Sunday, 8 January 2017

"egoistic. This might sound pompous, but it happens to be the truth. People who live their lives watching what goes on around them...are not going to be able to do creative work"

I don't often read or review non-fiction but I make an exception here for Mr Murakami. Absolutely on Music is essentially a transcript of a number of meetings between Haruki Murakami and his friend, the celebrated conductor Seiji Ozawa. Both share their thoughts on classical music and jazz and on the creative process as a whole.

In short this is a conversation between two of the most influential Japanese creatives of the last 50 years - a unique insight into two idiosyncratic minds. "You mean you have to dig down to something deeper than superficial Japanese emotionalism to understand and internalise it?", asks Murakami.

The text is bursting with detailed references to music from Brahms and Beethoven to Duke Ellington. You can literally imagine the two men sitting surrounded by Murakami's legendary record collection each taking turns to play each other their favourite tracks. Their passion and knowledge pours out of ever sentence; "He's like an old master of classical rakugo storytelling, just going along with his instincts".

So this is not a typical Murakami novel by any stretch but for fans of his fiction Absolutely on Music its a great way to better understand Murakami as a creative and as a man influenced by the World around him.

I read this novel in hard back mostly in Preston, Lancashire

Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami and Seji Azawa (translated by Jay Rubin) published by Vintage,  352 pages.      

No comments:

Post a Comment