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Amon Tobin – Concert Theory

by Archives March 23, 2005

It appears as though Amon Tobin is enamoured with the uncharted. The Brazilian native, who relocated to Montreal in 2002 after living in London, has taken a slight detour in his DJ-ing career – all for the sake of progress, of course.

Tobin, one of the most respected DJ’s in the world, began his unusual trek in early 2004 when he was approached by Montreal videogame developer Ubisoft to create the musical score for the latest instalment of their wildly successful spy game Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Chaos Theory. According to Tobin, it was “such a bizarre idea, and I can’t believe we pulled it together.” Since Tobin didn’t have much experience with video games (he confesses to not getting past the second level in the original Splinter Cell), he turned towards movie soundtracks. He says that he wanted to “write the music as if it was a score for a Dario Argento movie.”

The process of making the album was different from anything he had done previously. “It was more restrictive because the track has to play with the game, but I was free to do what I wanted,” he says, referring to it as “interactive music”. Since he had to write the music while the game was being developed, Tobin would receive movie files of the game from Ubisoft, and then compose based on those. All of this, Amon says, “while working on a deadline.”

While the experiment was indeed a success according to Tobin, he says, “this (Chaos Theory Soundtrack) should not be viewed as a new album, it is a soundtrack.”

Amon Tobin is even more excited about his upcoming live show. Chaos Theory was the first proper videogame soundtrack to be released as a stand-alone record, and the live set promises to be just an innovative. Tobin says that his new show will be the first DJ-set to be in 5.1 surround sound. He also promises subwoofers in every corner of the room. Working with his soundman Vid, Tobin is unsure as to how successful the show might be, “it might not even work, but if it does…it will be wicked. That’s the double-edged sword, but it’s worth the risk.”

Since the show will be in surround sound, Amon himself will be situated in the background, on purpose. Tobin says he enjoys a surround mix since its similar to being “right in the middle of the band.” He also says he wanted to bring surround sound to those who don’t have the proper sound equipment at home.

Amon Tobin has gone off on a slight tangent this year, but to him, its all about embracing progress in music. “It’s all about the sound at the end of the day,” he says, “This is a great way for me to emphasize the music as the star of the show. Its about presenting music in a different way.”

Amon Tobin plays at the Corona Theatre, Mar. 25th & 26th. Tickets $25, show at 9:30 p.m.

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