GenresExperimental music
Years active2005-present

Sean Archibald (born 1988), also known as Sevish, is a British electronic music composer from London. Described by Aaron Krister Johnson as "a well-known creative force in the world of online microtonal music," he is most known for his compositions which combine aspects of electronic dance music with microtonality.[1][2] As a child Archibald was inspired by music in video games such as Chrono Trigger, Streets of Rage, and Sonic the Hedgehog. He would then go on to discover microtonality as a teenager by listening to gamelan music and Aphex Twin. At age 16 he began officially releasing music online and released his first solo album at age 20.[3][4] He first gained notoriety in the microtonal music scene with his 2010 release, Golden Hour.[4][5][6] Sevish's 2011 xenharmonic dance album, Subversio, created in collaboration with Tony Dubshot and Jacky Ligon was described by Andrew Hugill as "dub meets microtonal tunings."[7]

Since most instruments in the West are built to play the 12-tone equal tempered scale, Archibald turned to less common instruments and methods of composing microtonal music. He now uses an AXiS-49 hexagonal MIDI controller to play his microtonal music, along with various DAWs such as Ableton Live, Bitwig Studio (on a Linux system[8]), and Max/MSP.[1] The tuning systems he uses to create his music include 22-EDO, 15-EDO, 10-EDO, 13 limit just intonation, the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Pelog tuning, and many others.[4][9] Adam Hart of the University of Salford said that his compositions "do not indicate a desire to move away from the archetypes of established EDM genres, but rather to explore alternative tunings through familiar stylistic approaches".[4]

Archibald has expressed a desire to make microtonality more widely consumed by the public, creating multiple side projects to achieve this goal. He is the creator and host of Now&Xen, a podcast about microtonal music. In 2010 he founded his own record label, split-notes, which is focused on promoting music which uses microtonal scales, alternative tuning systems, and xenharmonics.[1][4]


Solo Work



  1. ^ a b c Johnson, Aaron. "Sevish Interview". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Biography - Sevish Music". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  3. ^ Wakabayashi, Hidekazu. "Sevish インタビュー Interview with Sevish". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hart, Adam (6 September 2016). "Microtonal Tunings in Electronic Dance Music: A Survey of Precedent and Potential". Contemporary Music Review. 35 (2): 242–262. doi:10.1080/07494467.2016.1221635. S2CID 193673867.
  5. ^ Tremblay, Dæv (5 May 2015). "Review: Sevish – Rhythm And Xen". Can This Even Be Called Music?. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  6. ^ Tremblay, Dæv (19 June 2017). "Sevish - Harmony Hacker". Can This Even Be Called Music?. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  7. ^ Hugill, Andrew (2018). The Digital Musician, p. 197. Routledge. ISBN 1351337386
  8. ^ "Making microtonal music on Linux computers". 13 October 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  9. ^ Tremblay, Dæv (11 July 2019). "Sevish, Glacier, Louis-Vincent Hamel, Zeitgeber, John Zorn, and Jack Quartet". Can This Even Be Called Music?. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Various Artists - Crack My Pitch Up - Microtonal music at split-notes". 11 July 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  11. ^ "[FNet050] Various - 2MM2 : Faturenet Collective : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive". 21 July 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Various Artists - Next Xen - Microtonal music at split-notes". 6 February 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  13. ^ "STAFFcirc vol. 7 - Terra Octava | STAFFcirc". Retrieved 23 July 2021.