Haruki Murakami Became a DJ on a Japanese Radio Station for One Night: Hear the Music He Played for Delighted Listeners

In his native Japan, Haru­ki Muraka­mi has pub­lished not just fic­tion but all sorts of essays deal­ing with a vari­ety of sub­jects, from trav­el to music to writ­ing itself. One col­lec­tion of these pieces came out under the title Muraka­mi Radio, a pos­si­ble inspi­ra­tion for a broad­cast of the same name this past sum­mer on Tokyo FM. For its 55-minute dura­tion, Muraka­mi took the DJ’s seat and spun records (or rather, files from sev­er­al of his music-filled iPods) from his famous­ly vast per­son­al library, includ­ing The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA,” Joey Ramone’s ver­sion of “What a Won­der­ful World,” Eric Bur­don and The Ani­mals’ “Sky Pilot,” and Daryl Hall and John Oates’ ver­sion of “Love Train.” You can lis­ten to all his selec­tions in the Youtube Playlist above.

“It has been my hob­by to col­lect records and CDs since my child­hood, and thanks to that, my house is inun­dat­ed with such things,” wrote Muraka­mi in a mes­sage post­ed by Tokyo FM. “How­ev­er, I have often felt a sense of guilt toward the world while lis­ten­ing to such amaz­ing music and hav­ing a good time alone. I thought it may be good to share such good times with oth­er peo­ple while chat­ting over a glass of wine or a cup of cof­fee.”

He also chat­ted a bit him­self between songs, answer­ing lis­ten­er ques­tions and explain­ing the rela­tion­ship between the music he loves and the books he writes“Rather than learn­ing sto­ry­telling tech­nique from some­one, I’ve tak­en a musi­cal approach, while being very con­scious about rhythms, har­mo­ny and impro­vi­sa­tion,” he said on-air. “It’s like writ­ing as I dance, even though I don’t actu­al­ly dance.”

For many of Murakami’s fans, Muraka­mi Radio (full record­ings of which do exist on the inter­net) marks the first time they’ve ever heard his actu­al voice, and it turns out to have a thing or two in com­mon with his autho­r­i­al one: take, for instance, his use of boku, the infor­mal per­son­al pro­noun favored by most of his nar­ra­tors. With the broad­cast ini­tial­ly announced as a one-off, it might also have seemed like the last chance to hear Muraka­mi speak, but the offi­cial Muraka­mi Radio site recent­ly announced two more edi­tions. The next one, sched­uled for Octo­ber 19th, will deal with not just music but anoth­er of Murakami’s pas­sions, run­ning. Any­one who’s read Murakami’s 1979 debut nov­el Hear the Wind Sing will remem­ber the talk­a­tive Sat­ur­day-night radio DJ who makes occa­sion­al appear­ances in the text — and may won­der if, near­ly 40 years lat­er, Muraka­mi chan­nels him again when he gets behind the micro­phone him­self.

via The Vinyl Fac­to­ry

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Bowie Becomes a DJ on BBC Radio in 1979, Intro­duces Lis­ten­ers to The Vel­vet Under­ground
Talk­ing Heads, Blondie & More

A 3,350-Song Playlist of Music from Haru­ki Murakami’s Per­son­al Record Col­lec­tion

A 96-Song Playlist of Music in Haru­ki Murakami’s Nov­els: Miles Davis, Glenn Gould, the Beach Boys & More

Haru­ki Murakami’s Pas­sion for Jazz: Dis­cov­er the Novelist’s Jazz Playlist, Jazz Essay & Jazz Bar

Haru­ki Muraka­mi Reads in Eng­lish from The Wind-Up Bird Chron­i­cle in a Rare Pub­lic Read­ing (1998)

An Intro­duc­tion to the World of Haru­ki Muraka­mi Through Doc­u­men­taries, Sto­ries, Ani­ma­tion, Music Playlists & More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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