** (Update 8 December 2021 : I wrote a piece about recent events that have circulated about The Outlaw Ocean Music Project. Read it here.) **
The Outlaw Ocean Music Project | An Interview with Yorick Sedee (Poolz)
As part of my independent coverage of The Outlaw Ocean Music Project – I caught up with Dutch producer Poolz. His wonderful piece, Sailing in the Mist, was featured in my top twenty picks from the project overall. The song is a subtle and peaceful soundscape that blends the eerie, creaking sounds of Urbina’s footage with the hopeful fluttering of the piano. This composition is quite enchanting and captivating and really had a strong impact on me. He uses intensely muffled and powerful sounds to create a stunningly haunting atmosphere. Poolz is undoubtedly a producer of the highest quality – he successfully utilizes the sounds at his disposal to bring the stories to life.
Finding artists like this has made the whole experience worthwhile for me. I’m delighted to have caught up with Yorick to gain further insight into his wonderful track.
Make sure to listen to the track whilst reading the interview for the best experience.
I’ll start off with the usual question : How did you first hear about the project and why did you get involved ?
It all came through email really and we got talking. Ian showed me the concept of the book and sent over a copy. I read it to see if I could find inspiration from it to make music and immediately did. ‘Sailing in the Mist’ came from a section of the book that I found most intriguing. The overall idea of the project is great as it is such an important cause. It is raising awareness to issues that are good for the world, so I was instantly interested.
When I read the book – I was really inspired by a story about one little ship that had to look after a vast amount of the ocean (the size of France) on it’s own. The crew worked tirelessly searching for illegal boats with very little resources available to them. This inspired me to sit at my piano and that’s how the theme of ‘Sailing in the Mist‘ was born. Later on, I decided to do two more tracks as I continued to read and find other stories in the book inspiring. I thought it would be nice to have more than one track for the project.
How did you isolate the sounds you needed for the songs? What sounds were you looking for?
I wanted to write the music from the perspective of the ship itself. It was old and rusty so I really wanted to isolate sounds that represented that. The sounds were all based around the creaking, groaning and crashing, heard out at sea. All of these sounds worked together to create the atmosphere of a rugged boat crossing.
I wanted to design the music so that the listener would feel like he/she were on the ship itself.
My aim was for the piano to be in contrast to the lonely and dark sound effects. The piano portrays a feeling of hopefulness as the ship did somehow manage to catch catch illegal boats. I wanted the song to have an uplifting feel too.
How did you find the process of making music for a cause like this rather than how you are used to creating?
I am quite used to this kind of thing actually as I have been studying at the University of Arts in Utrecht for the last four years. My degree was in electronic composition and I graduated this year. The course was filled with different assignments – this made it easier for me to immerse myself in this project. I’m used to coming up with new ways of creating and programming music. Besides being a music-maker, I am also a sound designer, mostly for other artists so I’m used to working on other projects which are separate to my own.
However, this kind of project, merging journalism with music, was totally new obviously. When I make my own music, I can close my eyes and play based on emotion but when it’s part of a project, I have an academic approach to composition.
How did you make the song, which instruments did you use and what equipment did you use?
The first thing I wanted to do, was create the atmosphere of sailing on an old ship. I made a five minute long loop of all the sounds that represented this. I have a midi keyboard and a piano. At first, I always play on the actual piano initially because I prefer that feeling. I played the loop of the atmospheric sounds (taken from Urbina’s footage) on my headphones and started to play the piano over the sounds. This is how I was able to distinguish what kind of emotions or themes fit. When I felt a pattern fit the mood, I’d record it and play it on the midi-keyboard to expand on it.
Later on, I explored the more upbeat piano melodies to give the piece the contrast I envisioned. The distortion, reverb and delay I used throughout the track is aimed at painting the picture of the rough and rusty ship’s appearance as it battles through storms. The second half of the song is based on the ship coming out of the storm and into calmer seas again.
Listen to the full EP here:
Check out The Outlaw Ocean Music Project official website : here
About ‘The Sound Sniffer’
The Sound Sniffer is a one-man music blog which is still only a baby – Founded and run by Kevin Coakley in early 2019. He is a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists I find in my submissions inbox.
Check out my Interviews HERE