This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection.
Sunset Cypher has been a weekly public gathering of creatives who openly explore artistic space and utilize their environment to improvise creatively with other artists to rhythmically poeticize, vocalize, dance and jam to fresh sounds that are put together by different selectors/spinners/producers every week.
I first stumbled across them in July when I was rollerblading near harbourfront in Toronto. Specifically, Coronation Park. I am so glad I did.
When I first moved to Toronto, one of my biggest drives was to connect with the music community there. Ideally, I could find some friends who did live performances with a more casual feel – freestyling, beatboxing, and jamming.
When the pandemic came those ambitions quickly faded. For a while, it was something I really struggled with. I thought “why am I even in Toronto?”.
I felt like I had made the wrong decision. That lingered for a long time. With the pandemic still on, the spring of 2021 gave me a new love of the city. I got myself some rollerblades and started exploring different parts of the city.
My favourite route is Shaw Street, which is beautifully paved and allows a meditative rollerblade right to the water I have found nowhere else.
That Shaw Street path took me directly to Coronation Park and the Sunset Cypher. Here you have a highly talented group of hip-hop artists, beatboxers, painters, dancers, singers, and overall good people. I felt blessed. I felt reminded of why I originally came to Toronto. A renewed optimism came over me.
That night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I had been too scared to freestyle myself and thought I could easily fall over on my rollerblades and make an idiot of myself in front of everyone. Still, I had lyrics in my head. I was inspired.
I’ve attended several since and plan on attending and contributing in any way I can. The Sunset Cypher group led me to meet the wonderful Raja Rhythmx who creates a beautiful drum circle every Sunday from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Trinity Bellwoods Park which has given me so much love and joy already.
If you want to learn more, please feel encouraged to check out realLije on Instagram and follow his stories for details on Sunset Cyphers and more great live performances.
A small piece on stretch marks that I’ve struggled with after rapidly gaining and losing weight in my early twenties. For anyone who is struggling with stretch marks, loose skin, or any body insecurity, I empathize with you. You are beautiful. Your scars make you unique. You are strong. You are loved.