Jennifer Thomas

Sequim, USA

Wild Frontier


Behind the Music

Anyone familiar with my work will know I’m a huge admirer of the ocean, and draw much inspiration from it. My debut album, “Key of Sea,” was centered around the ocean and, 14 years later, I’m in the process of working on my seventh album that is also inspired by it. I grew up living by the sea for most of my life, and it’s always been a haven for me to explore and think. I always find clarity there. So you can imagine the shock I experienced working on The Outlaw Ocean Project, and realizing the reality was a far cry from what I’d experienced. It was incredibly eye-opening to read and understand the hardships, crimes and unimaginable things happening on this wild frontier, and something I will always keep in mind going forward. 

In addition, this was a completely new and unique creation process for me, as I integrated Ian’s work into the music. I loved having the freedom to go through Ian’s body of work, picking out what spoke to me personally and allowing it to evolve from there. It greatly inspired me. It took a bit of time and research to go through his large body of research, but I was able to use his words to inspire the theme for my song, “Wild Frontier.” I then approached the rest of the tracks like I do with film scoring, trying to tailor the sounds and structure as if it were the music behind this story. 

Jennifer Thomas
About Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer Thomas is a versatile and award-winning American pianist, violinist and composer known for writing cinematic piano-centered orchestra music. Thomas performed as a soloist with symphonies and orchestras, before setting out on her own as a successful recording artist in 2007. An endorsed Yamaha artist, Thomas’ original compositions and classical covers have found favor on the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts, and her music has been used in films, television and the international sporting world. Thomas has also composed several film scores, which have gone on to win various film scoring awards, including a Hollywood Music in Media Award for “Best Music in a Short Film.” 

A native of Seattle, Washington, Thomas began her formal musical training at home at the age of five. Upon graduating from BYU-I, the in-demand, multi-instrumentalist performed with Salt Lake City’s Murray Symphony, the Temple Square Concert Series and the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and worked for the Seattle Symphony in their educational department. During this time Thomas began composing her own pieces. She has released six full albums to date. Her most recent album, the critically acclaimed and expansive “The Fire Within,” has seen much success with a USA sold out tour, numerous awards and media attention as she is seen playing a fiery grand piano in her music video for the title track. Entirely self-produced and an almost entirely independent artist, Thomas is also a long-time member of the Recording Academy, ASCAP, and the Alliance for Women Film Composers.

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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