Tony Halliwell

Guildford, England



Behind the Music

When listening to this music, I hope it has an awakening, eye-opening effect while still retaining a hypnotic and entrancing nature. I aim to convey truth and grit in my music and I believe that Denis and Leonard, my collaborating partners (Their Dogs Were Astronauts), feel the same way. Composing music based on Ian’s fantastic book about such serious issues, I really wanted to reflect the feelings of frustration and despair experienced by the victims of ocean crime, while also channeling the notions of overcoming and triumph.

With this project being innately global - both in its nature and its accessibility - I tried to reflect this universality by incorporating a range of different types of music into my composition. The main thread running through the track is a U.S. hard rock/heavy metal sound. At the same time, I also incorporated Indian vocal melodies, African percussion and characteristically European classical strings, a la Strauss or Bartok, ‘80s-sounding Electro synthesizers. This is a real amalgam of cultural symbolism, unified by Ian’s message of worldwide awareness. And I really hope it moves and inspires people who listen.

I had no idea about the ongoing complexities of sea crime out there! Ian’s book really inspired my compassion and a willingness to be proactive and contribute to the cause through my music. I would encourage anybody who feels moved to help raise awareness of these issues to do so through their strongest mode of expression, whatever that may be. 

Tony Halliwell
About Tony Halliwell

Tony Halliwell is a versatile and impactful composer, producer, guitarist and vocalist from the UK, who is paving the way for a new generation of cinematic music. With his revitalizing take on music composition and an eclectic host of genres and styles at his disposal, Halliwell, a recent Masters graduate from the University of Southampton, has set his sights on a lifelong journey to simultaneously embrace the way music is heard in our day and age, and turn it upside down.

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.

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