Four years ago, and what seems like a lifetime away, I was fortunate to be able to speak with filmmaker Ken Burns just before his Fredericksburg Forum appearance at the University of Mary Washington (then Mary Washington College). The interview was published some time ago, but in my newly urgent dedication to getting my archives out of my boxes and into the cloud, or at least into the bottle I’ll cast on the waves, I offer this podcast of the interview.
The audio isn’t top-notch: I was using a small cassette recorder and its built-in microphone. There’s also an annoying “click” every so often. But I think the results are at least listenable, and worth hearing for the particular emphasis and tempo of Burns’ responses.
Burns was ready for the questions, though he had no inkling of what I was going to ask. I admired his candor, his intensity, and his immediate willingness to go deep. In another life, perhaps I should have been a journalist, or at least a radio interviewer. I like the sense of occasion.