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Album Review: The Other World On Our Planet EP
Trevor Gordon Hall and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
Cover image of the album The Other World On Our Planet EP by Trevor Gordon Hall and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
The Other World On Our Planet EP
Trevor Gordon Hall and The Outlaw Ocean Music Project
2021 / Synesthesia Media
23 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Other World On Our Planet EP is guitarist/composer Trevor Gordon Hall's contribution to The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, a remarkable project inspired by Ian Urbina's book, The Outlaw Ocean. I have reviewed some of Trevor's other guitar albums, and this one is much different from those - and equally inspiring. He explains his approach: "One of my favorite parts of the project was the ability to experience a scene that Ian would paint with words, and then finding the right instruments, sounds and melodies I need to capture that. His visceral phrasings led me to respond as an artist with different rhythms and textures. I’ve always loved when music can reproduce something in a way that gets the senses buzzing. So many of the topics explored in The Outlaw Oceans' stories are incredibly raw, and I wanted to reflect the essence of that in my songs by venturing from shimmering sounds to intense and uneasy guitar rhythms."

The New York Times best-selling The Outlaw Ocean chronicles world-wide lawlessness at sea, including illegal fishing, sea-life slaughter, arms trafficking, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other shocking 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, as Trevor Gordon Hall has. Powerful and dramatic music wraps around the hard-hitting quotations to create a different form of journalism that speaks to the emotional core of our listening experiences as well as to our understanding of the written words.

The album begins with "The Outlaw Ocean is Real," an introductory piece that lists some of the horrors that take place on the world's oceans every day. Dark and ominous music behind Urbina's voice draws you in to listen more closely. "A Metaphor for Infinity" is also a collage of spoken words and powerful ambient music that imparts the dark messages of the book. "Hunting Down the Poacher" refers to a section of the book about the group known as The Sea Shepherd's ocean "chase" of massive poaching operations. Electric guitars and heavy percussion express the excitement and drama of the chase while Urbina's words document it. The chilling "Confronting Sea Slavery" mixes ethnic chants with spoken words, haunting guitar and percussion to paint a very dark picture of loss and hopelessness. "Until We Reckon With This Fact" features electric guitar and other instrumental textures behind Urbina's words as he talks about some his reasons for spending five years at sea investigating the dark side of our beautiful oceans and how fragile they really are.

Trevor Gordon Hall is one of the best guitarists on the planet, and hearing another aspect of his creative output has been fascinating! The Other World On Our Planet EP is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify. To learn more about The Outlaw Ocean Music Project, be sure to visit their website. I also highly recommend the book!
December 20, 2021
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
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