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Concert: Kishi Bashi with Takenobu
October 14, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm$28.97
About Kishi Bashi:
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.
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.
Takénobu is the middle name and musical appellative of Japanese American cellist and composer Nick Ogawa. Over the course of 6 studio albums Takénobu has had iterations as a trio with percussion, a multi-layered solo outfit, and currently as a duo with violinist and fiancée Kathryn Koch. As a duo Takénobu perform original live-looping cinematic folk songs ranging from vocal harmonies over layered pizzicato chords to dreamy and dramatic instrumental pieces. Takénobu’s most recent album “Conclusion,” which includes Koch on vocals and violin, was released May 24th 2019.
In addition to studio albums, Ogawa has composed music for a number of NPR podcasts, independent feature films, and Netflix documentaries, including Last Chance U and 42 Grams.