We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Moral Calculus

by Make-Believe Machines

"I'm definitely not sure."
"You'll notice about 80% of all the hits that have ever been out in the marketplace -- they follow a traditional song pattern, which is verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, and out." "We are like Pavlov's dog as listeners." "And every time you hear a song, look at Billboard and say 'Oh, that's so-and-so and they're chart number 32.'" "You know how you write better songs? By listening to other people's hits." "What happens when you get in your car in the morning and you turn on the radio and there's a new song on there and it's got a 37-second long intro? You change the station, don't you? You think it's an instrumental song! What the hell station am I tuned in to here?" Shackled to a dead horse, long over-beaten He jousted in the dense fog of the walking comatose His lance did splinter, now wrought with repairs But the blunted end has proved more useful Freedom sparked at dawn's edge
The Five Chieftains (free) 04:14
We stowed our hopes into the brightest of dream clouds And locked them inside our fathers' wooden ships, cloaked in old shrouds We struck out across dark waves, straining to make precise of the vague, ancient orders Searchlights cut the deep Distract, blindingly We stare or we sail on The truth shifts through cracks upon a twisting landscape While the clock sprouts legs and darts away Twenty years at sea, and at times it seems we've found it Penned down and circled on our ragged parchment Through trial and revision... Well, we can discern some of the dangerous waters, but the safe realm seems to elude us We tried to find firm land but the map was too blurred by red ink We freeze up or we sail on It seems the land's thin glass / It seems the trees drink glass We slip on crack-filled planks Our minds all draw us blanks We tried to find the truth, but our ship was too weighed and sinks


Moral Calculus is the debut album from Make Believe Machines, a collaborative composition project from Justin Norman and Rob Ogden. The album was designed specifically for full-length listening, as each song segues into the next, with multiple instrumental references in late-album tracks to earlier ones.


released September 2, 2008

Composed and performed by Justin Norman and Rob Ogden.
Violin contributions from Meredith Bogacz.
Cover photograph and art by Wesley Norman.


all rights reserved



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.

Artist photo by Nick Ford.

contact / help

Contact Make-Believe Machines

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account