Samita Sinha: Cipher

Samita Sinha: Cipher

“Cipher stands among the most mesmerizing performances I’ve ever seen. Rather than mash-up, she minimalized, delicately teasing her voice and the elements of the raga form through a vast range of musical territories: the avant garde of Meredith Monk, Joan La Barbara to the visceral blues of Nina Simone and Betty Lavette.”

Portland Monthly

In the beautifully theatricalized sonic performance Cipher, intoxicating vocalist Samita Sinha deploys digital devices interwoven with her live singing, which draws on classical Indian forms like raga, thumri, and mantra, mixed with early blues from the American South, Bengali Baul songs and doses of pop and electronic music. This mix is closely bound to the languages Sinha speaks: Hindi, Urdu, Brajh, Bengali, Sanskrit, Mandarin Chinese, English, and Spanish. Sinha’s “vocabulary” is tarana – a genre in Hindustani classical vocal music mixing Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit syllables said to encode mystical meanings.








Cipher is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund/Fourth Fund project co-commissioned by REDCAT, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, and Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). Supported by the NPN Performance Residency Program. For more information:

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Associated Images: 

FRI 10/16
8:30 pm
$25  $20$12
SAT 10/17
8:30 pm
$25  $20$12

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff