by Tim Stasevich)
Christine Moritz loves
music--she loves to listen to it, she loves to make it, and perhaps
more than anything else, she loves to recycle it. She's a DJ in
the DC area who, besides mixing up records on a regular basis, also
hosts a radio program at the University of Maryland, College Park
(where she received her Masters degree in English literature). While
not DJing, she writes and edits newsletters for the University's
Office of International Programs. This job seems appropriate--whether
by day or by night, she's in the business of cutting up and rearranging
things in an effort to make them newer and better.
The first time I heard Christine's show on the radio, I was surprised
to hear songs I recognized from Japan. She often plays music the
Japanese have coined HCFDM (Happy Charm Fool Dance Music). Like
its name suggests, the music is quirky and fun, sampling heavily
from '60s lounge and pop. Christine first heard this unique style
of music in 1998 while living in Kyoto, Japan. The strange soundscape
she discovered there eventually reinvigorated her interest in music.
From that point on, she's never looked back. She can now be heard
at a variety of clubs throughout the DC area and was recently nominated
for a Washington Area Music Association award. Of course, if she
hadn't taught English in Japan, none of this may have happened
From the text of
Japan had a really profound impact on my direction in life. It got
me back into music, which is something really, really important.
[. . .]
What do you think
is the best thing about Japan?
I tend to view Japan
now a lot through the prism of music. I think that in terms of music,
Japan is really good. It's open to music from so many different
places, and I think Japanese culture in general is really willing
to adopt and borrow from other cultures (which, on the one hand,
is contradictory, because in some ways Japanese culture is kind
of closed). For example, I think foreign language movies can be
bigger successes in Japan than they can be here. And with music,
Japanese people like all kinds of things, from French music from
the '60s to Brazilian bossa nova. There is a real openness that
I don't see here.
the complete interview