Anthony Newman

Stamford, USA



Behind the Music

The most powerful part of my creative process is that I always try to have an image in my mind when trying to determine what my music will convey. The feeling and mood of ocean waves resonates deep within my own psychological states and feelings, and often finds a way to naturally worm itself into my own music. With my pieces for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, the sensation of wave movements and the image of the ocean itself were things I wanted to communicate to listeners, and I selected the key and time signatures for the compositions based on those specific moods. In fact, I believe this is how the master composer Bach also wrote and I hope my songs will similarly be as evocative as Bach’s own continue to be.

Reading The Outlaw Ocean was shocking for me, but perhaps the part that disturbed me the most was the horrible treatment of those captured and forced to serve aboard ships. Unimaginable cruelty is not new to humanity, but the treatment of these sea slaves is one of the more horrific ways people are being enslaved. Human misery and ill treatment are a hallmark of the earth’s pain, and Ian’s reporting reflects just a fraction of that to us. 

Anthony Newman
About Anthony Newman

Besides being a composer, conductor, arranger, writer and teacher, Anthony Newman is one of the world’s foremost performers of the harpsichord and organ music of JS Bach.

Newman studied organ with Pierre Cochereau and harpsichord with Marguerite Roesgen-Champion in Paris at age eighteen. He studied composition with William Sydemann at the Mannes School of Music where he received his B.S. in 1963. In 1964, Newman won the Nice prize for organ composition. While a master’s student in composition at Harvard University, he studied with Leon Kirchner and worked as a teaching fellow. At Boston University, he earned his doctoral degree and studied composition with Gardner Read and Luciano Berio, for whom he also served as a teaching assistant.

His compositions have been heard in Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, New York and London. His output includes four symphonies, five concerti, three large choral works, two operas and a large assortment of compositions for piano, organ, guitar and chamber ensembles. The scores of his complete works are published by T.D. Ellis Publishing. Newman has received 30 consecutive ASCAP composer's awards.

Most of Newman’s compositions fall into the post-modern, classical category.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project 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.

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