GEORGE TOWN, Nov 15 — Imagine a concert that combines the beautiful words of novelist Haruki Murakami with jazz and a visual projection?
This is the basis for an innovative concert called “Listen To The Wind Sing: Murakami and Jazz” that celebrates Murakami’s words.
Produced by Hikayat, an art space featuring regular art events and readings, the concert will feature music by the WVC Jazz Ensemble and narrations by Bettina Chua Abdullah and Gareth Richards.
The concert draws inspiration from and is a tribute to Murakami; it will include jazz standards and original works composed by bandleader Tay Cher Siang.
According to Tay, Murakami has said how much jazz influenced his writing and had pointed out the rhythms, phrasings and pauses in jazz improvisation as influences in his writing style.
“I can’t think of another writer whose works are so full of music,” he said.
Tay said he started reading Murakami when he was 13 years old and his works had in many ways influenced him to pursue a musical career.
“So, doing a series of concerts featuring his words is, to me, the most natural thing in the world,” he said.
According to Richards, Murakami ran a jazz club in Tokyo when he was younger.
“His love of the music is referenced everywhere in his writing, both directly and indirectly. So, it is a perfect fit to bring together his words and jazz,” he said.
He hopes the two-hour concert, sponsored by the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, will capture something of Murakami’s creative daring.
The concert will feature 13 songs including Slow Boat to China, The Girl from Ipanema, The Colorless One, Star-Crossed Lovers, The Elephant Vanishes, Danny Boy, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Waltz for Debby and many more.
Both Bettina and Richards co-founded Hikayat which is above the GerakBudaya Bookshop on Beach Street.
Tay is the band leader, composer, pianist and music director of WVC, one of South-east Asia’s leading contemporary jazz bands.
The band already has six albums of original music and appeared briefly in the Hollywood film, Crazy Rich Asians.
The “Listen To the Wind Sing: Murakami and Jazz” concert will be held at Jetty 35, Weld Quay on November 22 (Friday) at 8pm.
Entrance is by tickets: RM35 (seniors and students) and RM50.
Call 04-2619001 or email: [email protected] for details.