Japanese author Haruki Murakami is known for the intricate weaving of music into his novels, leaving readers to imagine what the soundtrack to his work would sound like – if there is one. For the first time in Singapore, fans can be treated to a reimagined playlist of his work at Listen to Haruki Murakami: Music Beyond Words on 28 and 29 October at the Victoria Theatre.
A former jazz bar owner, Jazz is and has always been a passion of Murakami, and he shares this passion by characteristically featuring this genre of music in his novels to augment readers’ moods. Co-Produced by the Japan Foundation and CultureLink, the ‘live’ concert interprets the surrealist experience drawn from the pages of the acclaimed author’s works from Norwegian Wood to 1Q84.
Artistic Director of local theatre company Drama Box Kok Heng Leun will direct the concert experience, which will feature Japanese musicians Chihiro Yamanaka Trio and the 1966 Quartet, in collaboration with Singaporean pianist Lim Yan. Also taking to the stage to bring to life the scenes from Murakami’s books are Singaporean actress Oon Shu An of #UnicornMoment fame and Army Daze’s Joshua Lim.
An alumnus of Berklee School of Music in Boston, pianist Chihiro Yamanaka has been hailed as one of Jazz’s greatest talents for decades, having performed at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Vienna State Opera House. She leads the Chihiro Yamanaka Trio and will be accompanied by Yoshinori Waki (bass) and Hironori Momoi (drums).
Meanwhile, Murakami’s great love for The Beatles will be brought to life by the 1966 Quartet – named aptly after the year the English rock band first visited Japan. The 1966 Quartet, put together by Hiroyuki Takashima, the first producer of The Beatles in Japan, comprises of a pianist, two violinists and a cellist. Besides their debut album Norwegian Wood: The Beatles, other albums by the 1966 Quartet include collections of Queen and Michael Jackson classics.
Actors Oon Shu An and Joshua Lim will help transport the audience into the world of Murakami with delivery of some of his text to frame the songs, under the direction of Kok Heng Leun. Said Kok: “I’m a huge fan of Haruki Murakami, so getting this opportunity to bring a different perspective of his works to life is a real privilege. I believe fans of Murakami can appreciate Listen to Haruki Murakami: Music Beyond Words, where we try to capture the musical essence of the worlds created by Murakami, in a kind of immersive soundtrack experience”
“Haruki Murakami is one of Japan’s greatest contemporary writers, and we’re proud to bring his brilliance to Singapore through this unique concert experience. For the first time in Singapore, Murakami’s readers can immerse themselves in the soundtrack to Murakami’s narratives and see and hear the pages of their favourite books in person,” said Sachi Oshima of the Japan Foundation.
Tickets to Listen to Haruki Murakami: Music Beyond Words are now on sale at $20, $40 and $60. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://sistic.com.sg/events/murakami1015.
Name: Listen to Haruki Murakami: Music Beyond Words
Date: 28 (Wed) & 29 (Thurs) October 2015
Venue: Victoria Theatre
Ticket Prices: $20, $40, $60 (excludes SISTIC booking fee)