start,” points out Gabriel, who led New Oldies, a group that was a finalist in a Beatles band contest organized by The Cavern. Daddy picks up the guitar again, strumming and humming. Son gets excited and as it is leg he turns on and improvises. “It has no cure, no hopes / Better to collect old grudges / Oh! I don’t like knowing how to lie, they don’t hurt me / You don’t need to be afraid, fear in the soul / Oh! I don’t like them. Human beings.”
The duet in action: Pablo types and pronounces the words, while feeling the embrace and warmth of Papa Gabriel. Photos Emmanuel Fernández
In a little while, just, those phrases came out, which Gabriel, who never ceases to be amazed, musicalizes. “This is a parallel world and in my musical journey that is wide although not professional, I never had such a focused and committed listener like Pablo. He listens with attention, dedication and all the patience in the world. Sometimes when is with the ducks flown, we get a belly of varied rhythms and it starts to go down, until it ends up wrapping it “.
Beyond his occupations and responsibilities as an economist and consultant, Gabriel wants to be part of that galaxy that he built with Pablo, he enjoys that routine gymnastics of picking him up at his mother’s and taking him home. We bet on little big things, like when you feel like riding a bike, which he learned with a lot of effort, but it was one of those great achievements. Everything we do that he wants, he remarks, ends in music. Sometimes we see documentaries or stories of historical bands and we have a great time. “
“His autism never paralyzed me, I was always putting hands to work and doing what was good for him. If I saw Pablo happy, I was happy.” Photos Emmanuel Fernández
We travel back in time and Gabriel remembers that when he was diagnosed, he was not shocked. “I lived it more naturally, it was always Pablo, my son. Of course there were questions, a lot of ‘Now what do we do?’, But obstacles were overcome as they presented themselves. I was never paralyzed, I was able to think and act, I was always get down to business and do everything that was good for him. If I saw Pablo happy, I was happy“.
“I slowed down when I arrived with you / I don’t give up, modification / Who sent them to come here? / My slowness in your cage / My soul is dead, my loneliness/ Who sent them to come here? / And everything that is ours, he has no fear. “Gabriel shows some of the dozens of letters his son created,” which has that striking facility for composing. I do not participate in the lyrics, only in the music “, he makes clear.
Until Pablo was in his early twenties, Gabriel always took him on his work trips, they toured Europe, the Caribbean, Morocco, they went trekking in the mountains, mountaineering and even quadricycles in the sand. “We strengthened the relationship, we got to know each other a lot because the two of us spend a lot of time alone, sometimes in silence, without music, just us “, compiles this dad who from the beginning understood that it was him who should adapt to his son“.
Nothing better than understanding the needs and adapting to it because frustrations multiplied everywhere. “Do you know how many rehearsals, tests, therapies, specialists and teachers we try to get him to talk to? You don’t have an idea. Until his mother and I understood what he was trying to tell us but we didn’t see it. ‘Enough, I don’t want to be normal! ‘. And we also said enough, the experiments are over, and here I am happy to celebrate my day with him. ”