"I set out to record an album of completely improvised music that fused my experiments with the Electronic Valve Instrument and my love of held sounds on the trumpet. In recent years I've come to see the trumpet as an instrument that speaks in slow and long sounds, with meaning coming from the shape and inflection of each note. The process for this was fairly straight forward, record lots of improvisations. Of the songs on the album, most are one take improvisations with the only overdubs being drums." - Justin Walter
"Though the album title Lullabies and Nightmares suggests music thematically rooted in sleep, the debut full-length from Brooklyn-based/Michigan-bred trumpet player and composer Justin Walter owes more to a sense of emerging. After years of touring, random gigs and session work as a gifted player, Walter emerged with a sound that rendered all of that almost inconsequential. Spending a couple years intensively exploring the EVI, or Electronic Valve Instrument, a 1980's synthesizer/horn hybrid, he eventually worked out webs of bubbling loops made on the instrument, processed trumpet and fragmented electronics. Following a few low-key cassette releases and solo loft performances, Walter took the project into the studio, working with Erik Hall and drummer Quinn Kirchner to create a more controlled statement. Building on the loops and textures of the EVI, the album incorporates phasing patterns, the occasional motoric churn of dubbed out drums and considerate passages of trumpet, calling on Walter's years of experience as an improviser. Longer pieces are bridged by truncated interludes, wandering between modes that are by turns spooky, restless and sublime.
The nightmares are there, with dissonance and panic on the heels of redemption in almost every song, but they're there only to be awoken from. The lullabies pass by quickly, too. The album moves naturally through its meditative cycles in a constant state of emergence." - Fred Thomas
Presenting the debut album from longtime Nomo member Justin Walter. If this was a vintage Nonesuch label release, it would come with some dry title such as “Music for Electronics, Trumpet, EVI and Percussion.” The recordings here are anything but dry, instead being an exhilarating interface of the human and machine. - kranky