Paulo Vicente

Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

Unknown Ocean


Behind the Music

Normally when starting a new album, my creative process starts from scratch, with nothing but my thoughts and ideas. With The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, however, I spent a lot more of my time preparing before even stepping foot in the studio. I wanted to be as informed and knowledgeable as possible, so I read Ian’s book and listened through the whole sound archive to help myself get in the mindset of The Outlaw Ocean. 

Working on this project really reminded me of how vast and mysterious the sea is, qualities that unfortunately enable people to commit crimes with complete impunity. Because of how unknown of a landscape the ocean can sometimes feel, I wanted to create melodies that took those abstract ideas and clearly visualize them for a listener. 

Paulo Vicente
About Paulo Vicente

Paulo Vicente is a Portuguese musician and composer with collaborations in different areas such as theater, dance, painting and ceramics. His music reveals an eclectic character full of textures that touch the fields of ambient electronica and experimental jazz. He is one of the founding members of the improvised electronic music collective Desterronics, and has also collaborated with other musicians from the experimental movement that have emerged in recent decades in Portugal, such as Victor Rua from Telectu, Jari Marjamaki and Carlos Santos. In 2020, two years after editing his first solo work, Vicente released the acclaimed “West,” an album detached from time that transports the listener to a reality far from the city bustles, where the lights and colors meet among the melodies.

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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