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Haruki Murakami | The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, 1994

"The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you're supposed to go up and down when you're supposed to go down"

Life is transition: stasis to fluidity. The story of Toru Okada in Murakimis ‘Wind-up Bird Chronicle’ is an expression of this principle. Mundane and vague, his existence is on loop. Jazz, coffee and countless visits to the dry cleaners. An inoffensive, suburban existence.


Just when it appears that he has been totally submerged by these patterns, it becomes apparent that Toru is on the brink of change, and this story documents the transition. Through a series of prophetic characters and absurd instances, he experiences a dramatic shift in reality and over time awakens to the fact that there is a gaping hole in the life that he has been living. As these patterns unravel and disintegrate, strange and brilliant new horizons emerge in their wake. 


I had a lot of fun challenging myself to compile a series of songs that capture this transition. From a clean, sanitised ambience to something less structured and more extraordinary. From spaghetti and daytime television to a 3-day stint at the bottom of a well, without food or water.


The lounge-friendly tones of Japanese city-pop and muzak felt like fitting way to capture the initial suburban ambience of this adventure, and as the story evolves I have pooled upon ambient, electronica, rock, psychedelia and pretty much everything in-between. The story is bizarre, brilliant and impalpably conclusive. Unfortunately, words don’t serve all that well (for me at least) but I had a lot of fun on my small journey attempting to capture it through music -  and found some absolute gems along the way.

 
 

1) Still Space - Satoshi Ashikawa (Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age music 1980-1990)

2) Amanatsu - Masayoshi Takanaka (Ballade)

3) Toshiki Kadomatsu - Crescent Adventure (Weekend Fly to the Sun)

4) Saigono Rakuen - Haruomi Hosono (Pacific, 1978)

5) Leading a Double Life - “Blue Gene Tyranny” (Out of the Blue)

6) On Such Favors - Sam Prekop (Sam Prekop)

7) Forever Dolphin Love - Connan Mockasin (Forever Dolphin Love)

8) Fujiyama Mama - Haruomi Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band

9) I Don’t Have to Cry - Maryn E. Coote (Maskeraad) 

10) Orange Luz- Happiness (Weird Little Birthday)

11) Fue Una lagrima - Elia y Elizabeth (Cae la Lluvia)

12) Blink - Hiroshi Yoshimura (Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age music 1980-1990)