Name: Hatis Noit
Nationality: Japanese
Occupation: musician
Current Release: Aura on Erased Tapes
Recommendations: Paintings by saxophonist John Lurie / Sonatine by Takeshi Kitano

If you enjoyed this interview with Hatis Noit, visit her website for news about events an releases.

When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?

When I was a kid, I just loved singing and making noise with whatever I found around me like plates, pens and branches on the street. According to my family, I was a terrible singer though, haha. I guess to me, making music has been always a playful and experimental activity that helps me to find and express myself.

Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?

Music often evokes some memory through all my senses. The memory isn’t necessarily my own, sometimes it feels like someone else’s. When I make music I try to connect to those shared collective memories which include universal sensations and emotions such as love, warmth, longing, awe, etc.

How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?

I think it started with looking into myself and finding what is going on there. And it’s all about how much I can be open and brave to feel and accept that. It’s a very psychological process to me, rather than gaining more techniques or knowledge.

Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.

I often feel I am no one, I am nowhere. I feel like I don’t really belong to anything or don’t even really exist in the world. I know it sounds funny, but I love that feeling. It’s a beautiful sensation of the void. That lets me be curious about anything and enjoy any perspective. Sometimes, I can even become an animal or soil on the ground. And this feeling definitely has inspired me and helped my production a lot.

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

When we feel ourselves deeply and safely like we do through music or art, we will be able to become more kind and compassionate to ourselves and others.

How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

I believe that it’s a lifetime commitment to be a traditional musician and I’m not one. Out of my limitless respect for those traditional treasures, I always try to find any possible new way of presenting them with a sense of humility.

Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?

The voice, my only instrument. Since it’s a very organic and physical instrument, I find any combinational work of body and mind like yoga or breathing techniques works well to get it in a good condition.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.

Get up, drink a glass of water, have a quick yoga practice and an English class, make breakfast and enjoy it… and hit it!

Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that's particularly dear to you, please?

Regarding the process of making the album Aura, I started making it before the pandemic and once it hit, everything seemed stuck completely. Despite the fact that we weren’t convinced by the sound we got by then in terms of the timbre of it, we had no idea how to make it right in the pandemic situation. We felt working remotely didn't really work for making the sound right. I almost felt like giving up, but being stuck in the local town opened up new ideas. We found a local church which is literally 3 mins walk from my place which has such an amazing ambience. We decided to re-amp all of the recordings in there to get natural reverb onto them. That was a game-changer. I find this struggle and its breakthrough of the tough time let the album reflect the current world.

Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?

Even when it comes to my solo project, when I make music, to me it’s still a communal activity with a producer, labels, sound engineers, visual artists and so on. In the creative process of Aura, that realisation became even clearer. I learned a lot about trusting someone and letting the thing flow rather than trying to control it.
The results turned out to be like magic to me. I could never have achieved this quality if I had worked alone.

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?

Music can offer open questions and let people think or just feel it and get inspired by that. There is no right answer or right experience to music. It won’t seem like it's making a direct effect or a rapid change to the world but it definitely helps people to create a better future, I believe.

Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?

Music has been sometime like a diary of those events and ended up becoming like therapy. It won’t be just passing away but coming back again, again, again in life in a different shape. For instance, I have made multiple songs about my father’s death, and each time they seem very different. In the beginning, it was quite direct with words, but these days, I sing out of the loss and love with much richer, integrated emotions and sensations without words. Music always allows me to embrace the transition, and it does for others I believe.

There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?  

Music is like magic. I can’t wait till science translates the magic fully. But wait, science itself possibly will turn out to be magic again in the end… So they maybe share the same field anyways.

Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?

I don’t see any fundamental difference between making music and other creations including 'mundane' things. Singing, to me, seemed like the best way to connect myself and the world, but I almost find the same beauty when I cook or even clean the room - in fact, I really care about these mundane daily practices and get inspired by them. Anything and any moment can be creative to celebrate living in this world.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our eardrums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

Rationally speaking, those potential deep meanings we get through the electric signals that our eardrums get can be an illusion made by our brain. But to see the function of our brain, I see some sort of god’s love for the creature, us as humankind. Every time I think about this, I feel so grateful.