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"This ember state" — Premiere performance of Asia Society commission

"This ember state" — Premiere performance of Asia Society commission


Asia Society


Asia Society
New York, NY


Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 7:30pm weekly through April 21, 2018
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 6:30pm weekly through April 22, 2018



Asia Society

This ember state is a voice and sound performance work created by Samita Sinha in collaboration with Dean Moss and Cenk Ergün. This Asia Society commission is a radical deconstruction of Indian classical music to investigate psyches of sexuality and gender. Sinha uses as a point of departure the myth of Sati — the Hindu goddess who self-immolates in sacrifice — and the idea of dark matter.

Sinha’s distinctive vocal work and Ergün’s live composing on self-built electronic instruments create a potent sonic environment. During this hour-long journey, sound travels within and outside her body and the gallery walls in which she performs, enveloping and transporting witnesses of the work. This piece was created in residency at Asia Society and is presented in an intimate gallery setting with a maximum capacity of 25 people per performance.

This performance contains nudity and is not suitable for children.
There is no late seating for this performance.

According to artist Samita Sinha:

This ember state deconstructs Indian classical music through the pussy — as source of sound and silence, and site of cultural inheritance — to re-imagine female spirit and flesh.

I have been distilling compositions and elements of Hindustani (North Indian) raga to create an abstract, enfleshed language of fragments, a kind of ruins of sonic material. Each shard contains the past and the possibility of being enacted anew: architected and opened into another mode of being, thinking, and relating.

Sinha describes a moment from the myth of Sati that sparked This ember state—the brink between Sati’s sacrificial absence and all-encompassing presence:

"where shall I find you again" the helpless father asks
Before becoming sacrifice itself
Sati answers
"everywhere, in every time, in every place, in every being.
there is no thing in the world where I shall not be".
and by her own heat burns into a column of ash.

Quotes excerpted from Roberto Calasso’s Ka: Stories of the Mind and Gods of India.

Performances of This ember state take place on:
Saturday, April 14, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 15, 6:30 pm
Monday, April 16, 6:30 pm
Thursday, April 19, 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 21, 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 22, 6:30 pm

Concept, composition and performance by Samita Sinha
Co-direction and visual design by Dean Moss
Composition, performance and sound design by Cenk Ergün

Commissioned and produced by Asia Society as part of Creative Common Ground, an initiative that expands contemporary performance practice by commissioning, producing, and presenting artists who explore beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.


Photo by Dean Moss.

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