“Omoiyari” means to have empathy and consideration for others, and act on it. American indie-folk multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Kishi Bashi has released the companion album to his documentary song film, titled Music from the Song Film: Omoiyari. Consisting of two LPs—“The Songs” and “The Score”—the release showcases what is essentially the soundtrack to Omoiyari, the feature-length motion picture co-directed by Kishi Bashi, aka Kaoru Ishibashi or “K,” which was released via MTV Docs and Paramount + on Tuesday, November 21st.
Focusing on K’s own six-year journey of discovery surrounding his research of the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the film is part social justice documentary and part song-film experiment. The album includes K’s live improvisations, which are featured in the documentary, many recorded on the sites where the concentration camps stood. Written during and about the artist’s transformational dive into his personal identity and serving as a broad survey of the Japanese American experience as well as the incarceration—Music from the Song Film: Omoiyari serves as an evocative musical accompaniment to the lessons of empathy and compassion portrayed in the film and highlights the process and power of one of modern indie’s most talented musicians.