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Hatis Noit, 'Aura'

The manipulation of those two little folds of tissue in our throats known as vocal cords never ceases to amaze — they can conjure every emotion, every color. The Japanese singer Hatis Noit has full command of those cords, thrillingly on display in "Aura," the title track of her debut album. Following in a tradition of extended vocal techniques pioneered by Meredith Monk, Noit delivers ancient-sounding ululations, yips, birdsong, silken operatic roulades and raspy growls. All sounds are crafted from her voice, a flexible, evocative instrument that Noit electronically loops to create vocal foundations to build on and layer, in the style of the divine Julianna Barwick. Aura is a bold, impressive debut which signals — loud, clear and creatively — that when Hatis Noit opens her throat to sing, we should be listening.

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Tom Huizenga
Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.