Hatis Noit is a Japanese vocalist who is the newest member of the Erased Tapes roster. Her music is challenging and those with shorter attention spans may not appreciate it. The visuals in the video were directed by Yoshiko Akita and Matmos collaborated with Hatis Noit. The duo who were mesmerised by her vocal capability and were inspired by a scene from the Tarkovsky movie ‘Andrei Rublev’ whilst reinterpreting her original performance.
Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit reveals the Matmos edit of ‘Illogical Lullaby’ accompanied by striking visuals directed by Yoshiko Akita. The ‘Illogical Dance’ EP, out 23rd March 2018, is an arresting 4-track record creating unique song-worlds with transcendent vocal interpretations that at once deconstruct and recombine Western Classical, Japanese folk and nature’s own ambience atmosphere.
The Björk-collaborators Matmos admit to being stunned by Hatis Noit’s vocal capability and channels the influence of a scene from the Tarkovsky movie ‘Andrei Rublev’ to reinterpret her original performance.
“Part of the pleasure of Hatis’ music is just her voice, all by itself, full stop. So the challenge to remixing her is that you want to add things to change the shape, but you get so seduced by just hearing her sing that you don’t want to clutter things- her voice is the center. Then I remembered a beautiful scene in the Tarkovsky movie “Andrei Rublev” which I have always loved where some monks are caught in the rain and run into a nearby farmhouse where some farmers are waiting out the storm. In the sound design of that scene, there’s just rain falling and the sound of a woman singing a beautiful melody. It’s very moving and very simple. M.C. Schmidt and I decided that our remix needed a breakdown in the middle that was going to more or less imitate that scene, but to use Hatis’ vocal as the equivalent of the lonely melody singing along with the rain from the movie. So Japan comes to Baltimore by way of Russia reflecting on the middle ages. So that’s the structure that we both decided on. It was an honor to work with her and we’re glad she likes what we did.” —
Drew Daniel, Matmos
Hailing from the distant Shiretoko, a small town in Hokkaido, which is the largest island in north Japan, Hatis Noit’s accomplished range is astonishingly self-taught, inspired by everything she could find from Gagaku — Japanese classical music — and operatic styles, Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, to avant-garde and pop vocalists. The sounds she created on Illogical Dance, co-produced by Haruhisa Tanaka and Matmos, bring to mind the experimental vocal patterns of Meredith Monk with the attentive production of Holly Herndon.
It was at the age of 16, during a trek in Nepal to the Buddha’s birthplace, when she realised singing was her calling. While staying at a women’s temple in Lumbini, one morning on a walk Hatis Noit heard someone singing. On further investigation it was a female monk singing Buddhist chants, alone. The sound moved her so intensely she was instantly aware of the visceral power of the human voice; a primal and instinctive instrument that connects us to the very essence of humanity, nature and our universe.
The name Hatis Noit itself is taken from Japanese folklore, meaning the stem of the lotus flower. The lotus represents the living world, while its root the spirit world, therefore Hatis Noit is what connects the two. For Hatis Noit, music represents the same netherworld with its ability to move and transport us to the other side; the past, a memory, our subconscious. It is the same for Illogical Dance, a set of transformative songs that taps into our most primal instincts.
“The human voice is our oldest, most primal yet most powerful instrument. I use it to describe nature’s many sounds, a language that isn’t logical. Yet it forms a beautiful conversation that isn’t restricted to words like the human language is. I want my music to remind us of that.” — Hatis Noit
Wanting to interpret and mimic the sounds Hatis Noit hears in nature, Illogical Dance is as unpredictable, beautiful and mysterious as the world around us. Each track is made up from multi layers of vocals, all improvised and without words, before being carefully pieced together. Astonishingly no samples are used throughout, even the sound of crushing leaves came from Hatis Noit’s own vocal chords. The result is a stunning array of sound sculptures that see her switching between multiple styles with great ease. From the sweet operatics on Illogical Lullaby, the manipulated vocal loops duplicating electronic production on Anagram c.i.y. to the primordial chanting call to arms of Angelus Novus, a 10-minute odyssey that features whispering and leaves crunching, it showcases Hatis Noit’s full range and introduces a truly original artist.
Previously only available in Japan, Illogical Dance will receive a worldwide release on 23rd March 2018 including a first edition on 12” vinyl.
After participating in a ceremony for memorial and appreciation tailored to the withdrawal of the evacuation area in Fukushima on 31st March 2017, Hatis Noit collaborated with renowned visual artist Nobumichi Asai on a project titled INORI (prayer) which they premiered live as part of an Erased Tapes showcase at Mutek Japan in Tokyo.
Having recently moved to London and performed a first string of UK shows, followed by a special live performance at the Milan Fashion Week and Mutek Japan appearance, Peter Broderick has invited Hatis Noit to support him at the Jazz Cafe on April 15th. She’s also been announced as part of this year’s Sea Change Festival line-up, and asked to participate in a workshop with the London Contemporary Orchestra.
1. Angelus Novus
2. Anagram c.i.y
3. Illogical Lullaby
4. Illogical Lullaby (Matmos Edit)