Music Within

Toronto, Canada

The High Seas


Behind the Music

The oceans cover more than ⅔ of the planet and yet it’s a place most of us, myself included, give very little thought to. Reading The Outlaw Ocean was an eye-opening experience in this sense, compelling me to learn more and share the stories featured within its pages. Each chapter peels away another layer of ignorance regarding the seas, and it’s something more people need to experience. It’s a really well-written and meticulously detailed account of modern life on the oceans. This journalism shines a light on this vast place, which we should all really know much more about, uncovering in great detail what goes on out there. 

Generally I write cinematic and evocative music, which paired well with the content of Ian’s book. Using expressive instruments like the piano and brass, I tried to capture feelings of despair and darkness alongside determination and resilience by composing primarily in minor keys. To give an extra level of storytelling, I added narration from Ian reading lines of The Outlaw Ocean to two of the tracks. Overall I wanted to create tracks that make the hairs on people’s necks stand up, adding an extra layer of weight to these stories and this message.

Music Within
About Music Within

Music Within is the modern classical/ambient-cinematic artist project of Rob McAllister. Rob is a Toronto-based Composer and Multi-Instrumentalist who writes music for film and media, most recently co-scoring the full-length documentary, “Town of Widows.” As a natural extension from media composing, under the Music Within moniker, Rob approaches ideas as though he’s writing for films that don’t yet exist or that may only ever live as unique stories within each listener’s mind.

At the most basic level, for Music Within, Rob aims to create emotional cinematic music. From soft, dreamy compositions approaching the realm of ambient, to raw, emotional solo piano and string-based compositions approaching upon classical. It’s an intentionally genre-breaking pursuit allowing room for the whims of inspiration and the excitement of fewer rules.

On July 10th 2020, his latest 4-track EP titled “A World Worth Protecting” was released. The evocative music was inspired by the natural beauty of our world, by programs like Planet Earth and Our Planet, and by prolific composers like Jóhann Jóhannsson, Steven Price and Max Richter. In addition, earlier notable albums include “Equanimity” (2019) and “Finding Stillness” (2018).

The sound of Music Within stirs emotions, conjures memories and underscores daydreams. It encourages listeners to slow down, quiet their minds, reflect and appreciate the beauty all around.

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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