Reflections on Aside 8


Impressions from Aside 8 – Sound

For me, it was all about sound. The hum of conversation between old and new friends amongst the mutterings of setting up and technical concerns. The pluck of a moon lute. The clearing of a throat before plunging into the poetic landscape of someone’s mind. The laughter and music of a tea party that is by turns joyful and mad. Strums of a guitar and the thrum of electronica, painting a soundscape of story and voice. With all of those sounds, I felt us all come together at Aside 8.

Music is a unifying force, and we all resonated with our feelings and experiences that certain music brings. One of Tina Ma’s songs reminded me of my young son, a lullaby-like melody that brought tears to my eyes. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, almost meditative, during Sophie’s song in Sanskrit and Chinese. There was the sense of camaraderie that I built with my companions in R4, and there were the stories of a journey through the body, the mind, and the soul from our wonderful musicians.

At a time in my life, where I just wanted to touch and come together, where I needed something more than ever to feed my soul, the night at Aside 8 was a godsend. It was a place where sound became touch, became nourishing food for the soul. It gave me a moment where I wasn’t alone.

Whiney Zahar


andrew chau rr45Aside
There was a hum as bodies began entering the room. Slowly the odd voice or two on the carpets became an eager patience standing in all corners, each one awaiting the questions from new faces before them and cheekily answering to familiar eyes. I saw the cheeks of the room become rosy again, and it was not just the wine warming us that evening.

Performers took us into their little nooks of secrets and stories, and swung us into their world with an unparalleled trust. The audience trusted them back. There were tears that night, particularly as Tina Ma recounted her experience with and her blessing from her mentor. It was a story of the tradition of Tradition, really. I learned to embrace the new with a reverence of the old. A lesson that will not allow me to waste the wisdom of our elders.

It’s impressive what the power of the voice, voices, vibrating strings, and a room full of warm bodies can do to a person. I left that evening tired but not spent, I slept very calmly, and I am pretty sure we all did that night, having spent a night around a metaphorical campfire, sharing the warmth that radiated from our souls as we saw each other not in the light of what we try to be, but what we really are.

Andrew Chau

For a full list of performers at Aside 8 and their respective bios with contact details, please go to this link.