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An intimate conversation about music and creativity, between the internationally bestselling writer Haruki Murakami and world-class conductor, Seiji Ozawa.

An unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared interest.

They discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more.


Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure… Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it’s often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance.


Hardly a soul writes of the listening and playing of music with such insight and tenderness

Patti Smith, New York Times Book Review

Their words tessellate perfectly, forcing the neurons in your brain into a brave new quest for artistic divinity… A book for people transfixed by the minutia of creativity.


High Fidelity for classical music fans.

Publishers Weekly

These dialogues...add up to a sprawling feast of Mahler-style “polytonality” - or, alternatively, the sort of protean jam-session that Monk and Parker relished.

Boyd Tonkin, Arts Desk

Murakami is Japan's greatest living writer

Washington Post

Its cool, conversational style is one of the trademarks of Murakami’s writing – his novels all have the easy calm of a bar room dialogue – and Absolutely On Music has the particular feel of sitting at a table with two friends while they bat around their ideas.

Ross McIndoe, Skinny

It’s a conversation that is well worth hearing.

Richard Osborne, Gramophone

A lively rumination on classical music.

Keeley Bolger, Belfast Telegraph Morning

Absolutely on Music is an intimate and fascinating conversation between two maestros… [A] compelling, moving novel.

Scottish Women

Murakami’s grasp of music is frequently both astonishing and inspiring. He has incredible ears and is able to distinguish and annunciate the smallest differences in interpretations… When Murakami writes in prose, he does so with the quick charm and alluring detail that fans of his novels will relish.

Andrew Mellor, Rhinegold

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    November 27, 2017


    352 pages

    RRP $30.00

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    November 15, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
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    • Kobo Ebook
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