Yukiko Isomura

Tokyo, Japan

Pray for the Sea


Behind the Music

I was born and raised in Japan — a country surrounded by the ocean — so the sea always felt very familiar to me. However, I realize now how very little I knew about this great body of water that encompassed me from all sides growing up. I usually compose music by feeling the scenery of my travels and ruminating on the thoughts of the people in my daily life. With The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, however, I composed based on what I felt while reading the book, using my piano to represent the waves and the sounds of the sea. 

To participate in an endeavor as meaningful as this and to have my music heard by people all over the world has been my favorite part of The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. I believe that music is a tool that can add a sense of reality and emotion to the written word and visuals. Personally, these elements inspire so much creativity within me. I hope to one day see a peaceful and beautiful ocean, and I hope this project and my contributions will help accomplish that.

Yukiko Isomura
About Yukiko Isomura

Yukiko Isomura is a composer and pianist living in Tokyo. Her works are mostly instrumental music. She collaborates with Japanese folk instruments such as the koto and shakuhachi, Chinese folk instruments such as the erhu and pipa, and instruments such as the guitar, recorder, violin and euphonium. She has also composed many choral songs for children, including songs to be sung at elementary school graduation ceremonies and other events, songs on the theme of pregnancy and childbirth, and songs for young children to enjoy in collaboration with a lyricist. When invited to participate in Ian Urbina’s project, Yukiko Isomura was able to see a different world and create piano music inspired by it.

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