Jim Jarmusch’s band Sqürl pay musical tribute to the late Robby Müller — the filmmaker’s long-time collaborator and cinematographer — with the duo’s new album.
Some Music for Robby Müller — out January 31st, 2020 and available to preorder now through Sacred Bones — serves as the score for Claire Pijman’s Living the Light, a documentary about the legendary cinematographer who died in July 2018.
“Robby became my close friend, my collaborator and my teacher too. From him I learned about the emotional qualities of light, about telling stories with a camera, about artistic intuition, collaboration, and integrity,” Jarmusch said in a statement. “We worked together on the films Down by Law, Mystery Train, Dead Man, parts of Coffee and Cigarettes, and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. We spent time together in many interesting places in the world, and became parts of each other’s families. Honestly, I can’t even begin express all that I learned from Robby, the joy I had just being with him, or the depth of my respect for him as a compassionate, energetic and rebellious human being. I miss him very much.”
Sqürl, featuring Jarmusch alongside Carter Logan, also shared “Robby’s Theme” from Living the Light, one of Some Music for Robby Müller’s six songs. The duo recorded the album in New York with “an unusual vintage Japanese electric guitar from the wonderful Brooklyn–based Dutch luthier, Flip Scipio.”
“We used it for all the guitar parts, its tonal qualities also somehow channeling the spirit of Robby,” Jarmusch said. “Robby liked formal purity and focus but he also embraced imperfection, accidents and experimentation. He was well aware that contradictions can and should become strengths.
Jarmusch continued, “As Sqürl approached creating music for Claire’s film, we attempted to be guided by the beautiful and illuminated elements of Robby’s spirit. We tried to channel his love of the special light during ‘magic hour,’ his love of moving images — from trains and cars, the sadness of certain architecture, or the vibrant energy that can be felt emanating from all living things.”
Some Music for Robby Müller Tracklist
1. Robby’s Theme
2. Dutch Light on Silver Water
3. In a Lonely Place
4. Magic Hour
5. While Vermeer Was Sleeping
6. Robby’s Theme (Variation)