Oregon Symphony to perform Kishi Bashi’s “Improvisations on EO9066” about imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII

Posted on: February 18, 2022

Violinist/composer Kishi Bashi will perform his Improvisations on EO9066 with the Oregon Symphony on February 24.

“In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which led to the eviction and imprisonment of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry into prison camps on U.S. soil,” writes Nathan Carson in Friday’s (2/18) Oregonian (Portland, OR). “Georgia-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi’s 2019 album ‘Omoiyari’ (loosely translated as ‘compassion’ or ‘empathy’) deals with this deadly serious topic, and he’ll be performing his ‘Improvisations on EO9066’ with the Oregon Symphony on Thursday night…. Long hours went into the notation of his music for the Oregon Symphony. … Born in Seattle in the mid-1970s, … he started playing a Suzuki violin at age 7… He built his career … as a back-up musician with successful artists like Of Montreal and Regina Spektor…. Bashi has been working on a film to accompany the ‘Omoiyari’ album… For an album about such a dire period of U.S. history, ‘Omoiyari’ still manages to sound sweet, magical and uplifting…. ‘I dove into the histories of people, and how they kind of thrived, rebuilt, and found healing…. Falling in love in the camps: These are things that happened.’ ”