In ‘Cipher’, Samita Sinha connects cultures through the voice

Photo by Paula Court_samitasinha_cipher-pic3

Samita Sinha in Cipher, photo by Paula Court

REDCAT theater in Los Angeles is an experimental performance space. This weekend’s experiment: connecting Indian and Western musical forms through the use of a single voice. That voice belonged to Samita Sinha, a genre-bending vocalist who is as much at home in jazz, folk and electronic music as she is in the world of Hindustani khayal.

Sinha’s one-woman show, Cipher, “unravel[s] Indian music into fundamental principles — of tone, rhythm, line, embodiment and language… the voice unspools and communicates within analog and digital soundscapes of rhythms and drones.”

The movement between vocal styles is sometimes a slow evolution over many minutes, and is sometimes instantaneous, using the consonants on either side of a single vowel. Sinha an Indian-American draws from her eclectic cultural and musical background, using her own voice as the “thread that runs through the chaotic multitude of eras and cultures and energies that inhabit [her].”

To learn more about Cipher, click here. And to read more about Samita’s work, visit her website here.

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