Filed Under:

Kishi Bashi: Unique Performances In Time

Consider this name: Kishi Bashi. It has a pleasant, repetitive character with a nice — if unusual — little loop. It's an apt stage name for a musician who's creating something haunting, beautiful and maybe a little off-kilter through the technology of looping.

Kishi Bashi is also known as K. Ishibashi, a Japanese-American multi-instrumentalist who has toured and played with artists such as Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. When he's on his own, the sound he makes comes from his voice, his violin and his looping machine.

"If I have a lot of idle time, I'll tinker with the violin a bit," Ishibashi says. "Usually, I'll just hear something and the words come later. For some reason, my mind works where I don't hear words; it's just sound, so I'll pick a word and then I'll create a story based on that word."

The first full-length Kishi Bashi album is called 151a — not exactly Thriller as far as titles go. But as Ishibashi explains, the name has hidden significance: It's a riff on the Japanese expression "ichi-go ichi-e," which roughly means "one time, one place."

"It's a play on words that translates as a performance aesthetic of having a unique performance in time, with imperfections, and enjoying it while you can," Ishibashi says. "The saying reminds me to embrace my mistakes and move forward."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Not My Job: We Ask The Choreographer Of 'The Lion King' About Lying Kings

We recorded the show in Rochester, N.Y., this week, which is home to the Garth Fagan Dance company. We'll ask acclaimed choreographer Garth Fagan three questions about really deceitful people.

Migrants Work To Hold Onto Latin Food History In Gentrifying D.C. Neighborhood

A restaurant in Washington D.C. that has long been a haven for Central American immigrants is adapting to gentrification in the neighborhood.

Bitter And Contested Elections In America's History

Presidential historian at Vanderbilt University Thomas Schwartz discusses the history of peaceful transfers of political power in American presidential elections, going back more than 200 years.

TIMELINE: AT&T's Merger With Time Warner Follows Decades Of Industry Deals

The $85.4-billion merger of a telecom and a media giants is the latest in the web of consolidation, spurned offers and spin-offs that are increasingly interlinking the two industries.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.