Steve Rachmad’s New Album is Inspired by Ian Urbina’s Best-Selling Reporting

Steve Rachmad will release The Beauty and The Sea, a first-of-its-kind collaboration melding music and journalism.

The Beauty and The Sea features eight tracks inspired by reporting from “The Outlaw Ocean,” Ian Urbina’s New York Times best-selling book exploring a diversity of human rights, labor, and environmental abuses occurring at sea.

“Reading ‘The Outlaw Ocean’ gave me chills, and each story featured was shocking and touched my heart in a different way,” Rachmad says. “While Ian is the one to bring these horrors to light, it feels like I can also help raise awareness by communicating some of the pain and disbelief as well as hope experienced by those in the story.”

The album forms part of the Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a collection of records from 250 artists created using sound clips from Urbina’s audio library of field recordings from his reporting. The clips include a variety of textured and often rhythmic sounds, from machine gun fire on the coast of Somalia to chanting from captive deckhands on the South China Sea. The records span electronic, ambient, classical, and hip-hop, and they’ll be released every other month.

Similar to a soundtrack setting the scene for a movie, the Outlaw Ocean Music Project gives depth and meaning to the field recordings, we’re told. Each track embodies a backstory, spreading the same message about the ocean and the need to stop certain abuses.

Each participating artist also created EP artwork using photography Urbina’s team captured at sea, illustrating the reporting.

You can read more about the project here ahead of The Beauty and The Sea‘s release on Friday, October 9. A tracklisting and sound clips will be added as they become available.

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