A Lonely Gust Toward the Heavens

by Make-Believe Machines



The second Make-Believe Machines full-length album, A Lonely Gust from the Heavens, comes eleven years after our debut. We've grown and changed a lot since then. Rob left the project, which makes this a first solo record for me.

I wrote this album as a way of processing a great deal of grief and loss that piled up over a couple years of my life. My friend and musical collaborator Jim DuRocher (The Twelve Canons) passed away in 2014, tragically concluding a long struggle with addiction. In the following years, my grandpa Jim Key slowly deteriorated and died from Alzheimer's, and my grandma Betty passed after a long struggle with dementia.

In times like this, I've found some comfort in music which both acknowledges life's darkest moments and offers some amount of optimism and comfort. This album is my own attempt to contribute.

I've always connected with instrumental music, because without the specificity of lyrics, the listener is free to insert their own circumstances into the world of the song. It's my hope that the new pieces of music on this record can be some comfort to others in trying times.


released December 10, 2019

Composition, programming, bass, keys - Justin Norman
Co-composition on track 4 - Rob Ogden
Cello - Anna Kucera
Violin - Elaina Steenson

Recorded at various locations in Iowa
Mixed by Justin Norman at home in Des Moines, Iowa
Mastered by Elliot James at Blossöm Records in Los Angeles

Cover photographs by Lazurite (runner) and Neil DeMaster (forest)
Designed and edited by Justin Norman


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Make-Believe Machines Des Moines, Iowa

Neo-classical and soundtrack music composed by Justin Norman, performed with Anna Kucera, Elaina Steenson, Patrick Riley, and Scott Yoshimura.

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