Quarter 3: The music of Murakami

Quarter 3: The music of Murakami

If Murakami’s works came to life, and you could suddenly take a stroll through them, chances are music would be everywhere. Chauffeured in a car, you would hear “the classical strains of Chopin.” In the bathroom of Denny’s, Hall & Oates’ I can’t go for that would be playing. And jazz would fit into the small spaces everywhere else.

I knew when I started this piece, music would figure in significantly to it, and my musical selections might not match audience expectations. When you think of a soundscape to define Murakami, your first thoughts may tend towards atmospheric, mysterious music. Check out Murakami’s website, and you’ll hear what I mean.

However, that sound is rarely found within Murakami’s novels. Instead, he uses a great deal of specificity about music, down to the conductor, artist, soloist or label. He incorporates various genres of music inside each chapter – ranging from jazz to American pop in the 60s and 70s, classical and J-Pop.

Most of Hotel in a Bottle has been created in silence, with music entering into the process only in the last month. Because music can have such a strong effect on movement choices, I wanted to develop the dance first. Hotel in a Bottle incorporates a sonic pastiche, with music and sounds taken from several different novels. Typically, I incorporate a wide variety of sound into my work, and it certainly has been a pleasure selecting from such a broad playlist.

Working with Bert Bergen has been a treat; he has opened my ears to new sounds and genres in this process. He has helped me to find the sound of Murakami without always going for the most well-known songs. This allows the piece to create new connections to Murakami without necessarily triggering memories associated with popular songs.

Two weeks to go!

Erin blogs regularly about her process at erinmalley.tumblr.com

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