Benoit Pioulard

Brooklyn, USA



3Esperanza dive
4New flag
Behind the Music

Before recording my tracks for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, I racked my mind for all memories of me being on a body of water, be it the Great Lakes, the English Channel or elsewhere. I focused on that sense of surrendered buoyancy, and, from my ruminations, a certain energy emerged that melded with my music — something undulating, mysterious and subtly forceful. From there, the songs almost seemed to compose themselves. While I tried to leave the general emotional narrative up to the interpretation of the listener, I did attempt to make each piece a separate vignette that all fit together to create one full image of The Outlaw Ocean. 

Language and auditory processing are two distinct things, each with their own rules and orderliness. Music can sometimes function like a chameleon — shifting with whatever mood you’re in or the things occupying your mind. This project represents a never-before-seen linkage between abstract thoughts and those ever-changing feelings. Ian’s book is the perfect wealth of inspiration for dynamic, dramatic and insightful artwork that speaks to both creator and consumer.

Benoit Pioulard
About Benoit Pioulard

Benoît Pioulard is the primary audiovisual project of Michigan-born, Brooklyn-based Thomas Meluch. With six LPs on the renowned Kranky imprint, as well as a catalog of works for Universal (UK), Morr Music (DE) and others, he has constructed a unique aesthetic steeped in the textures of analog decay and pop song structure using chiefly guitar, piano and tape processing. He has also built an extensive archive of Polaroid photographs (many of which grace his album covers), the first official collection of which is the hardcover book “Sylva,” released in 2019. For live performances, Meluch constructs towering loops — seamlessly weaving in gentle guitar-and-voice songs for hypnotic, unbroken sets typically backdropped by film work from like-minded visual artists.

The Journalism

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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