Published Mar 27, 2013The breath-controlled analog synth — otherwise known as an electronic valve instrument, or EVI — is hardly the most high-profile instrument, but it forms the core of Justin Walter's Lullabies and Nightmares, due out May 27 through Kranky.
Walter (who is a longtime member of the Afro-tinged outfit Nomo) used his horn/synth hybrid to create loops and improvised instrumental passages. The collection was recorded in a studio with Nomo cohorts Erik Hall and Quinn Kirchner, and prominently features trumpet and drums. According to a press release from the label, "The recordings here are anything but dry, instead being an exhilarating interface of the human and machine."
Lullabies and Nightmares features 11 tracks in all and will be available on CD and LP. Watch the rehearsal video at the bottom of this page for a taste of Walter's process. Also check out the tracklist below and the album art above.
We'll leave you with a statement from the soundscaper about the album's improvised genesis:
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, six are one-take improvisations with the only overdubs being drums. The remaining five are multi-tracked improvisation, meaning all elements of the song were first take improvisations. Nothing was programmed in a computer, everything was sampled live. This was the key part in the process of recording this music, providing the necessary structure needed to follow an idea to its end in real time.
Lullabies and Nightmares:
1. Mind Shapes
2. Dream Weaving
4. Lullabies & Nightmares
5. Western Tears
6. Fears of a Wild Man
7. The Way of Five
8. Plastic People
10. Sister Sleeper
11. I Saw Your Face