Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari intimate album release show

Wed Jun 12 2019

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

August Hall

420 Mason St San Francisco, CA 94102

All Ages

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Please note: this show is partially seated. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.

August Hall Presents
Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari intimate album release show

  • Sold Out
  • Kishi Bashi

    Kishi Bashi

    Alternative Rock

    • Imagine being forced from your home. Imagine being sent to a prison camp with no trial, and no
      promise of release. Imagine all this happened simply because of the language you speak, the shade of
      your skin, or the roots of your family tree. For over 120,000 Japanese-Americans this was a reality
      during World War II. It’s a reality that Kishi Bashi seeks to reckon with on his latest release Omoiyari.
      Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi’s fourth album -- following the acclaimed 151a (2012), Lighght (2014), and
      Sonderlust (2016), which have garnered serious acclaim from outlets including NPR Music, The Wall
      Street Journal, and The Guardian -- and his most important yet. Many of the songs were initially
      inspired by history and oppression, and he deftly weaves tales of love, loss, and wanting to connect
      listeners to the past. Channeling the hard-learned lessons of history, Omoiyari is an uncompromising
      musical statement on the turbulent sociopolitical atmosphere of present-day America.
      “I was shocked when I saw white supremacy really starting to show its teeth again in America,“ Kishi
      Bashi says. “My parents are immigrants, they came to the United States from Japan post–World War
      II. As a minority I felt very insecure for the first time in my adult life in this country. I think that was the
      real trigger for this project.”
      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.
      “I didn’t want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we
      can learn,” Kishi Bashi reflects. “I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and
      understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance. But I had trouble finding an English title for
      the piece. Omoiyari is a Japanese word. It doesn't necessarily translate as empathy, but it refers to the
      idea of creating compassion towards other people by thinking about them. I think the idea of omoiyari
      is the single biggest thing that can help us overcome aggression and conflict.”
      The strong conceptual elements of Omoiyari are driven by Kishi Bashi’s captivating musical score.
      Stepping away from his past loop-based production model, he embraced a more collaborative
      approach when recording, and for the first time included contributions from other musicians, such as
      Mike Savino (aka Tall Tall Trees) on banjo and bass, and Nick Ogawa (aka Takenobu) on cello. Kishi
      Bashi’s spectacular trademark violin soundscapes are still an essential component of his sound, but
      the focus of Omoiyari is centered squarely on its songs. The result is his most potent and poignant
      collection of music to date.
      On “Marigolds,” Kishi Bashi contemplates the “differences between generations that are difficult to
      comprehend sometimes.” “I wish that I had met you when your heart was safe to hold,” he sings over a
      bed of shimmering violins, conveying a sense of deep melancholy over a soaring melodic line.
      “Summer of ’42” weaves a breathtaking orchestral score over a tale of love and loss in a Japanese
      incarceration camp. “While times were humiliating and difficult in these camps, they would make time
      to find love and happiness amongst the adversity,” Kishi Bashi observes.
      “Violin Tsunami” builds a single violin line into a cinematic wall of sound. “A Brazilian Japanese friend
      of mine is a violin maker, and he presented me with a wonderful violin to play. He had named it
      Tsunami, and had worked on it while the Fukushima Nuclear disaster was unfolding,” Kishi Bashi
      explains. “This song is about the chaos that nature can create, and also about the healing and
      rebuilding that the human spirit is capable of.”
      The songs on Omoiyari overflow with rich sounds and complex emotions, and challenge listeners to
      confront a difficult chapter in America’s past while acknowledging the injustices of the present. But
      there’s a yearning for better days threaded through several songs, a perspective that mirrors Kishi
      Bashi’s own hopes for a better future. “Part of the project is saying that if you're a minority there's
      potentially still a lot to look forward to in this country. I believe there's a paradigm shift coming,
      especially for minorities and those who have felt oppression. America is changing.”
    • But a better future is not guaranteed, and Kishi Bashi wants listeners who hold some economic or
      social privilege to be aware of their own role in creating change. “If you're privileged you need to
      understand that this country is for everybody, and we have to make that space for all people.”
      “Sometimes when we look at history, it feels far away and removed. But there are fundamental lessons
      of love, compassion and fear that we can learn from the internment and apply to issues today
      concerning refugees, immigration, and minorities,” he says. “There are so many tragedies and
      atrocities that have happened around the world at different times in history, and I think it's really
      important to have the compassion to understand the suffering that people endured before you, to not
      repeat the past, and to really be grateful for the life you have.”
      While the theme of Omoiyari is rooted in 1940s America, the album’s message is timeless. In exploring
      the emotional lives of the innocent Japanese-Americans who were unjustly incarcerated, Kishi Bashi
      hopes to nurture a sense of empathy, or omoiyari, in all who hear the album
  • Takenobu



August Hall Presents

Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari intimate album release show

Wed Jun 12 2019 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

August Hall San Francisco CA
Kishi Bashi - Omoiyari intimate album release show
  • Sold Out

All Ages

Please note: this show is partially seated. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.