The style of Aska reaches, at the same time, an impressive technique and an emotional expressiveness. Agile, lithe, delicate but strong and edgy at the same time. While she plays, the violin seems to be a continuation of her body, with perfect harmony between his inner world and the external. Through it, she can touch the hearts of the people, and through it, people can touch her soul.
Aska was born in Tokyo and brought up among a family of visual artists. She began studying the violin and the piano at the age four. When Aska was still in her early teens (1974), she was invited to participate in an international quartet competition for young musicians in London in which she won the grand prize.
In 1978 Aska entered Tokyo University of the Arts on a scholarship; however, she had little time for class work as she soon was being recruited to perform with professional players such as Sawada Kenji and many others. In 1987(~93) Aska joined with Satoru Shionoya, Hitoshi Watanabe, Kiyohiko Semba and the vocalist Techie to formed the avant-garde band Adi , which released four albums. In 1984 Aska established a thirty-member stings group (Aska Strings) and began devoting more time to composition of original works. In 1992 Aska released her first solo album (Multi-Venus) featuring original compositions or the electric violin.
In the 1990s Aska served as a pivotal member and also as the music director for the large collaborative project with traditional musicians from throughout Asia; the resulting Asian Fantasy Orchestra performed a series of critically acclaimed concerts in Japan, at Tokyu’s Bunkamura Cultural Center, and toured extensively in Asia. Aska has also composed and arranged music for numerous theatrical productions, television commercials, anddance companies. In 1998 Aska was awarded a Bessie Composition Award for a work created at the request of choreographer Yoshiko Chuma in collaboration with the School of Hard Knocks production of the “Unfinished Symphony.”
In 2000 Aska released “Mother” on Universal’s Classics Label, followed in 2004 with an acoustic solo album entitled “Betweenness.” Since then Aska has continued to expand the horizon of her endeavors. In 2004, in fact, with the japanese Tomohiro Yahiro, met the two argentine musicians Gerardo di Giusto and Carlos 'el Tero' Buschini, with whom started a new and strong comparison-exchange of music and cultures. So they created the group Gaia Cuatro, Since then on tour in Japan, Europe and America.
With the release of Ave” in the summer of 2007 Aska gave external expression to her commitment to thepursuit of internal harmony and external peace. This album was released on Aska’s personal label, Disc Ave; not only the content of the album, but also a portion of all revenue generated, are directed toward peace works on this fragile Earth of ours.
Over the last two decades Aska has pursued numerous collaborations with visual artists, illustrators, playwrights, and she has been deeply involved not only in the composition and arrangement of particular musical works but also in the overall production of multifaceted performance events. In recent years she has also begun conducting musical workshops with young children.
In the summer of 2009 she relocated from Tokyo to the United States, where they currently reside in St. Louis. Aska continues to tour often in both Asia and Europe.
Photo ©Mariagrazia Giove e Francesco Truono