Published Jan 29, 2020Known for his artistic manipulation of natural light and beautiful minimalist imagery, iconic Dutch cinematographer Robby Müller made a real impression on Jim Jarmusch. Long before Müller's passing in 2018, the two directors had crossed paths at a film festival in Rotterdam, and clicked instantly.
Throughout their lengthy friendship, Müller taught Jarmusch about the emotional qualities of light, guiding him during the making of many of his celebrated films, including Mystery Train and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. When it was uncovered that Claire Pijman was directing Living the Light, a film dedicated to showcasing the artistic visions of Müller, it only seemed right for Jarmusch and his bandmate Carter Logan to join forces again under the name SQÜRL and create another film score, naming it Some Music for Robby Müller.
Jarmusch's boundless imagination on the big screen translates quite clearly into this musical venture, which is resonant and ethereal, but also travels to darker territories from time to time. The opening song, "Robby's Theme," feels like a folk tune being played in slow motion, up in the cosmos; the vibe is simultaneously calming and disconcerting. "Dutch Light on Silver Water" feels almost like a continuation of this opening song, but things change rapidly with "In a Lonely Place," following next, with its eerie feedback and slow, sonorous drum roll. "While Vermeer Was Sleeping" is blissful in its weirdness, loaded with reverb and reversed guitar riffs.
Although Jarmusch sticks to the same formula for the majority of Some Music for Robby Müller, the songs on this project are lucid, strange and wonderfully haunting. Throughout the album's half-hour length, Jarmusch's love for fellow filmmaker and friend Robby Müller is thoughtfully conveyed. (Sacred Bones)