Bangalore, India

An Ocean Away


Behind the Music

Prior to reading The Outlaw Ocean and being part of this project, the sea was heavily romanticized for me. Now I feel much more grounded in reality about it. It doesn’t diminish the magic of lapping waves or the beautiful broad expanse of water, but I’m no longer naive about what happens past the shoreline. Ian’s reporting and storytelling is evocative. I feel at once smarter and more humble, more cynical and more hopeful. There were two words that especially struck me as I read — “bear witness.” I’d never heard the phrase before, but I found it to be a profound motto that gave me new meaning as an artist.

Music oftentimes needs context, just as journalism needs storytellers. By setting music against the backdrop of the tales of The Outlaw Ocean, the narrative becomes symbiotic. For my tracks, I wanted to heighten awareness for these topics by making listeners inhabit the stories I’ve tried to capture. Even if it’s only for a fleeting moment, then I’ll have accomplished what I set out to do for this project. As more listen and learn, hopefully more will care and get involved.

About mudeth

I press buttons and make sounds and sometimes other people enjoy those sounds. Sometimes I get paid for that sequence of buttons. But mostly I wonder if I should have pushed that other one over there.

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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