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About Alessi's Ark

Alessi's Ark is the musical project of Alessi Laurent-Marke , a British singer-songwriter from Hammersmith in West London.

Named after the Italian design company, Alessi Laurent-Marke grew up in Hammersmith, London where her father, Alan Marke, is a television producer who has worked on TV shows such as Modern Toss, Snuff Box and Shooting Stars and is also the managing director of TV production company Channel X.

She first became interested in music when her mother gave her a copy of Graham Nash's 1971 album Songs for Beginners. She took up the drums at the age of 11 when her secondary school required students to take up an instrument, her choice inspired by seeing drummer Meg White perform with the White Stripes at a concert at Alexandra Palace. Her drum teacher played locally in different bands and through this she began going to see him and various bands live with her dad, sometimes going to as many as four shows a week. This led to her starting her own fanzine called Brain Bulletin in which she wrote about her favourite bands, books and films. Inspired by a family friend in New York, who wrote a fanzine called The Curse, she distributed it at concerts, through a local record shop and at a launderette on Shepherd's Bush Road.

As part of the coursework for her music GCSE she had to compose the music and lyrics for a song. Through the basic chords she had learnt fooling around on her sister's guitar and "the combination of the poetry and the stories that I had been writing for my fanzine" she composed the song Glendora , which her music teacher encouraged her to sing at the school assembly. Discovering a new passion for writing and performing, she decided to leave school to pursue music at age 16. Although supported by her parents, she promised them that she would return to school after one year if nothing came of it. During this time she quickly gained a following with her demos posted on her MySpace and self-released an EP called Bedroom Bound that she sold through her page . To avoid confusion with the music act the Alessi Brothers, her mother suggested calling herself Alessi's Ark: "I liked the idea of a boat, where everybody is welcome, even friends that are geographically far away – we are together." Booking as many shows as she could and playing "anywhere", representatives from record labels Heavenly Records and EMI soon saw her performing and offered her a deal. On the eve of her 17th birthday she signed to Virgin Records, a division of EMI.

Asked who her dream producer would be for her major label debut, Laurent-Marke said Mike Mogis, producer of Rilo Kiley and member of Bright Eyes. She met up with him in London after a Bright Eyes show at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in early 2008 and travelled to Nebraska to record the album at Mogis' and Conor Oberst's studio in Omaha.

The resulting album, Notes From The Treehouse, was released in May 2009, featuring full band versions of some of the songs from her Bedroom Bound EP, as well as newer compositions such as The Dog and Hummingbird. The album also featured many musicians that inspired her to begin making music including Jake Bellows of Neva Dinova and Nate Walcott from Bright Eyes.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alessi's Ark", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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