Moscow, Russia

Offshore Frontier


Behind the Music

We’ve never participated in a project in which music interacts with journalism, but we’re always open to trying something new. The theme of the seas and oceans, or big water, is very close to us and forms the basis for many of our songs. For example, our last album was recorded near the Baltic Sea, an inspiring force with its endless and inexhaustible energy. 

Music is one of the most crucial drivers in the world and important for evoking emotions and feelings in people. We can draw parallels with cinema in which pictures and music are combined into one single story, thereby captivating the viewer. Music in a movie helps to convey emotions that we see on the screen. Similarly, if a well-written literary text can reach people’s minds, then music penetrates the soul and gives the work a strong emotional color. In the case of this project, music can help strengthen the emotional aspect of Ian’s stories.

When Ian told us about the project, we realized how little we actually knew about the problems and hazards connected to the oceans. Probably like most people, we had heard of Somali pirates, poaching, illegal whaling and, of course, pollution in our waters, which is a serious and urgent challenge for humanity. But Ian reveals a whole range of additional problems, detailing the fates of specific individuals. It is surprising and sad that little attention is paid to the problems in the oceans, which give life to our planet. So, we thought it would be great to contribute to such an important story and to use music to make people pay attention to the issues that Ian writes about.

Since governments are not readily addressing many of the problems outlined in the book, it is pivotal that investigations and reporting on this extremely important subject continue. We are pleased that some of the money from our music will go toward Ian’s reporting effort.

About Mooncake

Mooncake — one of the leading instrumental acts in Russia — created its own style combining different genres: art rock, space rock and neoclassics. Mooncake is not only well known in the members’ homeland of Russia but also far away from its boundaries. They do big tours across China, play concerts and festivals in Baltic countries, and have a fanbase in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Catchy melodies, atmosphere, and the ideal balance between rapture and grief: these have always been Mooncake’s distinctive features.

The music of Mooncake features in different TV broadcasts, like “My Planet,” a popular science and travel documentary series on the biggest Russian TV holding VGTRK.

The album “Zaris” (2013) hit the Top 3 in the Russian iTunes Alternative chart.

In 2015 Mooncake launched a unique fulldome multimedia show for planetariums called “The Space Odyssey” dedicated to cosmic discoveries and the Universe. “The Space Odyssey” continues to serve sold-out audiences at the Moscow Planetarium.

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.

Learn More