The Gesture of History (CD/LP)
Viola-based textural ambient drift from Sam of Black Tape For A Blue Girl w/Shadow’s viola, and synths / enhancements from Steve Roach.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 8 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.
Hi! This is Sam from Black Tape For A Blue Girl; this is the Kickstarter for The Gesture of History, my instrumental collaboration with Nick Shadow (viola) and Steve Roach (spacial enhancement & synths). I've launched this campaign to raise $8000 to create a signed collectible CD & LP edition of The Gesture of History; there will also be exclusive photo prints and art objects. I'm excited to create these items with the help of people who want to see this campaign succeed — people like you!
Your contributions allow this independent, fan-funded album to see the light of day.
The Gesture of History draws upon introspective passages where the organic texture and emotions of the viola play out over an atmosphere of engulfing mournful beauty. Delicate strings float upon shimmering, forever changing expressionistic backgrounds of processed viola, synth, and harmonium – profoundly sensitive and deeply moving. The modernist ambient compositions balance on the precipice, looking back in moments of reflection and rumination, while delicately holding the future in our hands.
Even better than reading about it, listen to a track at our Bandcamp page.
Gesture began with an instrumental I created for the Black Tape For A Blue Girl Blood on the snow EP utilizing processed and sequenced viola. The track features Nick Shadow, a fantastic Portland-based violist who's been part of the band on our two recent albums. Soon after, I processed and structured "Blood ii" in the same moody, textural vein, and Nick played some live viola over the piece. During the mixing of To touch the milky way, I escaped from the rigors of that highly-focused work by creating the longer "The Gesture of History," a viola-harmonium-synth track with a compelling, engaging flow. This piece goes to a deep, rich place; I sensed I had the makings of a great album if I could shape the earlier pieces to fit with the new one.
I fully admit that artists are weird, in that a listener might be satisfied with the tracks as they stood*. Yet I knew there was something more I wanted to hear; I could sense it, but I wasn't sure how to get there. To find a new perspective, I sent the tracks to Steve Roach and asked if he had some ideas and if he'd add spacial enhancements (processing, reverb, etc).
I've worked with Steve since 1995, releasing over 75 of his electronic/ambient albums on my Projekt Records label. We talk on the phone almost daily about art, experience, his music, my music, and so much more. Steve provided spacial enhancements on the As Lonely As Dave Bowman albums, and I played the piano on "In the Eye of Noche" off his 2005 New Life Dreaming. Steve is always creating, and I admire his ability and determination to live in the now of the creative flow.
Steve called the day after receiving the files and said he was instantly compelled to weave in some synth elements to “Blood i + ii,” I took the multi-tracks of Steve's enhancements and synths and set about restructuring and extending the pieces; his additions provided inspiration to flesh them out, to fulfill the album I had envisioned.
* You'll get to hear the two earlier versions as a bonus download when the campaign funds.
The album title
The title "The Gesture of History" appeared in my thoughts while I was working on that longer track. It was fully-formed with no editing necessary. As with so much of creativity, it made perfect sense and seemed to have always been the right name for this work. It is wonderful when inspiration comes so easily.
Let me take a moment to explain how crowdfunding works. This campaign is an interaction between creator and listener, where your pledges are integral to the album’s existence. Your donations (via one of the premium tiers) serve as the lifeblood that allows this project’s physical release. Every one of your contributions is important — whether you give $5 or $500! We're aiming for an $8000 goal which goes to the mastering and manufacturing of the CD & LP, plus a royalty for Steve and Shadow.
Kickstarter is all or nothing, we need to pass the goal in order for the CD & LP to succeed. By pledging, you become a patron of our art – part of the team that realizes this release.
A bit more about why I’m asking you to back this Kickstarter:
Intentional contributions from people like you permit an independent, grassroots, art-centric release like The Gestures of History to see the light of day. I talk a lot about the cool people who support my music and I'll tell you why: you are the reason I'm able to release my art. CD & download sales continue to decline each year, streaming has become king for generating royalties for popular artists. However, my music is relatively underground; even with half a million streams on Black Tape For A Blue Girl & my solo electronic music in 2018, it's not enough to live on. It barely covers a month’s mortgage. Your direct contribution via crowdfunding is the way I manufacture and release albums for you.
Over the years, your love and generosity flows to my campaigns, which has given me the freedom to become a more active musician, and create more frequent releases. I love the way this circle continues, and the art grows because of it.
I’ve been talking with my Bandcamp patrons about the reasons they pledge each month. Here are a few comments: “For me there is a satisfaction in knowing I helped your music become a finished product. It is not about the price of the finished piece, but allowing you to bring all of us more of your music.” And, “It's satisfying to play a small part in bringing your art to market by being a backer.” And, “I pay for music whenever I can afford to because I want to balance the value I feel I receive from your art.”
I’m constantly amazed by how caring and supportive you are. I'm moved by your enthusiasm for the music I've created over the past 36 years. No matter how much you can give, you help The Gesture of History exist. I thank you for that!
If you have any questions, message me here at Kickstarter or at email@example.com
Some reading this page are long-time Black Tape For A Blue Girl / Sam Rosenthal followers. Some are fans from the 90s, only now discovering that I’m still creating music. Some are new visitors who find this project appealing. Some are Steve Roach enthusiasts who are interested in this new collaboration.
Black Tape For A Blue Girl is my American darkwave/goth/ethereal band started in 1986. I’ve released 12 studio albums over the past 33 years (listen at Bandcamp) and performed 149 shows (complete list). I recently crowdfunded and released 2016's CD/2LP These fleeting moments and 2018's CD/LP To touch the milky way. The music on The Gesture of History grew out of Shadow’s viola contributions to those two albums.
I've helmed the Projekt Records label since 1983, releasing over 350 albums from artists like Steve Roach, Erik Wollo, Forrest Fang, Voltaire, LYCIA and many more. I've worked with Steve since 1995, and there are over 75 of his electronic/ambient albums on Projekt.
Over the last 12 years I’ve released five electronic/ambient albums exploring the instrumental side of my work. As lonely as dave bowman – Pod (2007), Sam Rosenthal – the Passage (2011), As lonely as dave bowman – Monolith (2015), Mark Seelig / Sam Rosenthal – Journey to Aktehi (2017), and Sam Rosenthal – Isotope (2017). Many of you are familiar with my 1992 collaboration with vidnaObmana, Terrace of Memories.
Since 2013, I’ve used the Kickstarter platform to crowdfund the manufacturing of my releases. This has been a fabulous way to reconnect with people who love my work, and to fund physical formats I otherwise would not be able to release.
Today I’m asking for your help to realize The Gesture of History. Listen to a track at our Bandcamp page. Thank you so much for your assistance. On a desktop, read the pledge options on the right side of the page; on your phone, scroll back up to the BACK THIS PROJECT green bar. An inch below that is the REWARDS tab which shows your options.
Non-USA backers: Postage is charged after the campaign is over, rather than part of your pledge. Please read the IMPORTANT NOTE about shipping, in this Update. European shipping & handling is less expensive as I have a person in Germany to do your fulfillment.
Note 1 — FORMAT — This is an exclusive, collectible limited edition. CD = 1000 copies, LP = 500. Your copy will be signed on the back by Sam.
Note 2 — PROGRESS — Gesture is recorded & mastered. The cover is designed. The album is ready to go into production as soon as the campaign funds.
Note 3 — DOWNLOAD — You'll receive a Bandcamp download link to The Gesture of History right after the campaign funds. After the CD has shipped to backers, the download will be available for a period of time at name-your-price.
Note 4 — PLEASE DON'T WAIT! — People have messaged, "I need to wait two weeks 'til I get paid, before I can pledge!" Actually, no, you don’t need to wait. Credit cards are not charged until after the campaign ends! Please donate now, while it’s on your mind.
Note 5 — USA POSTAGE is charged with your pledge (except the high end tiers, which will be PayPaled later.)
Note 6 — MEXICO POSTAGE — Read the end of this update for Mexico information
Note 7 — INTERNATIONAL POSTAGE will be charged as a separate PayPal payment after the campaign funds. It is NOT part of the pledge you make today. See important note at this update.
Note 9 — VINYL & COMPACT DISC TIME FRAME — Over the last few campaigns, I’ve learned it takes around 4 months for the vinyl plant to produce and deliver the LPs, while the CDs take about a month. For that reason, I will ship your packages as the format arrives in Oregon. Thus, CDs will ship in advance of LPs. If you are ordering the CD/LP premium, your package will ship when the LP arrives.
Risks and challenges
I've run ten Kickstarters; all successfully funded with all premiums fulfilled. I've run the Projekt label and webstore for 36 years; I'm experienced at following through on projects, boxing things up and getting the boxes into the mail. I have a long history meeting budgets on over 350 releases including complex limited editions.
I foresee no delays in meeting the fulfillment deadline.
I value your enthusiasm for the music I've created over the past 36 years. I want to remind you that Kickstarter is all or nothing; this campaign only funds if we reach the $8000 goal; each pledge is very important! No matter what you can give, you help make The Gesture of History exist. I thank you for that! - SamLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!