Good Weather for an Airstrike

Winchester, England

The Depths Between Us


Behind the Music

Without a doubt, the chapter that moves me the most is “Adelaide’s Voyage.” Abortion is, of course, a very sensitive subject to talk about. What strikes me is the extreme lengths and dangers these women, who would not have taken the decision of abortion lightly, go through to be in control of their own bodies. It is tough to read about the difficulties that Rebecca Gompert faces to help the women, like dealing with the constant balancing act between protecting the women and getting the word out to others in need. I also feel, however, that this is the hardest chapter to capture artistically and express through music because of the very sensitive and emotive subject.

Trying to understand the human elements of the chapters was the best way to capture an emotional essence that could be expressed through music.  When creating my music, I decided to imagine myself as specific individuals in the book to try and appreciate what they must have been experiencing.  Some were easier than others to portray, but I hope I’ve managed to do them justice.

In my song “Now You Have Your Own Island,” the intro has an eerie soundscape that represents the island in “A Rusty Kingdom.” The piano conveys the romantic elements of the chapter, while the somewhat abrupt ending shows the true realities of what was soon to become of Sealand.

“Family Photo” aims to capture the emotions of not just Eril, but many of the men aboard various vessels in the chapter “The Middlemen.” The song represents how the men put on brave faces and try to portray strength through adversity during the few opportunities they have to contact their families. The lyrics capture these emotions:

“smoke screen disappears”: The men’s reality dawns on them.

“Through this gritted smile I lie through my teeth”: The men feel it important to not worry their families.

“loosen the grip”:  The men’s fear they may not return.

“leave our door open”:  This ends on a slightly more positive note, reflecting the crew’s hope that they will return safely.

In “Bro, This Is Eril,” I try to imagine how terrifying it must have felt to be Eril’s brother. It’s the most frantic, noisy and dark song on the soundtrack, representing the total panic Eril’s brother must have felt from the final message he received.

One of the more peaceful songs on the EP, “350 Feet Beneath Us,” conveys the calmness of the ocean before the companies drill for oil in “The Next Frontier.” I keep this song minimal with only a few instruments filling the spaces. The sample at the end reflects the storm ahead.

“Thaw” leads on from the oil drilling of “350 Feet Beneath Us.” The theme of this song is the lack of acceptance toward global warming and the rising of ocean temperatures because of a worldwide obsession with financial gain and overreliance on fossil fuels. The lack of global attention to the coral bleaching and loss of ocean habitats reflects a generalised lack of empathy toward sea life in the ocean.

Good Weather for an Airstrike
About Good Weather for an Airstrike

The Good Weather for an Airstrike project was initially conceived at the beginning of 2009 to help U.K. based Tom Honey alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, which caused a ringing sensation in the ear and resulted in difficulty sleeping. The concept was to create a collection of relaxing sounds that would help induce sleep.  GWFAA’s work draws on all of Honey’s musical influences and presents itself as a rich tapestry of lulling drones that hints at a diluted form of post-rock.

GWFAA’s music has been streamed over 25 million times on Spotify as well as being played multiple times on BBC Music Introducing. GWFAA is also a featured artist on the sleep, meditation and relaxation app “Calm” (Apple’s App of the Year 2017 + Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018).

Winner of the 2021 Scripps Howard Award for Excellence in Innovation in Journalism

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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