Chris Perren


Chris Perren is an Australian composer and video artist. He completed a PhD in music composition under the supervision of Robert Davidson at The University of Queensland. Chris is the founding member of the math-rock group, Mr. Maps, and the indie-chamber group, Nonsemble.

He is known for his experimental audiovisual works, which have been presented at International Computer Music Conference, Montana State University, 2high Festival, and have earned him commissions from TEDxBrisbane and Ensemble Offspring, an Australia Council New Work grant, and an MTAQ composer award.

Chris’s theatre scores have accompanied over 20 productions in Brisbane, Sydney, and Hong Kong, in collaboration with high-profile directors such as Sean Mee, Wesley Enoch, Shane Jones and Michael Gow.

Chris lectures in music at Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland, and JMC Academy. He helped to run Brisbane’s legendary DIY venue “Hangar” and its associated record label “lofly,” between 2007 and 2013.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Major League Geometry is an audiovisual work for Xylophone, Marimba, Vibraphone, Video and Tape.

Major League Geometry is part of an ongoing exploration in my work to elucidate and expose polyrhythmic structures using moving images.  The rhythms are all based on 3:4:5 ratios. The layered ostinatos differ in length but share a common pulse, which causes them to drift out of alignment. Though this process is completely deterministic, chaotic and unpredictable rhythms emerge along its lengthy journey toward resolution.

The movements on screen precisely reflect these complex rhythms. Each instrument and sound is represented by an iteration of the swinging batter, which gives a hypnotic exposure to the geometrical rhythmic techniques. Rhythms which might seem purely random to the ears alone are revealed by the eyes to be elegant and complex. The work received first prize in the AV Section at the MTAQ Composers’ Competition 2014, as well as the Australian Music Centre Prize for an Ensemble work. – Composer

Featured in Playlist 4: Visual Waves (30/4/2015)

Your Heart Is A Stupid Thing To Trust is an audiovisual work.

Your Heart Is A Stupid Thing To Trust explores the possibilities of revealing complex rhythmic structure visually with the use of synchronised loops of moving images. The 7 movements use a number of varied rhythmic techniques such as phasing, polymeter and polytempo, all of which involve the layering of a number of parts with similar characteristics moving at different rates. The visuals were constructed and edited as an integrated part of the composition process, and follow the same rhythmic structure as the music. Read more.

Featured in the playlist:  Immersive Waves (1/02/2016)

Winterstate for piano trio.

Having come to composition from a background of rock and electronic music, I often go for unusual instrumentations, combining traditional classical instruments with drums, guitars, synths or samplers. Winterstate is my first attempt at the traditional and well-defined form of the piano trio – piano, violin, and cello. This enjoyable challenge was enriched as I developed the work with the Nonsemble trio in mind; I could play on what I love about the unique styles and skills of these three excellent players.

The work was inspired by a solo road trip through the picturesque U.S. state of Vermont. Its melodies and textures pivot meditatively around sets of single repeated notes in the cold and stark high register of the piano. The three movements exhibit a kind of symmetry, with the sparse beginning and ending movement bookending a more fluid and active central movement.

Featured in the playlist:  Dream Waves (1/12/2017)

Chris Perren’s ensemble ‘Nonsemble’ have released the albulm ‘Go Seigen vs. Fujisawa Kuranosuke’ now available on Bandcamp and on iTunes and Spotify from 04/05/2015.