Haruki Murakami and the love for jazz
Any serious reader of Haruki Murakami — and even most of the casual ones — will have picked up on the fact that, apart from the work that has made him quite possibly the world’s most beloved living novelist, the man has two passions: running and jazz.
“I had my first encounter with jazz in 1964 when I was 15,” Murakami writes in the New York Times. “Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers performed in Kobe in January that year, and I got a ticket for a birthday present. This was the first time I really listened to jazz, and it bowled me over. I was thunderstruck.” Though unskilled in music himself, he often felt that, in his head, “something like my own music was swirling around in a rich, strong surge. I wondered if it might be possible for me to transfer that music into writing. That was how my style got started.”
He found writing and jazz similar endeavors, in that both need “a good, natural, steady rhythm,” a melody, “which, in literature, means the appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm,” harmony.