Denver, USA

The Living Atlantis


Behind the Music

The ocean is such a powerful entity that we can never truly comprehend. I know that despite my passion for marine life, I was entirely ignorant of many of the issues in this book. The amount of research and reporting Ian does into so many topics is fascinating and important to learn from. The testimonies Ian recounts in The Outlaw Ocean are powerful, and I think experiencing those stories through emotion-rich sonic art that transcends language offers another impactful way to process them.

One story featured in the book that especially resonated with me and that inspired my EP was the chapter “The Next Frontier.” I have always had a lifelong passion for ocean plants and animals, particularly coral reefs, and it devastates me how many of them are eroding and endangered because of human activity. As I started playing with the audio samples from Ian’s reporting trips, I began weaving my own thoughts, emotions and voice in as well. The idea came to anthropomorphize a little ship — a representation of the missions in Brazil and the Arctic detailed in the chapter — and tell a musical story from a first-person perspective over the course of the EP. The coral reefs and their divine beauty are represented sonically, as well as the dismal dissonance of the oil drilling rigs. Comprising almost entirely of the ambient sounds from Ian’s audio library, it's a continuous EP that attempts to depict a classic hero versus villain battle with a hopeful climax.

About ill-esha

Vancouver-born and Colorado-based music producer, artist and DJ ill-esha has crafted a long-standing soundscape of bass music throughout her career, continuously evolving her musical stylings and bridging gaps between electronic, hip hop and soul. Recognized as an extremely rare and diverse artist in the EDM scene, ill-esha is constantly pushing the boundaries of live sets with everything from loop pedals to keytars. Constantly evolving her dynamic and versatile musical taste, she is a perfect example of electronic music’s transition towards live instrumentation and indie pop sensibility.

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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