Ludwig Van’s Q&A series is composed of a bank of questions aimed at artists who have made a serious mark on Toronto’s cultural scene. We’re still not sure what’s more fun: writing them or reading them.
Kathleen Kajioka is a familiar face in Toronto’s musical community. She has played viola and violin with just about everybody, including Tafelmusik, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Maza Meze, the COC, Opera Atelier. Kajioka has also recorded on albums by Jesse Cook, Luke Doucet, and K-os. In 2007, she became an accomplished broadcaster.
What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?
Cultural richness and diversity; the ease — things work here (mostly); progressive attitudes
What are three things that Toronto doesn’t have but should?
More extensive and better-subsidized public transit; a modestly-sized venue that is attractive, with good sound, and which is affordable to rent for the average musician
Name the musical equivalent to junk food
80’s pop (I like junk food, by the way)
Default cocktail of choice?
Name your favourite concert hall in Toronto
Name your favourite concert hall anywhere
Salle Erard, Paris
Your role models?
My parents; Martha Katz; Yves Saint-Laurent
Your favourite sound?
Your least favourite sound?
Endlessly idling trucks
Your favourite smells?
Onions frying in butter
Your least favourite smells?
First thing that comes to your mind when you think about Toronto
What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto?
I’d like us to stop collectively behaving like tourists in our own city, to develop a sense of belonging together, of ownership and personal pride in the talent among us.
Your first three record store purchases
Orford Quartet “Encores” album; Corey Hart “Boy in the Box”; I can’t recall the 3rd
If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you?
Really, anywhere to go play with my wonderful friends and colleagues in Ensemble Masques. As it happens, I’m on my way to Belgium to meet them now…
The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?
Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Green Gables, Anne of ….
Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?
Poland, for work, which was also a pleasure!
Where did you go to school?
What did you major in as an undergraduate?
The strangest talent that you possess?
I always know what time it is without looking
Shoe of choice?
Japanese & Icelandic
Your three favourite films?
Truly, Madly Deeply; Rear Window; When Night is Falling
Television show that you could tolerate re-runs of?
Any Agatha Christie adaptation
The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?
How do you know when you can trust someone?
My spidey-sense tells me
What is the best thing about your work?
Being able to share my passion for music with so many people
What is the worst thing about your work?
It takes a surprising amount of energy — but as “worst things” go, that’s not so bad!
What are you listening to as you answer these questions?
The terrible music at the airport restaurant.
What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?
What sport did you give up and why?
Basketball — I’m not exactly tall, but it was because of music — first because I was too busy, later because I feared for my hands.
What is the one animal that scares you the most?
Any lethal snake
If you had a motto, what would it be?
Quality is everything
Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances?
Your least favourite word?
The thing that makes you the happiest?
Experiences deeply shared with loved ones
The thing that makes you the angriest?
The strangest road you’ve ever travelled?
Got lost with colleagues on a rural road in Iceland. In addition to the breathtaking landscape, we saw farmland that had made way for Elf habitats!
Three pieces, songs, or arias that you could listen to on repeat for an hour?
Purcell’s “An Evening Hymn”; Haydn’s Quartet Op. 76, No. 5 – Largo; Monteverdi’s “Duo Seraphim” from the Vespers of 1610.
The first three things that you do every morning?
Turn on the radio, fire up the espresso machine, pet and feed my cat