The Asia Project brings spoken-word poetry to Edinboro’s Scot Cinema

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 at 10:11 PM
The Asia Project brings spoken-word poetry to Edinboro’s Scot Cinema by Roman Sabella

Asia Samson is not your average spoken word poet. He speaks with sincerity, the likes of which only someone who has experienced it all truly can. Along with his brother in law, Jollan Aurelio, they together form the spoken word duo: The Asia Project. Their name is derived from Samson’s mantra that everyone is a constant work in progress.

On Nov. 2, Edinboro was given their first opportunity to experience The Asia Project, and for the small group in attendance, they were greeted with an intimate affair.

Directly following a short introduction from the University Programming Board, Samson hopped on stage, gathered the mic and immediately started into one of his poems. This first poem spoke to the insecurities of the average person, wanting so much to merely be someone he or she is not, a message fit for a show that ultimately had the purpose of eliciting, as Samson joked, a complete day’s worth of emotion.

Samson lives by many mantras, but the one that seemed to directly coordinate with his stage intensity is his idea of “3000 or 3.” This is the ideology that no matter what the situation, one should always give it his or her all, because life is fleeting. Samson has quite honestly experienced almost everything. He’s fought testicular cancer and won; he lost his sister to an aneurysm-induced coma; his parents separated, causing him to turn to drugs and alcohol; and his brother became his sister when she came out as transgender. Any one of these events could be a defining moment of one’s life, but these were mere stepping stones for him.

Beyond Samson’s immensely talented spoken word poetry, this performance differs vastly from others due largely in part to the unique implementation of live music provided by the second half of The Asia Project, Aurelio. Aurelio implements a minimalist style of ambient guitar and an array of effects pedals to create soundscapes that complement Samson’s emotionally draining, intense poetry to great effect.

Samson is not afraid of who he is or what he was or even what he will become. He is accepting of his fate because he does what he loves. To the crowds of college students that he has performed for since he started the project in 2009, he exudes a message of self-confidence, hope and perseverance, which is something that we all could use a little bit of from time to time.

The Asia Project has two albums available for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify. For more info on similar events brought to campus by the UPB, check out their Facebook page and download the Edinboro Special Events app.

Roman Sabella is a staff writer for The Spectator.

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