Posts Tagged Booktunes

2nd Thoughts on Booktunes, future, shoppe

Online-Shopping-iconYesterday I chatted away, first with Wim at MOVIE★INK. over coffee, later with my wife over a nice meal. I went to Wim to work on his website, so we ended up talking about what to do with and expect from a niche website that is a combination of articles on a certain subject (his being movie posters, mine being literature) and an online shop. With Rose I talked about maybe going back to University and put my brains to use.

At the moment my options regarding work are a bit limited. I won’t get into details here with you, but painting or spending my days behind a computer both won’t do.

After joining the Putty Tribe, I got fairly enthusiastic about doing all sorts of things including the rebuilding of my Booktunes project. Emily & her posse make a welcoming online community that is both inspiring and motivating. Putting her book on how to build your own Multipod website to use, I came up with a fresh view on the core for the future Booktunes: a Readers take on Exploring / Expression / Inspiration / Quality.

So far regarding my new angle, about the common denominator for all articles to be published on Booktunes. With that I wanted to add an online shop selling literary merchandise that would be related to the articles published on the site. Only the best literature related gadgets from all over the world. Think T-shirts by Out of Print, Dodocases, Penguin mugs & such, Original Booktunes wear. I really felt like going for it, with a large list of ideas & items!

Now, after a few weeks away from my laptop, doubts start to creep in. Or maybe discussing the matter again with Wim & wife made me realise how running a web shop does not really fit with who I am, where I am at, where I want to go.  Investments, a decent margin, supply, marketing, promotion, social media… all things that in some way do not work for me now. And, more important, focusing on the future, maybe not the stuff to fully realise my potential.

According to my lovely wife Rose I would feel at home in the academic world. The way I think and work, my ethics, ideals, views… If there would ever be a moment in my life when I should choose between living my life as it goes (moving from one job to the other, being bored but kind of ok, without feeling too much stress and excitement), or finding a challenge that ultimately adds some depth to the things I do, discuss, put out… then that moment would be now.

I will talk about it with my brother tonight and get back to you and myself. And that is a promise, to you, my parents and myself. Thanks.

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Putty Tribe – Booktunes with a multipotentialite twist?

IMG_0176Finding my way as a guy without a job, a bit depressed about my career options while battling some health issues, I started researching how a new Booktunes site would be the most sensible thing to work on by converting it into a webshop selling literary tees & such. Stumbling across the Emilie Wapnick and her Putty Tribe inspired me to free my thoughts on exploring many fields in both personal and professional life – and as it turns out to find a common denominator for

Puttylike is a Home for Multipotentialites. Emily Wapnick’s self invented word compromises those who ‘refuse to choose’ (as Barbara Sher’s book on Scanners entitles them). Her Puttylike posts really appealed to me, scrolling through them confirmed my ideas on not narrowing down, on letting inspiration rule and maybe finally put my inner restlessness to use by giving it a positive twist.

I bought her book Renaissance Business, joined the TribeThe book and took off. The book, worksheets and the community are very supportive and showed me a lot of new insights already. I managed to find a couple of common threads shared by my different interests and, what’s more important to you (since you are reading the Booktunes blog after all), a clear view on how to develop the new Booktunes site.

To be continued!


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Booktunes webshoppe?

countrylife chairFor the next couple of weeks I will be investigating if it would work to open up a Booktunes shop. Literary merchandise is hardly ever seen in The Netherlands and, according to my research so far, shipping a single shirt or such from the US to EU brings high shipping costs. My aim is to find out if I can make a profit by helping you get that nice Hemingway T-shirt, Mr. Men mug or, bear with me, a Penguin beach chair (?).

I am not so sure about the Penguin beach chair, and I don’t really like talking about fashion, but I must confess I am pretty happy with the Henry Miller V-neck I bought in a roadside shack near the Big Sur. Same goes for my brother sporting his City Lights shirt.

Unhappy with the fact that Booktunes has been on the back burner for too long, I hope a shop will bring in money to get it going again. How about a nice combination of books, sounds, shoppings and bloggings?

What stuff would you like see easily available for EU shipping?



Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage

Tsukuru GroningenThe title of Murakami’s latest Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage clearly refers to Liszt’s three suites. Tsukuru often plays his favourite record, left  by a lost friend, as it reminds him of a lost time. Not exactly homesickness, but plenty of Temps du Mal.. and much more less obvious references.

Apparently when the book got released Universal Music sold out of hardcopies (CD’s that is). Japan and the rest of the world then had to queue up online for a digital alternative. Maybe the whole Booktunes project (building an online source of book related music and musical novel knowledge) was not such a bad idea at all.

The power of the music made it all possible, Everytime he listend to the music, […] a vivid recollection of them appeared.

With the original Booktunes site is still on the back burner in the kitchen of the lab, I decided to upload Side B of Tsukuru’s treasured vinyl on the Booktunes YouTube channel. You can check Monk & Elvis by clicking their names. Enjoy!

‘First Year: Switzerland’. He sat down on the sofa, closed his eyes and concentrated on the music. […]

Dutch translation of the new Murakami novel now available at Atlas/Contact, UK/US release is set for mid-august (Amazon UK/US).

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Murakami Festival Amsterdam – Where is Booktunes?

Murakamifest-250pxAmsterdam has a Murakami Festival coming up! On Januari 11th, 15 small book clubs will spread throughout the city centre to read and discuss their favourite author. Hosted by the likes of Anna Drijver, Jeroen Vullings and Philip Huff this could be a fun nite out. If you do have tickets for this sold out Litfest you will get a bonus:  an advance copy of Murakami’s yet to be published De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren (Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage).  

I do feel a tad bit sad missing out on this event. Once I completed my studies with a thesis on Mr. Murakami, and in the early days of Booktunes we were part of the 1Q84 book launch taking care of the musical program. “Well, Booktunes is on the back burner and you are reading Bukowski at the moment” is what my wife said.

Her remark got me thinking. Would I want to play (a role) at this fest? How? What about my plans regarding Booktunes in general? When do I see Job & Mina again and decide where to take this project?

Regarding the first and second question: Maybe not. I quit dj-ing and don’t see any other role for me on festivals. Seriously.. personally..  festivals, public performances and get-togethers are music things. I do like to share thoughts on books, but preferably with my brother or Will (who is great).

The happening did get me fired up on the future of Booktunes though. I would love to build a new site that would function as a music and knowledge base for all music related books. An online community? Essential and a starting point will be the option to listen to the tunes straight away, no matter where you are. To have tunes at hand while reading.

So I re-upped the original Booktunes Soundtrack for Murakami’s After DarkA good opportunity to start testing some new music players as the WordPress audio options are way too basic (arent they?). Basic, but still worth tuning in to listen to some Murakami music and get ready for the festival on Januari 11th. Enjoy!

More info on the Murakami Festival here (in dutch).

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1 Comment – Back tot the Lab

From now on all visitors to the Booktunes website will be redirected to this blog. I guess we all felt we had to bring Booktunes back to the lab, back to zero, and take time to rebuild it step by step.

Some of these steps will be smaller then the ones we have made before, some bigger, and some steps will lead us in a completely different direction. We’ll see. I still believe Booktunes – a website playing the music with your favourite novel – is a promising idea.

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Over the next weeks I will add dedicated Booktunes pages to this blog and share all Booktunes compilations, info and all interviews with the authors of those beautiful books that have music involved. All previous Booktunes content will be available again soon.

Hereby I would like to thank all the people that helped me bring it this far. Mels, Mina, Job, Oli, Ytje, Will, Laura, all photographers that contributed to the artwork, all friends who wrote articles on the books & authors, all people in the book and music industry who supported us,  all professionals who were willing to share their visions, all authors and musicians featured on the Booktunes website and of course Rose & my fam.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any thoughts on the future of Booktunes or if you would like to be involved in the Booktunes project.

Stay tuned, see you soon in the Booktunes lab!




Booktunes HTML5 player

From now on Booktunes uses a HTML5 player. All visitors using an iPad or iPhone – and our futuristic friends at P-Edge HQ who threw out Flash a long time ago – can now listen to our online audio content without any problems.

Good, since we plan to make all Booktunes Soundtracks available for online listening. Check our new player on the Inspired by Murakami Page and listen the complete After Dark soundtrack here.

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Booktunes & Spotify?

‘As of today, Spotify is making it possible for everyone to take their playlists with them in one lean, green music machine.’ So what’s the big difference with iTunes, apart from the free listening possibilies (+) and the not as large library (-)? Seems like the service is becoming a serious thread for Apple’s iTunes now – not just because we@booktunes are finally taking some time to sort out the pros and cons of this revolutionary green tool.

I remember when people first pointed out this service to me. I was too busy embedding iTunes iMixes into the Booktunes site to pay ome proper attention to the free service with a small library broadcasting adds between songs. Now, getting tired of the ever changing iTunes terms, Apple narrowing down the iMix possibilities, the growing possibilities offered by Spotify and the expanding of the service itself lead me to this question:

Should we move from iTunes to a combination of Spotify (EU) and, for the time being, Grooveshark (US)?

Through Gizmodo, Kat Hannaford tells me this:

‘I’ve shared the playlist with dozens of people by sending the URL to them, which then opens their desktop program and loads it there for their listening pleasure. They can contribute to it, if you’ve created a collaborative playlist, or if you’d prefer people not tinker with your choons you can set them as so too.’

Perfect, isn’t it?

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Booktunes US – serious business – €1200 short

Easter Sunday I was happy to meet up with my good friend John Ayres aka JSTAR. He was in town managing Diplo on tour, so I checked them out at Amsterdam venue Melkweg… wicked! Today we met again to update each other with some bad planning: he already arranged to move to the EU mainland in June, while I set the 1st of August as a final date to move to the UK… Schade!

Always good to share your thoughts with like minds. Moombahton, Malcolm Gladwell, John’s girls, my wife, his beats, my beats, his laptop, mine – all good subjects. When I told him about the challenges I am facing according to the Booktunes project, John came up with a perfect solution.

For the past two years I have put a lot of work in Booktunes. The site is up, warmly welcomed as a promising next thing, we have a huge network of Booktunes contributors (writers, editors, designers, photographers, translators, tech wizards) ready to give it a go, and finally our plans reached some serious heavyweights in the business. This last thing is of vital importance because I am really willing to make Booktunes into a venture we all can gain from. You, the reader, me and my crew.

Because I registered ‘Booktunes’ in the Benelux 5.75 months ago, I now have one week left to register it in the US with retroactive effect. Because this week has only 4 working days, I have to register Booktunes in the US within 96 hours. That leaves 72 hours to get the first 1200 euros needed for the initial costs. If I fail to register… well maybe we should let the sleeping dogs lie.

John’s solution: ‘Put a message on your blog, your Facebook page, my Facebook page, any Facebook page, tell m! You should not let this pass, not at this point!!’
My thoughts: ‘Yeah I was four days away from letting it go, tired of trying to convince people Booktunes is a diamond in the ruff, feeling too proud to rely on my close friends and family (again)’.

Your thoughts? I am beggin’ here.. prideless with 72 hours counting down. We need €1200.

Booktunes says THANKS to all people helping us out on this one. I will keep you posted on the developments and any news regarding your donation. All supporters will receive a present. For questions about Booktunes or registering a product please feel free to send an email or give me a ring (+31614515496).

Thanks again!


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Booktunes DJ gigs

When starting this new venture it never occurred to me that I would probably end up at the same spot I tried to move away from: Behind the decks. With vinyl. At the party.

I am not too worried about it though. Always thought it was cool, it pays some bills, plus I am good at it. And when I get hired as ‘that Booktunes guy’ people expect me to play tunes completely different from the ones I used to play (and of course still do). Not that I could battle with Jules Deelder, but nowadays I play some decent jazz – a pretty new genre to me. Dirk Diggler backs me up when pop or rock songs fit better.

Last week Booktunes played music at Selexyz Scheltema during the Amsterdam Book Night, this week I will represent at the Nerd Nite in CREA. Since there is no real book & music connection here I am at a loss here and don’t know what tunes to play!

Featured speeches are:
Weekend Heroes – about role-playing games
How do you weigh a neutron star using a clock?

My contribution:
A book geek playing tunes with a laptop and controller only. No vinyl or CD’s.

Which reminds my Jahtarian friend Jan aka Disrupt… hey I could play his tunes for geeks who liked this previous post! But do let me know if you have any nerdy suggestions.

See you at CREA!
April 21
Nerd Nite

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