Asaka Quartet: bananas and beaches

Dear friends,

In our normal lives, we have moments where we realise that we have developed into one more level of human being. In our quartet life (we are only 9 months old), we also have moments like this. Today, we will tell you two stories.


On Thursday, Iona, Eriol, Inis Oírr and Jonathan were forced to go to the beach with the other groups despite begging Jonathan T to rehearse all day. As soon as they arrived at the beach, the brave Sylva Winds ran into the cold water immediately; the quiet and sensible Asakas wandered the edge of the sea, silently wishing that they were playing scales in thirds and fifths together. But after 5 minutes, the sharp fresh wind that held the frisbee hostage, slapped poor Inis Oírr in the face and forced a wild motive into her mind. Inis Oírr, the usually very sensible violist, dashed into the water until she was fully submerged despite not being able to swim. She suddenly felt this sense of freedom that only came with good phrasing and intonation, and never wanted to leave the sea again.

2 hours and a lot of being-chased-by-Jonathan-in-the-sea later, Inis Oírr was finally caught and dragged out of the water by a fuming Jonathan. Jonathan grabbed his violist, screaming and refusing to cooperate, by the armpits, and began to drag her out of the sea.

Meanwhile, Eriol, with her keen eyes and quick instincts, from the other side of the beach, saw this image of her cellist struggling to save the poor drowning violist. She handed the expensive camera to Drake, exclaiming ‘DRAKE, HOLD THIS. Inis Oírr needs my help!’. Eriol ran as fast as she could towards her troubled colleagues..

As she approached her, she discovered that Iona was standing a few metres from this scene, watching disapprovingly with her arms crossed and eyebrows crossed. ‘Iona, what’s going on!’ Exclaimed Eriol – and then she noticed, this was the actual scene:

Jonathan: ‘Inis Oírr, it’s time to go home, YOU’VE BEEN IN THE SEA FOR 2 HOURS.’


Eriol’s jaw dropped in disbelief and disappointment: her hero moment was taken away from her as she realised that Inis Oírr was not actually drowning, unfortunately. The two violinists watched sceptically as their ridiculous lower strings thrashed about in the sea screaming at each other.


So this story was before our second concert on Coll (of some Mendelssohn that you would never want to miss) We did some photo shooting by our talented Inis Oírr near the sea, after that everyone just got exhausted, sleepy and hungry. Iona and Jonathan went back to their beds to take a nap. Me and Inis Oírr, as usual, were talking rubbish. Oh actually we did a bit string crossing practice, you know Mendelssohn and middle parts, haha.

It happened at the time when I got starving. A banana appeared in my vision, it was the last one in the room! I ran towards it, then caught it, oh, it belonged to me forever now…I peeled this golden fruit, sent it (almost) into my mouth. However I was interrupted by Inis Oírr, she was nearly shouting at me: Hey, Iona can’t function without a banana (fun fact x1) before concerts!

I was shocked a bit, but I did remember that. Yes, I’m a strong second violin that is able to live my life without bananas. Therefore, I tried to make the banana look like what it used to be like and got some pizza instead. Wait, to be honest what I want to say is I will do anything to keep Iona running (and of course, for Jonathan and Inis Oírr) Bananas are such small deal, but nothing’s more important than making music! 

The story is not finished yet: Iona woke up and told us she bought a bunch of bananas and we can all share them because she knew this would happen. I want to shout out to every colleagues (including sleeping Jonathan): It’s good to be with you.

So, we wanted to tell these two stories because every rehearsal, we are noticing more and more moments of trust and some minutes where we discover each other, but sometimes you can’t beat the milestones that beaches and bananas will teach you.


Inis Oírr and Eriol, Asaka Quartet