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Album Review: Red Marble EP
Oskar Kappland and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
Cover image of the album Red Marble EP by Oskar Kappland and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
Red Marble EP
Oskar Kappland and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
2020 / Synesthesia Media
14 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Red Marble EP is pianist/composer Oskar Kappland's contribution to The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a remarkable project inspired by Ian Urbina's book, The Outlaw Ocean. One of the most incredible books I've ever read, the NY Times best-seller chronicles world-wide lawlessness at sea. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes infuriating, and sometimes offering hope for change, Urbina's five-year investigative journalism covers abuses ranging from illegal fishing, sea-life slaughter, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other eye-opening topics. The Outlaw Ocean Music Project includes hundreds of musical artists from all over the world who have created music in virtually every genre to capture the emotions and personal reactions they had to the book. Many artists have also included samplings from Urbina's field recordings and spoken-word passages from the book. Obviously, the goal of the Project is to bring a new level of awareness to the horrors that take place every day on the world's oceans and the hope that a higher level of awareness will gather enough strength to effect change.

Oskar Kappland is a young pianist/composer from the Swedish west coast. Red Marble is a five-track EP that is mostly solo piano. It begins with "Intro: Red Marble," a recorded advertisement for deep-sea diving that segues into a piano /strings ensemble piece that is haunting and tragic. "Shipwrecked Heart" is a piano solo that expresses deep sadness in a very stark, beautifully candid way. I can't imagine anyone not being moved by this piece. 
"Flight of the Valkyrie" is more lively and energetic and is also solo piano with some of the strings of the piano felted and lots of pedal to give passages a slightly other-worldly feeling. "Liquid Dreams" begins with ocean sounds before the poignant music begins. The simple, but very expressive melody moves around the piano keyboard, gaining momentum near the end. "Outro: Swim For Your Life" begins with a quote from the book: "The simple fact is that the ocean is as large as it is small." and some ocean sounds before the piano enters with a very dark, minor- key ending piece that is perfect for this EP.

Oskar Kappland is definitely a young artist to watch! I applaud his participation in this very worth-while cause and highly recommend his music. Red Marble is available from Amazon, Apple/iTunes, and streaming sites such as Spotify. To learn more about The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, be sure to visit their site. I highly recommend the book as well!
December 20, 2021
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