Nightwater

by Gabriel Birnbaum

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price

     

  • Poster/Print + Digital Album

    Limited run handmade LP sized linocut print, made by me, Gabriel. Limited run handmade LP sized linocut print, made by me, Gabriel. In midnight blue on white Rives printmaking paper (the fanciest), and will be limited to 25 copies.

    Note on shipping - due to the current pandemic, shipping will be delayed until it is safe. I promise I will mark and keep careful track of who orders. You will get your prints. <3

    Includes unlimited streaming of Nightwater via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 98 days
    edition of 25 

      $35 USD or more 

     

  • Poster/Print + Digital Album

    BOTH 12x12 prints, in midnight blue ink on heavy Rives printing paper. Free shipping in the US.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Nightwater via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 14 days
    edition of 25 

      $60 USD or more 

     

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about

I started making this music in late February this year. I was growing increasingly anxious about the election, which felt like one of the last chances we might have to redirect this country away from self-annihilation and gleeful cruelty. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and was starting to spend all my free time online, filling my head with wild speculation. When something brought me back to the room around me, I would feel a heightened state of anxiety, like I’d forgotten to do something important but couldn’t think of what. I’d sit and think and come up empty. It wouldn’t go away.

In an effort to escape, I started to mess around for the first time with a Tascam 4-track that I’d bought years ago. I learned the basics and went for it, trying out tape speeding tricks, cell phone synths, lap steel, scrolling Instagram with my phone plugged into guitar pedals, anything I could think of. It became an addictive ritual. After work I’d get the Tascam out and get very lost. Hours would pass in a state of focus I haven’t felt as much of since I started working a day job on the computer.

For my whole life, I’ve always been a person who creates in the daytime, with my energy flagging at night. This music is the first thing I’ve ever made mostly at night, sometimes even half-asleep. The nocturnal nature of it, along with the fact that I never listened back to the tracks until the whole tape was full, made it feel like a dream.

As things got increasingly insane, having a practice that was so calming and meditative was a godsend. I already miss it, even though I only just finished the record. Listening back often puts me to sleep, which is all I could have hoped for. I recognize the landmarks that come along but can never seem to recall exactly what order they come in, and I don’t remember recording all of it - there is something of dream logic to even the final record.

Because of that quality I wanted to share it immediately, while we’re all stuck inside and jangled and anxious and could use something to help us feel restful. I hope that this can be functional music right now, music that soothes and calms and brings sleep.

This pandemic has been awful for so many people I care about in the music industry. Writers, venue workers, agents, musicians: all of us have lost work and are at risk. Seeing just how fast this can happen has given me some harsh clarity about my longstanding dreams of living only as a working musician. Dreams that, if achieved, would have left me without any income right now. There’s nothing I love the way I love music, but this industry is very sick and its most valuable contributors are just insanely vulnerable. It’s not right. I don’t know how to fix it but we need to.

My other calming practice over the last year or two has been linocut printmaking, and I have decided that the physical version of this album will be a 12” x 12” print. The first edition, limited to 25 handmade prints in dark blue ink on cream colored Rives paper, is available now on bandcamp. It will ship as soon as it’s safe to do so.

-gb, April 7 2020

credits

released April 8, 2020

Written, played, recorded & mixed by Gabriel Birnbaum.

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Gabriel Birnbaum Brooklyn, New York

Photo by Danny Mekonnen

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