Haruki Murakami’s ‘Norwegian Wood’ Gets Radiohead Magic

Once in a while, two amazing forces will collide and a sudden, consequent burst of ultratubularity will send the world spinning off its axis and out of its orbit. Today, such a cosmic feat comes courtesy of the confluence of acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami and Radiohead keyboardist Jonny Greenwood. Greenwood is set to score an Anh Hung Tran-directed adaptation of Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, due in Japanese cinemas later this year. The tone of the soundtrack? Kind of like a 20-minute composition he wrote for the BBC Concert Orchestra entitled “Doghouse.”

But this trend of developing ideas teased out in one-off pieces isn’t entirely new. Greenwood did similar work for the There Will Be Blood soundtrack, which was based on a piece called “Popcorn Superhet Receiver”.

This marriage of literature and popular music is par for the course for Murakami. His books always find thematic grounding in contemporary music. In particular, Norwegian Wood is anchored by allusions to The Beatles.

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