Two days before I travelled to Costa Rica I found an old Go Pro video camera. I didn’t know if it still worked (it wasn’t mine and I had never used it before so I didn’t know if it’d been discarded because it was no longer any good) but because I had no other option to take with me whilst scuba diving I decided to give it a shot.

To help me film underwater, which I’d never done before, I scoured YouTube for ideas. I focused on the work of the best, and that for me had to start with Jacques Cousteau. I looked for his most famous work and clicked on a link for the film ‘World Without Sun’, except I read it as ‘World Without Sin’. I took the inspiration of what he’d done back in the 1960’s and carried it with me to 2018 Costa Rica.

Throughout my subsequent scuba diving I used the Go Pro to film what I saw and felt whilst under the Pacific waves. I didn’t really know how to use this make of camera or even if what I was doing would result in anything I could use but it pleased me to try and when I got back to Canada and viewed the footage for the first time (the camera has no viewfinder or way of seeing what you are filming, or have filmed) I thought that the results were ok. But, they were just ok. I had moved the camera around too much, the footage was jolty and without sufficient feeling, in my opinion.

I wasn’t sure about releasing the footage, even just amongst friends. Now that I understood the dire straits that our oceans are in I considered myself a representative of marine life, I had a duty to present them in the best, most honest way possible. I had to show the true beauty and essence of their existence in the hope that when other humans saw it they might reconsider the appalling way most of us treat our marine family. Fish, Turtles, Sharks, Dolphins, they’re more than just fish tacos, cerviche, fish and chips, or however you eat them. They’re pulses of life as we are, they deserve the same considerations.

I saw an opportunity. I knew a friend at work, Anwan, who was passionate about music and enjoyed creating in his home studio. I thought that if I provided Anwan with the raw footage and a brief background of what I was trying to do, then perhaps he could use his musical skill to elevate the film to a place where it could help marine life in the way that I, and the marine biologists and activists I’d met in Costa Rica, would hope for.

I soon knew that he was the right man for the job because his first question about what we were trying to do was ‘What’s the feeling?’. So many artists favour style over substance or feeling, and it results in a litany of bloodless creation that just fills up our airways whilst giving us little to go forward with. This wasn’t the case with Anwan. All I said to him after that was this…

‘I saw a film called World Without Sun and I thought it was called World Without Sin, but by the time I realised my mistake I understood that my error actually summed up what I felt about the natural world, where even the most dangerous predators – the sharks – are without sin. So our film is to be called World Without Sin, and I’d like the music to represent what you see, rather than lead people to a stereotypical conclusion. So perhaps don’t put menacing music to the shark bits, like the Discovery Channel so often does, and Jaws did? Other than that, I just want people to see how beautiful nature is, and that it’s worth our protection…’

And with that, Anwan did his thing and this is the result, which I love, and I hope you do too. To add to my point of view, I’ll close with Anwan’s words on how he went about creating the soundtrack.

‘I’ve wanted to do more scoring work along with my music production and Dave, a friend and colleague of mine, had recently been to Costa Rica and taken some great underwater footage. I saw the material and thought, I would love to add a dimension of sound to that. The process was pretty simple. After viewing the material a few times I could hear the sound ideas in my head. I gave each animal a different sound/music and mixed it together with a few sound effects. Peter and the Wolf, one of my favorite child stories, was the main inspiration behind the idea.’

About Anwan

When discussing talented producers in the Canadian music industry, the name Anwan Ekpo is always mentioned by those who have heard his work. Anwan has an unquestionable talent when it comes to making music people can feel. Stay inTune – @itsanwan