The Outlaw Ocean Music Project

The Outlaw Ocean Music Project

Good music and independent, critical journalism are two of the things that are most important to me. The Outlaw Ocean Music Project combines both.

Musicians and journalists are both storytellers. One uses sounds, the other leverages words. The Outlaw Ocean Music Project is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of such creators. In combining their mediums, these narrators have conveyed emotion and a sense of place in an enthralling new way.

As a creative experiment, the project represents a novel way to do journalism. Aimed at people who might not otherwise have encountered this reporting, the music renders stories more viscerally and delivers them to the public through different channels. The music project’s goal is to raise awareness and stoke a sense of urgency about the human rights, labor and environmental abuses that occur at sea. The passion and creativity of the resulting music also proves anew that artists work best when they are inspired.

All of the music is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics. While reporting for more than 5 years at sea, Urbina built an audio library of field recordings. It featured a diversity of textured and rhythmic sounds like machine-gun fire off the coast of Somalia and chanting captive deckhands on the South China Sea.

Sampling these field recordings and using recorded passages from the book, the musicians sought to capture the emotions in this journalism, while also raising awareness about the dire need to protect this offshore realm and the millions of people who work out there.

A great and important idea in turbulent times, where alternative facts seem to be completely legitimate.

You can find more information here.

The various releases, among others by Handbook, Chromonicci, Joe Corfield, Mujo or steezy prime, can be found here.