Lush, beautiful, multi-layered, but never oppressive, that is the music of Kishi Bashi. Kishi Bashi’s new album is steeped in the past, growing up in post-WWII America as a son of Japanese immigrants, feeling out of place during his youth, then comfortable with his heritage until white supremacy raised its ugly collective head in recent years. This album deals with all those feelings, yet in a beautiful way. Bashi has this beautiful approach to the violin that brings Asia and America together in a harmony his words hope to portray happening some day. As Bashi states:
Kishi Bashi recognized parallels between the current U.S. administration’s constant talk of walls and bans, and the xenophobic anxieties that led to the forced internment of Japanese-Americans in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. So he immersed himself in that period, visiting former prison sites and listening to the stories of survivors, while developing musical concepts along the way. The unique creative process behind Omoiyari will be documented in a film scheduled for release in early 2020.
This is a beautiful album, very Janus-like, with one face toward the past, the other face towards a better future.