Although Haruki Murakami‘s writing can be enigmatic, ambiguous, and sometimes infuriatingly vague, there’s one very clear theme that runs through all his books: the man LOVES his music. And thanks to the magic of the internet, the AV Club tells us, your ears can experience it for themselves via this Spotify playlist compiled from Murakami’s record collection.
Taken from the 10,000 LP records lining the author’s walls, the 3,350-track playlist is mostly jazz–no surprise there–with some classical, Baroque, and modernist-era music sprinkled in for variety. The jazz selections maintain the level of chill you might expect from a Murakami novel: lots of Hoagy Carmichael, Django Reinhardt, Herbie Hancock, and so on. Speaking of which, there are so many dudes on this playlist. Billie Holiday is well represented here, and a handful of songs from Beverley Kenny also feature, but that’s about it for female artists. Then again, considering how often women mostly exist to be mysterious in Murakami novels, this isn’t as jarring as it perhaps it should be.
What does stand out is the selection of non-jazz music. Bach and Mozart are there, of course, but so is Prokofiev, the composer who wrote Peter and the Wolf and whose work is marked by its use of dissonance and unexpected melodic progressions. Less chill, more suspense. Who’d have guessed Murakami was a fan? Also, right after the Prokofiev selections, the playlist goes into the uber-dramatic Night on Bald Mountain, which you may remember from Fantasia and the childhood nightmares that ensued.
Which Murakami novel goes best with each part of the playlist? Are there any tracks you weren’t expecting to see?Let us know in the comments!