JJ Kelley and Adrian Pruitt

Dec 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Currently filming for National Geographic and producing his own films, JJ Kelley is this project’s videographer along with assistance from Adrian Pruitt.  All footage was taken during the Alaska SeaLife Center’s expedition planning meeting for GyreX, a marine debris project and dialogue between scientists and artists.

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James Prosek

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Artist, writer, activist, and Yale graduate James Prosek made his authorial debut at nineteen years of age with Trout: an Illustrated History (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), which featured seventy of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek has shown his paintings with the Gerald Peters Gallery, New York and Santa Fe; Meredith Long Gallery, Houston; as well as with Wajahat/Ingrao, New York, the d.u.m.b.o. arts center, Brooklyn, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler.

Prosek co-founded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia clothing company, which raises money for coldwater habitat conservation through the sale of T-shirts featuring trout paintings. His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, will be published by HarperCollins in September 2010. He is working on a book of paintings of Atlantic fishes for Rizzoli and a project about naming nature.

Prosek is a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and a member of the board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Travis Rummel of feltsoulmedia created this video: www.feltsoulmedia.com

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Jordan Reyne

Jun 27, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

This video was directed by Eloise Coveny and co-directed by Jonathan Lamb.


The sea holds a special, dark significance in the music of Jordan Reyne. Oceans and tides are prominent
recurring motifs on all of her albums, including her upcoming sixth disc, Children of a Factory Nation, due in September.

The sound of waves was a perpetual soundtrack to Jordan’s childhood in New Zealand and the ocean’s presence must have left a lasting impression because she returns to it again and again in her lyrics – yet its embrace is clearly as menacing as it is comforting when she warns us on her latest single that, “You forget how to swim once your life doesn’t throw you too far.”

Children of a Factory Nation is the story of a Welsh family in Britain during the Industrial Revolution whose traditional way of life is disrupted by changing economies and technologies. Each song takes a chapter from their lives, based on Reyne’s own historical and genealogical research, and weaves folk music, found sound, and Celtic vocal melodies into a cycle of tales not unlike those of the Brothers Grimm. About the song, “Johnny and the Sea”, she says:

“I found this Johnathan character who was a seaman, or recorded as being one, and who managed to die by drowning and I thought, “How does that happen?” It was apparently quite common at the time. I sort of wrote this story around it because we found out that he got married very shortly before his first kid was born, so I turned him into this person who the call of adventure kept calling him, even after he’d sort of tried to conform and do the right thing and so on but he couldn’t handle it. So the call of adventure wins out in the end and he wanders off into the sea – but, of course, not being able to swim he comes to a sticky end.”

For more information, please visit www.jordanreyne.com

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Colleen Flanigan

Mar 27, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

Click on the video to view.
Colleen Flanigan is a visual, performing and environmental artist residing in Portland, Oregon. Raised along the Monterey Peninsula in California, she has been listening to the ocean tide for much of her life. Colleen is the first visual artist to be certified by the Global Coral Reef Alliance in Biorock mineral accretion, a technology for coral reef restoration that shares many metallurgical, electrical and chemical principles with her early sculpture. This June she plans to install a Living Sea Sculpture: contemporary art as coral refuge in the underwater museum (MUSA) off Cancun. Combined with this direct action to rehabilitate endangered corals, she is developing an exhibition that links coral and human health. At the intersection of biology, human technological innovation, and multi-media arts lies her vision for helping the corals regain their color.

Through Colleen’s socio-ecological alter egos, Miss Snail Pail and Amphitrite, she has joined the voices defending our natural resources and inviting creative responses to environmental issues. She is a TED Senior Fellow.  With more than 20 years of arts background, she works in jewelry, steel sculptures, drawing, and interactive mixed media on conceptual and collaborative projects; she also makes ball-and-socket skeletons for stop-motion puppets. Recently she applied her metalworking expertise to the stop-motion animated feature film, Coraline. A teacher of sculpture and metalsmithing, she’s known for her large, 3-D steel “drawings,” woven with wire by children in group projects.

Join the coral replanting process in Mexico this summer!  To get involved and support the coral refuge, please visit:

twitter: @misssnailpail

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Michael Leonhart

Mar 27, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Born into a musical family, Michael Leonhart has developed into one of the most imaginative musicians of his time, sought throughout the music and entertainment world as a trumpet player, producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and singer-songwriter.

As a solo artist Michael has released six albums — “Aardvark Poses” (1995), “Glub Glub vol. 11″ (1997), and “Slow” (2002) all on the Sunnyside label; “The Suzy Lattimore EP” (2005) & “The Ballad of Minton Quigley “(2006) self released and 2008’s “Hotel Music” on limited edition vinyl with hand painted covers released through St. Ives (an imprint of Secretly Canadian). He has composed and performed music for movies, television, dance, fashion shows and theater, and has appeared on over 100 albums.

At age 17, Michael was honored as the youngest Grammy recipient in history, cited as the most outstanding musician in a U.S. high school. That same year ABC World News named him “Person of the Week”.

Michael has performed with Steely Dan since 1996, recording two albums with them, including 2000’s Grammy winning Album of the Year “Two Against Nature” on which he was a featured soloist, arranger and conductor. He has performed and/or recorded with such diverse artists as A Tribe Called Quest, Arif Mardin, Arto Linsday, Bill Frisell, Bill Withers, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Eno, Busta Rhymes, Caetano Veloso, D.J. Spooky, David Byrne, Henry Mancini, James Brown, John Barry, Joshua Redman, Lenny Kravitz, Levon Helm, Mark Ronson, Michael McDonald, Mos Def, Natalie Merchant, Q-Tip, Raekwon (Wutang Clan), Slash (Guns and Roses/ Velvet Revolver), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Todd Rundgren, and Wynton Marsalis.

Most recently, Michael recorded with Yoko Ono as a featured member of the Plastic Ono Band for her upcoming album, “Between My Head and the Sky”. Michael also appears on upcoming albums by Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, Foreigner, Sean Lennon, and Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto).

After 40 plus recordings as the house trumpet player for Truth and Soul records, the Brooklyn based funk and soul label will release Leonhart’s heavy-funk concept album “Seahorse and the Storyteller” late this year.

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Kristin Hoffmann

Dec 30, 2010 No Comments by Sea Stories

To download sheet music for Song for the Ocean, click here.


Kristin Hoffmann is a singer/songwriter based in New York City.  She grew up studying classical piano, opera, guitar and composition and attended the Juilliard Pre-College.  Along the way, she has performed her own music in countless shows in NYC and has toured with The Wallflowers and Tina Dico and opened for Brandi Carlile, Feist, Howie Day, Dar Williams, Richie Havens and Ben Lee as well as been signed by both Capitol Records and Interscope Records.  She has become a major “musical spokeswoman” for ocean awareness, with “Song for the Ocean,” and has recently released a new music video for the song, created with videographer, environmentalist, and founder of “Global Classroom,” Colin Garland.  Beyond the realm of mainstream music, Kristin has created over 150 fully recorded songs for health-challenged children as a writer/producer for the non-profit organization, “Songs of Love.” In 2006, she began working alongside acupuncturist, Dar Gadol, at Chelsea Healing in NYC, leading patients on live, ethereal musical journeys during sessions.  Seeing how powerful these experiences were, she was soon inspired to create a successful bi-coastal workshop series, called YogaSong, combining yoga and sound.  In 2007, Kristin began studying at The Tama-Do Academy of Sound, Color and Movement, with founder and legendary sound healing pioneer, Fabien Maman. and later became a Tama-Do Practitioner.  In addition to her 3 previous CD releases, “Spring Comes,” “Divided Heart,” and “Real,” Kristin has recently released her first CD of healing music, which she calls “SOL~AUM”(Songs of Light).  Her newest mainstream CD, “The Waking,” came out in June and is just beginning to make it’s way into the world!  To contact Kristin, email her at [email protected]


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Jason deCaires Taylor

Dec 30, 2010 1 Comment by Sea Stories


Jason deCaires Taylor is a man of many identities whose work resonates with the influences of his eclectic life. Growing up in Europe and Asia with his English father and Guyanese mother nurtured his passion for exploration and discovery. Much of his childhood was spent on the coral reefs of Malaysia where he developed a profound love of the sea and a fascination with the natural world. This would later lead him to spend several years working as a scuba diving instructor in various parts of the globe, developing a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography. His bond with the sea remains a constant throughout Taylor’s life though other key influences are found far from the oceans. During his teenage years, work as a graffiti artist fired his interest in the relationship between art and the environment, fostering an ambition to produce art in public spaces and directing the focus of his formal art training. He graduated in 1998 from the London Institute of Arts, with a B.A. Honours in Sculpture and Ceramics. Later, experience in Canterbury Cathedral taught him traditional stone carving techniques whilst five years working in set design and concert installations exposed him to cranes, lifting, logistics and completing projects on a grand scale.

With this range of experiences he was equipping himself with the skills required to execute the ambitious underwater projects that have made his name. Carving cement instead of stone and supervising cranes while in full scuba gear to create artificial reefs submerged below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, the various strands of his diverse life resolve themselves convincingly in the development of his underwater sculptures. These ambitious, public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.

Jason deCaires Taylor has gained significant interest and recognition for his unique work, with features in over 1000 publications around the world, including National Geographic, Vogue, USA today, the BBC, and CNN and he has made several TV appearances. His international reputation was established in May 2006, when he created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies, leading to both private and public commissions. Taylor is currently founder and Artistic Director of the Museo Subacuático del Arte (MUSA) in Cancun, Mexico.

View Jason’s website: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/

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Cooper Skinner

Oct 04, 2010 No Comments by Sea Stories

To hear Ocean Undertones, click here.


Cooper Skinner’s design work has many influences – from music and nature to nonfigurative and common world objects. He tries to combine these elements to create pieces with a unique sense of space and time. Cooper’s work tells stories and is a dance between the senses. He believes that when people stop and just listen, something special has been produced.

Cooper is a recent graduate of the Savannah School of Art and Design with a BFA in sound design.  He grew up in Alaska and Montana.

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Tony Wu

Oct 04, 2010 1 Comment by Sea Stories

As you can tell from the video, it was a fantastic trip…great participants, the perfect venue, and lots of amazing marine life!

Diving through the night was an experiment of sorts…one that fortunately worked out really well. To cut to the chase, the night life in Lembeh was totally fascinating.

Some of the same animals we encountered in normal daylight hours were out and about at night as well, but for the most part, there were different critters and/ or activities.

Not a big surprise, but there were many more crustaceans and cephalopods around in the wee hours than in the day, and even critters we came across during normal hours seemed to be more active at night (like flounders, octopuses, frogfish, etc.)

We managed to see a bit of courtship and mating activity as well, though some of it (like the porcupine pufferfish mating I photographed) took place after everyone else left.

The biggest surprise for me was how easy and pleasant it was to dive on a night schedule.

I expected to be cold most of the time (I even brought along a wool cap, sweater and sweat pants which I never used), but actually, the water temperature and conditions were great through the night.

In addition, waking up mid- to late-morning and jumping into the water for a first dive at 17:30 or so proved to be a very civilized schedule. With much of the morning and afternoon free to chill out, sort through photos, charge batteries, check gear, etc., the night schedule was…well…easy.

Having so much time before the first dive also meant I never went in without charged batteries, lens cap still attached, CF card missing…or any of the other common flub-ups that happen when you’re in a rush or don’t have sufficient time to double-check gear before hitting the water.

I hesitate to speak for everyone on the trip, but I think we all felt this way, and several people asked to be kept informed if there’s another night trip, because they liked this one so much!

I am, in fact, running another night trip later this year in Ambon together with Eric Cheng and Wetpixel.

It’s basically the same idea…diving mostly at night…concentrating on the dive sites collectively referred to as the Twilight Zone. It’s been difficult to dive these prolific sites at night for many years now, but with the new Maluku Divers resort situated close by, we’ll have easy access to Ambon’s critter central.

I have no doubt that it’s going to be an awesome adventure. The underwater topography is similar to, but different from, that of Lembeh, and though there’s certainly an overlap in the resident critter life, Ambon’s marine community is unique…which means lots of new animals and behaviours to see and enjoy.

If you’re interested in checking out Ambon’s night life in November I set out additional details toward the bottom of this post. Otherwise, take a look at the trip description on Wetpixel. Click here for an online presentation about Ambon that I put together previously.

Correction: Just received updated information that the unfortunate frogfish is a Histrio histrio, aka sargassum frogfish, which is unusual, since it’s sitting on the bottom with no sargassum seaweed around. Apparently, there is an article being written now about this, based on observations from the Virgin Island

Read more: http://www.tonywublog.com/category/media/multimedia#ixzz0vAkYRN5E
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives


Tony Wu travels, photographs, videos and creates stories full-time, spending most of his time in the Asia-Pacific and Pacific regions. He does his best to post thoughts, images and observations from travels on his site, tonywublog.com, so please bookmark this site, or better yet, follow using RSS.

Tony also organizes trips and adventures, usually with an emphasis on underwater photography, and tends to prefer visiting destinations that are remote, unique and off the beaten path.

If you’d like to consider joining him on one of the excursions, here is a list of some of upcoming trips, which Tony tries (though inevitably fails) to keep updated and current.

Read more: http://www.tonywublog.com/

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