Musician Phil Thornton joins The Outlaw Ocean Music Project to Disseminate Messaging About High Seas Issues

Phil Thornton Album Cover for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a project by Ian Urbina

Album “Secrets from the Lawless Ocean” by Phil Thornton for the The Outlaw Ocean Music Project is released on May 6, 2022.

Using music as a way of disseminating information across borders and cultural barriers feels like a perfect fit for the content.”

— Phil Thornton, for The Outlaw Ocean Music Project

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, May 6, 2022 / — Musician Phil Thornton explains why he joined forces with investigative reporter Ian Urbina to draw attention to human rights and environmental abuses at sea within The Outlaw Ocean Music Project for his most recent release.

The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, run by the label Synesthesia Media, is a global and expansive effort to disseminate The Outlaw Ocean Project’s investigative journalism to a broader audience by releasing music inspired by offshore reporting.

Spanning genres from classical to hip-hop to electronic, hundreds of musicians from around the world have joined the effort. Many of the artists who participate in the project draw from an audio archive of field recordings captured by Urbina while reporting offshore.

Phil Thornton is perhaps best known as an early pioneer of the British New Age music movement, as well as a leading light in the international tribal bellydance scene.

He is a prolific solo artist with 50+ releases to date with combined sales of over two million albums. As a live instrumentalist, Thornton has toured with Sinead O’Connor and The Bay City Rollers, as well as embarked on many solo tours.

He is also a regular member of the neo-psychedelic English band, Mandragora, and a founding member of ‘synth rock’ pioneers, Expandis.

Thornton has also performed live and in the studio with many notable artists such as Hossam Ramzy, Peter Gabriel, Page and Plant, The Gypsy Kings, Arthur Brown, Anthony Phillips (Genesis), Gordon Giltrap, Stallion, Naked Lunch and The 4 B 2’s along with many others.

He augments his musical talents as an accomplished studio producer with credits on countless projects, perhaps most notably the best-selling Buddha Experience ‘Chill Out’ compilations.

Thornton discussed his creative process and reflected on Urbina’s reporting in his 2019 book The Outlaw Ocean. He said he was invited to join the project after he had finished his album “Coastal Moods,” so it seemed only natural to continue with creating music about the sea.

“The focus of the project inspired me from day one,” Thornton said. “(It’s) a welcome opportunity to address a subject that tends to be ignored by mainstream media, highlighting aspects of international lawlessness that most people are completely unaware of.”

Thornton’s previous work is almost exclusively instrumental in nature, so he said having the opportunity to use spoken word and ambient samples pulled from Urbina’s reporting at sea was exciting.

“The chance to use spoken word as an ingredient was in itself a joy and pushed me into inspiring directions when creating appropriate ‘moods’ for the music,” Thornton said.

Thornton describes music as a universal language, and he thinks that The Outlaw Ocean Music Project’s global reach is one of its most interesting aspects.

“Using music as a way of disseminating information across borders and cultural barriers feels like a perfect fit for the content,” Thornton said.

“Secrets from the Lawless Ocean” by Phil Thornton is available in all stores, including Apple Music, YouTube, and Spotify.

Synesthesia Media announces new waves of releases monthly on its social media.

About The Outlaw Ocean Project:

The Outlaw Ocean Project is a non-profit journalism organization founded by Ian Urbina that produces investigative stories about environmental and human rights concerns at sea globally. The project seeks to not only produce polished, narrative investigative journalism, but also to amplify that reportage by converting it into other other mediums to reach new audiences all over the world.

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The Outlaw Ocean Project
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