Miho Hatori of Cibo Matto speaks at Purchase

by Davone Presley

Japanese musician Miho Hatori visited the Neuberger Museum as part of the New Media Lecture series, where she discussed her personal approaches to her music, as well as discussing her latest projects.

Hatori was born in Tokyo, Japan on April 4, 1971, and began to pursue her interest in music in 1991, whenshe joined the band Kidimori, before leaving the group a year later. Since then she’s been primarily based in New York City, where she moved to in 1993 to study art, only to eventually form the Billboard charting duo Cibo Matto. Cibo Matto’s last album "Hotel Valentine" broke into the Billboard 200 in 2014, peaking at 168.

During her lecture she discussed the various influences on her work, including her identity as an Asian woman. “I went back to think about my identity,” she said as one of her inspirations, citing such sources as Cambridge Analytica, as well as her own “Deity of Information”, a persona inspired by the diversity of the diety’s of Hindu and shinto.

She also gave information behind some of her recent projects, such as "Miss Information" an endeavor inspired by her interest in language. Hatori explained that part of her interest came from “Lojban”, an language developed by The Logical Language Group.

“Neo Optimism”, a new project being developed by Hatori starting with a new EP “Amazon To LeFrak” was her other main topic of discussion. Influenced by the New Sincerity art movement, a post-postmodernist trend focused on making works that oppose irony and cynical themes, her Neo Optimism focuses on opposing the movement. “I wanted to do something opposite of New Sincerity,” she explained, elaborating further that she had first heard of the movement 8 years ago. In her words, “I’m still searching for what ‘New Optimism’ is.”

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