Robbie Robertson Presents: How to Score an Audio Movie Page 3

Does surround continue to interest you as a creative person?

It’s an extraordinary thing, but it has stipulations, meaning that you need to sit in a certain place to experience that certain sound quality, and not everyone has that option. Plenty of people just don’t listen to music while sitting in a particular chair in a sweet spot between all of the speakers. But I have to say it’s definitely a lovely option to have.

And I love the idea of putting the listener right there so he can sit in the middle of the people playing the music, like he’s in another chair in the room with them. It’s an amazing experience and I really enjoy it, but I also want to walk around sometimes. I want to go get something in the kitchen and then come back to it, or I may want to switch chairs. So I understand the idea of “confinement.” But when you watch movies, you do try to sit in a place to get that experience the best you can.

I thought we were going more in that direction because of all these home theater systems. It’s especially great for live performances. I think you guys should encourage the industry to do even more of that by saying, “Are you people not visionaries? What’s happening to this industry? Surround is such an extraordinary experience, it takes you so much deeper inside the music.”

Speaking of live surround sound, I still enjoy the DVD-Audio remix you produced for The Last Waltz.

Thanks. I tried to make it like you were sitting in the third row with the audience all around you and behind you.

That was a great choice. You don’t even see the audience in the movie at all for the most part — and besides, the real story of The Last Waltz was shown on your faces onstage. And on Blu-ray, the nuances all come across even better.

That’s exactly right. It was a very conscious decision that Marty [Scorsese] and I made to not show the audience. It wasn’t about cutting to people to “convince” movie watchers the audience was really into it.

Getting back to Clairvoyant — I see that it’s going to be available in a variety of formats, like a special edition with bonus tracks that listeners can remix themselves, and it’ll also be on vinyl. But do you care if people download the tracks individually?

Oh, it’s not up to me. [chuckles] Do you know what I mean? If I have no control over something, I don’t presume it matters what I’m okay with and what I’m not. If somebody enjoys listening to music in their bathroom, I support that 100 percent.

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