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Restringing the Deathless Refrain

by Make-Believe Machines

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antonella m
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antonella m along with "A Lonely Gust Toward the Heavens" are among my favorite albums of 2019. Incredible music, great production, honestly it's incredible. Favorite track: Hardly a Shining Beacon of Health.
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millicow Attention filmmakers: it would be a crime not to hire this artist to write a soundtrack for your film!

Music by Make-Believe Machines paints vivid pictures in the mind. Whether it be an epic Middle Earth tale or a Planet Earth documentary, I feel a bold sense of adventure pervading the album.

Smooth as silk to the ears, this music flows naturally and flawlessly through endless worlds, emotions, and scenes, just waiting for the right images to add even more depth to the story. Favorite track: Hardly a Shining Beacon of Health.
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Caynug Such a unique and incredible different album. What stood out to me is definitely the composition, so many blends and different sounds used in very interesting ways. Very refreshing for this mixture of genres! My fav track is Orphaned Vessels, such perfect placed choir elements with nice blends of strings. Totally my thing, love how this came out! Favorite track: Orphaned Vessels.
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nocauseforalarm At moments jarring in its beauty and galvanizing in its drive to innovate, Restringing the Deathless Refrain, conveys a sense of wonder and reflection, articulated through careful composition and the intrepid desire to explore new combinations of sound. It is an album that simultaneously looks backward and forward — backward to the trials that have been weathered and forward to an expansive realm of possibility. Favorite track: Vanishing Platform.
Glossal Frag 05:06


The third Make-Believe Machines full-length album comes on the heels of A Lonely Gust Toward the Heavens. While the prior album dealt with the process of finding peace amid loss and isolation, this one focuses on building something new out of the rubble.

Old elements are put to work in the building of new structures. "Orphaned Vessels" utilizes samples I collected from old Gregorian chant recordings and "Vanishing Platform" builds a new string melody from the drones of a console synthesizer. "In Moments You Will Disappear" is a meditation on many things I'm grateful for, containing recordings of my friends, family, and significant moments from my past that propel me forward.

As with the last album, I worked with Anna Kucera, Elaina Steenson, and Patrick Riley to record the strings throughout these pieces. Scott Yoshimura graciously offered to play drums, and Elliot James provided mastering.


released March 10, 2020

Justin Norman - composition, keys, bass, guitars, programming
Patrick Riley - violin, viola, cello
Anna Kucera - cello
Elaina Steenson - violin
Scott Yoshimura - drums, percussion

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 Paolo Terraneo (rower) and Alan Carr (clouds).
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.

Artist photo by Nick Ford.

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