Cipher is a solo work that begins from the question: how does sound come out of my body? Sinha explores this question using the "nonsense" sounds of tarana—a genre of song in Indian classical music invented in the 13th century that mixes Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit syllables that are said to encode mystical meanings. Cipher is performed with a "band" of four electronic boxes, including electronic tabla (drum box) and electronic tanpura (drone box), which have trapped a centuries-old tradition of acoustic finery into a convenient, portable form.
About Samita Sinha
Samita Sinha is a vocal artist, composer, and cultural worker. She combines tradition with experiment to create new forms, drawing from a deep grounding in North Indian classical music, a contemporary vocabulary, folk and ritual music, and songs and texts in several languages. She blends a raw, visceral energy with her classical training, creating a dynamic range of focused solo work and adventurous collaborations with jazz musicians and improvisers (Marc Cary, Sunny Jain), poets (Fiona Templeton, Sekou Sundiata), and dancers (Daria Fain). Sinha is also an innovative arts educator in schools and communities through MAPP, Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y. She has received awards from NYSCA, Fulbright Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, Asian American Arts Alliance, and has been awarded residencies at Millay Colony, The Coleman Center (Alabama), and KHN (Nebraska). She studied Post-Colonial Literature and Cultural Criticism at Yale, and received her MFA from Bard in 2010.
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