Banco de Gaia

Somerset, England

Pirates and Princes


Behind the Music

Utilizing pop culture to spread important messages has a long history in our society, but being able to incorporate field recordings and evocative interviews into music takes it beyond just preaching and storytelling and into the realm of demonstration. I often work with field recordings but generally in abstract ways where the shape and texture of the sound is more important than its general context or meaning. For this project in particular, it is the meaning of what you are hearing that matters — the mood created by the sonic environment and the message of the words being spoken. One person stating a fact is less convincing than witnessing the reality, even if it’s indirectly. 

I’ve always loved the sea, both being in it and on it. I’ve spent many happy days diving, snorkeling and being among sea creatures in their environment, and I value aquatic life as highly as I do life on land. Thus it saddens me to learn of the extent to which marine life is treated as nothing more than a resource to exploit, with no concern for what is impacted in the process. This project spurred me to not be complicit in this exploitation, and to instead call it out when I see it. The two tracks I composed are quite different, but I hope they might make people think about that which they take for granted. If this project can contribute to getting these issues under control, then it will have been a success. 

Banco de Gaia
About Banco de Gaia

Banco De Gaia has been performing and releasing for over 30 years now, becoming one of the music industry’s most maverick innovators along the way. His legacy is as glittering as it is diverse, ranging from Hollywood film sound credits to the critically acclaimed “Last Train to Lhasa,” first released in 1995 to rapturous reception. His live act still packs venues and festivals all over the world, with audio-visual performances renowned for their explosive, cutting-edge quality — from sampling wizardry fused with haunting vocals and poignant acoustics, to genre-hopping musical instrumentals, all accompanied by socially engaged visuals.

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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