We’re the Asaka Quartet, from London, and we’re so excited to be here on the Isle of Coll!
It took us a whole day to get to Oban which the ferry to Coll departed from, on the next day after the RAM Mahler 3 project led by our first violinist Iona! We spent a night there, woke up at 4.30 am in the next morning, with exhausting brains, painful butts and passion, we caught the ferry successfully. So here we are, sitting in the cottage on this lovely island, discussing our rehearsal, chatting about music making, oh, of course, cannot do anything without mario cart.
We absolutely love Scotland, not only because of the fresh tap water, also the mild breeze (as you can see in the picture we quite enjoyed that) We also enjoy life on the island very much. According to our new friend Jonathan Tunnell, islands like this are like a parallel worlds to the mainland. It has its ‘Coll time’. To be honest, I’m not able to remember what day is it today if I didn’t get the schedule. Hence I can’t imagine a better place to do a quartet course than Coll. All the trifles in hustle-bustle London are away from us. They don’t disappear, but at least we get a perfect place to get rid of them and just concentrate on our beloved repertoires.
It’s always been our quartet dream to have a whole week to ourselves where we can dedicate all energy to our playing. I’ve read about musicians who breathe and eat music, and I always wondered if I was supposed to be like that automatically to become a musician, but maybe all we needed was to breathe some air that wasn’t the toxic fumes of London’s most heavily polluted Marylebone Road. I love that here, we can talk about the imaginary ‘wedding scene’ in the slow movement of one of our pieces whilst eating amazing fish sandwiches and soup until we’re full and not until we have to go to our next classes. I love that everyone is so kind and warm and as happy as we are. For now, I have no desire to go back to London, but maybe after 10 days of no bubble tea and noodles, I might go crazy…
– Inis Oírr and Eriol, Asaka Quartet