Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym for violin virtuoso K Ishibashi. Having recorded, toured, and collaborated with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and of Montreal, Kishi Bashi released his first full-length album 151a via Joyful Noise in 2012, which received high praise and the title of NPR's "Best New Artist Of The Year". K's follow-up album Lighght expanded his palette to include more diverse and nuanced instrumentation, flirting with Eastern-tinged arrangements, Philip Glass inspired improvisations, and 70s prog. With 2016’s Sonderlust, K’s work became more intensely personal and artistically adventurous with the help of producer Chris Taylor, engineer Pat Dillet, and drummer Matt Chamberlain.
Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi’s fourth album, 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, lauded by NPR for its “profound empathy” and The New York Times for its “hand played yet exquisitely polished” qualities.
Over the last several years, K has traveled frequently to Montana and Wyoming to work on an upcoming “song film” version of Omoiyari about Japanese internment during WWII. It has been an emotional and creatively potent experience for Kaoru to spend time in the American West, speaking with internment camp incarcerees and descendents. Considering his own bicultural identity as the child of Japanese immigrants has come to influence Kishi Bashi’s approach to songwriting.