Vocal artist and creator of “Cipher,” Samita Sinha, spoke with students about how she discovered the marriage between voice and technology in a Q&A session on Thursday, October 9, 2014.

When asked how she first got started, Sinha told a story of how she used to listen to the only record she and her family owned: The Sound of Music. At eight years old, Sinha would listen to Julie Andrews sing until she had memorized the entire soundtrack. It didn’t take long for her mother to take notice and decide to take her to temple where, as Sinha states, she was taught “to learn how to really sing.” From there she began practicing the art of classical Indian voice.

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Sinha told of how she started to “do a lot of weird things” in the privacy of her practice. These weird things were the beginning of her exploration of introducing technology into her practice. Upon creating a new vocal language, she realized she “needed sonic support,” which came in the form of technology, frequencies, and undulations.

Sinha did say she had to step away from the technology and began studying Qigong, a practice of aligning body, breath, and mind for health, meditation, and martial arts training. Sinha described the practice as making her realize that “the voice doesn’t just come from the voice box and diaphragm, but it comes from the soles of your feet and the environment around you.”

Sinha used these techniques she learned from her study of Qigong as well as some applications on her iPad later in the day in a small vocal workshop she hosted for students.

–Donna Thompson, a first year master’s of fine arts candidate in arts leadership, has been working with Jon Catherwood-Ginn, partnerships and engagement manager at the Center for the Arts, and Sarah Halvorson-Fried, graduate assistant at the Center for the Arts, in facilitating community engagement opportunities as part of her curriculum. Thompson was chosen for her participation in this event because of her passion for music and her background in classical voice, which she studied at Radford University while obtaining a bachelor’s degree in music and music business. Thompson and her colleagues have also created the blog for the School of Performing Arts, CreatiVe ConnecTions.