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by Nonsemble

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Pelagornis 04:46
Phorusrhacos 04:39
Harpagornis 07:19
Argentavis 06:21


Archaeopteryx is a cycle of compositions for live strings and electronics, inspired by huge prehistoric birds. Chugging downbows, ethereal harmonic textures, and delicate pizzicato are nestled within lush synthesized textures and warm, thudding electronic percussion, exploring an expansive and totally unique soundworld.

Each movement is named after a species. Pelagornis, an ancient seabird with a 6m wingspan, the 3m-tall flightless “terror bird” Phorusrhacos, and others, including the eponymous Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird. These long-extinct majestic winged creatures, known only through incomplete fossils, scientific descriptions and drawings, evoke a sense of transcendence and mystery which flows through this music.

The story of this music begins in live performance, with motifs emerging and evolving slowly over many performances. As Nonsemble experimented with combining strings with dynamic live electronics, Archaeopteryx was honed and refined into the evocative and organic body of work presented in this recording.


released October 25, 2022

Composed by Chris Perren, performed by Nonsemble
Violins: Flora Wong and Sam Andrews
Viola: Kieran Welch
Cello: Hannah Harley
Electronics: Chris Perren
Drums on track 6: Hik Sugimoto
Piano on track 6: Cara Tran
Drums, piano, and electronics recorded by Chris Perren. Strings recorded by Daniel Kassulke, edited by Briony Luttrell.
Mixed by Chris Perren. Mix guidance provided by Joss Rigby.
Produced by Chris Perren and Nonsemble.
Mastered by Marly Lüske at Alchemix.
Cover Illustration by George Levi, featuring species Archaeopteryx.
Nonsemble square logo by Shaun Moriarty.
Thank you to our violinist/violist Julianna Kim, who influenced the development of these pieces despite not appearing on the final recording, Thank you UQ School of Music, Dr. Scott Hocknull at Queensland Museum, Dots+Loops, and our families and friends.
This recording was made on Jagera and Turrbal land, sovereignty was never ceded.


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Nonsemble Brisbane, Australia

Australian Indie-Chamber Ensemble somewhere between contemporary classical and adventurous pop music.
Strings, piano, drums, bass, guitar and electronics.

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