The Way of the Sea
A major emotional thread weaving throughout the EP is the juxtaposition and tension between hope and hopelessness. This is conveyed partly through its spoken word, but also musically in many of the tracks. For example, one of our songs, “Layers of Darkness,” builds for the first half in the realm of calmness and relaxation, and yet is interrupted multiple times by nautical sounds and distressed tones, to indicate the plight of the people lost in the tragic ocean system.
Additionally, the titles of each of the tracks hint at different thematic focuses, while simultaneously referencing quotes from audio interviews with Ian. My goal here is to create a mini-story through the EP, with the first half exploring ‘invisible people’ on the high seas, and the subsequent tracks musically depicting the Antarctic chase, which really brings to life the ‘outlaw’ nature of the ocean. I love this story about The Thunder, especially given my artist name as well as the Antarctic themes I’ve explored in much of my previous music.
I think the injustices uncovered by Ian in this book, especially in relation to the exploitation of vulnerable migrant workers, is the most stand-out theme of the book for me. Living in Hong Kong, one of the busiest ports in the world, where ships of all shapes and sizes are constantly arriving, I felt very close to home in reading many of these stories.
My sincere hope is that in some small way this EP and the other music releases in this project help raise awareness of the many injustices explored in The Outlaw Ocean and help inspire people to become more engaged in practical solutions to these issues.
Antarctic Wastelands is the ambient music moniker of Hong Kong-based producer Ben Tatlow.
Focusing primarily on environmental themes of beauty, desolation and the diverse nature in between, his music has been described as, “Frozen ambient soundscapes that are meant to get lost within” by Rural Sounds, while Tone Harvest write that, “Its sights seem to be inter-dimensional in nature.”
Alongside Antarctic Wastelands, Ben produces music as Salt of the Sound and Narrow Skies with his wife Anita. Ben also runs the indie ambient label, Echoes Blue Music.