Posts Tagged Media Coverage
Het Parool, Art & Media, October 12, 2011.
On Booktunes every Book gets its own Playlist
Amsterdam – An open book from which pages a musical note rises: the logo of Booktunes reveals immediately what their core business is: books and music.
Founder of the website is the Amsterdam DJ and literature scholar Erik de Loor (32). “When I was reading An Equal Music by Vikram Seth, I was triggered to go look for the music. I bought the CDs, but thought that there had to be an easier way to obtain the music used in books. I thought wrong, so I decided to make that happen myself,” he says on the phone from Brighton, England, where he temporarily lives and works.
His initial idea was to set up a record label, Booktunes, and produce compilations CDs that could be sold in bookstores. De Loor had already experience with running a record label: through Sirkus Recordings he brought his own productions (as DJ Elected) and work of colleague producers. The licensing of the music he needed for the compilations turned out to be both time consuming and costly.
De Loor decided that Booktunes should be a website, because that would be “efficient, international and future oriented”. The site offers playlists that can be downloaded through iTunes. The books on the site can be bought through Amazon. Booktunes receives a percentage of every sold song and book. The music can be bought in the iTunes stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and the United States.
De Loor deliberately held on to his initial idea of a series: “Not every book that has a song in it has to be on the site. It is not a database. We have to have a connection with every book featuring on the site. The idea is that people regard the site as someone like-minded who recommends books and music.”
The first book on the site with a playlist was Kafka on the Shore by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. De Loor graduated with a thesis on the role of music in this book. “By studying the music in books you will get additional information on the characters. One of the main characters prefers to listen to Schubert. I realized that this character, Oshima, resembled him a lot. I have also compared Oshima to a Schubert sonata: the way he lives his life, and sometimes just crosses the line that his illness imposes on him, is similar to the way the composer Schubert every now and again lets go of the classical rules, without losing them.”
By now the site features 22 books. A varied range: from P.F. Thomése and Keith Richards to Tolstoy, each with its own playlist and accompanying article about the music in the book. De Loor: “Those articles can cover a variety of subjects. About an author’s love for certain music, but also about the structure of a book that has to do with music, like with the books of Anna Enquist.”
The contributions to the site come from volunteers, friends of De Loor, who are in everyday life writer, web designer or photographer.
“The start-up fase is over. From now on there will be a weekly update. We will keep up with the newest publications, classics are added at a steady pace.”
Recently, the first Booktunes event took place. During Bookclubbing in Haarlem De Loor played instrumental music with a reading of the Amsterdam writer Maurice Seleky. De Loor: “That is, actually, something we do on the side to gain more Booktunes awareness, but you can see that it works. Music evokes so many emotions, it truly adds a bonus.”
Just after Booktunes set up shop in Brighton UK, Dutch Newspaper Het Parool decided to give Booktunes some proper NL attention. Good, as we welcome all Dutch visitors to enjoy the music in the works of Thomése, Jensen, Van Galen, Otten & Seleky.