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back in 2008...

Formosa Quartet interview 2008

Ayano Ninomiya, violin
Jasmine Lin, violin
Che-Yen Chen, viola
Jacob Braun, cello


WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BEFORE GOING ON STAGE?


Che-Yen: Trying to play the most beautiful music that I possibly can, and to touch people's hearts. To genuinely express what I feel about the music and produce the best viola sound one ever heard.

Jake: Whether my strings are in tune. I think about the piece of music as a whole.

Ayano: To go out with my left foot leading first...a habit leftover from my old childhood quartet.

Jasmine: Whether my hair looks OK.



IF THE PRESIDENT WERE COMING OVER FOR DINNER, WHAT WOULD YOU COOK?


Che-Yen: Chinese, of course.

Ayano: Depends on which president.

Jasmine: Beef and broccoli with rice.

Jake: The president of the United States? George Bush? Macaroni and cheese.
If it were a different president I'd make something different. For Lincoln, I'd probably make some meat.



DESCRIBE YOUR FUNNIEST FORMOSA EXPERIENCE SO FAR.


Ayano: Funniest or fun-est? It was so much fun playing games! I think the funniest is yet to come....

Jasmine: They were checking out a guy I liked. They almost managed to behave normally in front of him. Afterwards all hell broke loose.

Che-Yen: When Jake dropped his bow on stage during a performance. I couldn't help bursting out laughing!

Jake: While we were waiting to go on stage for the donor's concert in London, no one can see Brian, and we're all wondering where the hell is Brian, and he had gone into the waiting room to fart.



WHICH OF YOUR NON-MUSICAL INTERESTS HELPS YOUR MUSIC THE MOST?


Jake: The games and sports that I play-- chess, cards, soccer, tennis. They keep my mind stimulated.

Che-Yen: Relationships.

Jasmine: Loving my mother.

Ayano: Daydreaming.



WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH?


Jake: I'm a good listener. I respect everyone in the group so much... I see the good in people
and I want to bring it out in them.

Che-Yen: Endurance.

Jasmine: My heart.

Ayano: Standing head-to-knee pose in Bikram Yoga.



WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT FORMOSA QUARTET REHEARSALS?


Jake: I like how we have these pockets of incredible intensity, and we're able to lighten it up also.

Ayano: Mutual respect, admiration, camaraderie, encouragement.

Che-Yen: It's funny, silly, serious, and productive.

Jasmine: Laughing and lunch.



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?


Ayano: Eggplant, maybe ratatouille?

Jasmine: Any kind of dumpling.

Che-Yen: Taichong meatballs and Chia Yi sticky rice. My mouth is watering now.

Jake: Eggs. Eggs and cheese and crackers. I love it. Fine cheeses. I love it.
I really do love eggs too. Eggs benedict. It doesn't get any more glorious than that.



FINISH THIS SENTENCE: IN AN IDEAL WORLD...


Che-Yen: everyone loves everyone else.

Ayano: there would be no dust.

Jasmine: I would be every man's dream salsa partner.

Jake: teachers and artists would be paid as much as athletes.
No-- I don't like that answer. Actually, I'm not crazy about the question.



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