Debashis Sinha


For many years a percussionist with a number of Canada's premiere world music pioneers, Sinha has begun to forge a name for himself in the world of audio and new media art. His training under master drummers from various world percussion traditions inform his work and his questioning of the role of tradition as a tool for innovation. This basic premise fuels the many ongoing projects which form the basis for his creative output, including audio art, experimental video, audio installation, and performance. His solo improvisational performances (using traditional percussion instruments, electronics, laptop, or combinations of all 3) are noted for their range of aural and physical gesture, and he continues to perform as a percussionist within the world music scene with various ensembles. Current projects of note include the recording of a solo CD, a new live improvising duo as percussionist with Berlin's Robert Lippok (of To Rococo Rot fame), and the creation of a body of video work for live performance.

Sinha is a recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Chalmers Foundation, and the Toronto Arts Council. The work he has undertaken with the assistance of these grants have allowed him to complete a variety of projects from studying with master drummers in the Middle East, to recording and releasing CDs, to touring, to composing and creating new media art.



  • Ontario Arts Council Grants to New Media Artists
  • he sat on the glittering precipice, a net art/video work of 24 hours duration based on the passing of my father
  • Canada Council for the Arts Recording Grant
  • Ima Ensemble: post traditional improvised music by World Music practitioners.
  • Resulting CD bad monkey bad bad monkey released 2005
  • Canada Council Grants to Individual Musicians Program: Non-Classical Music
  • Carnatic rhythmic theory and improvisation under master Trichy Sankaran.
  • Advanced Frame drumming techniques and improvisation with Glen Velez (NYC)
  • Hand drum and drumkit combination techniques with Seido Salisofski (NYC)
  • Ontario Arts Council composition grant to compose 5 pieces for percussion and voice. Subsequently included on the CD 'tumma' 
  • Chalmers Professional Development Grant
  • Study of traditional and non-traditional techniques in Persian hand drumming with
  • Pejman Haddadi (tonbak and daf, Los Angeles)
  • Canada Council Grants to Individual Musicians Program: Non-Classical Music
  • Carnatic rhythmic theory and improvisation under Mrdangam master Trichy Sankaran
  • Accompaniment and percussion studies at Helwan University Faculty of Music,Cairo, Egypt
  • Accompaniment and maqam studies with violinist Alfred Gamil, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1998. Toronto Arts Council Composer's Program
  • To develop notation/compose for Winnipeg Taiko group Fubuki Taiko
  • Also: Master Musicians workshop/concerts with Bassam Saba (USA, Lebanon), Beth Cohen (USA) and John Wyre (Canada) as part of concert series' presented by Maza Meze. Projects funded by the Canada Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Ontario Arts Council


  • Invited Artist, Deep Wireless Festival of Radio Art. Live performance as part of a quartet of sound artists for Radio Theatre. Toronto, Canadá
  • Nuit Blanche, commissioned project: where you are. One of 15 projects selected from open call. Cell phone audio art, where audience members dial a toll free number to listen to audio art constructed from recordings of Kolkata streets while walking the streets of Toronto during Nuit Blanche. Project featured by eye weekly arts magazine
  • Invited artist, Das Kleine Field Recordings Festival, Berlin
  • Solo improvised laptop performance using archived field recordings from my own collection
  • Duo concert with Berlin sound/electronic artist Robert Lippok on percussion and live electronic processing, presented by the Goethe Institut Toronto and Raster-Noton
  • Soundlab Edition IV, [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]: cologne 3 soundworks chosen for online exhibition of audio art, launched October 13, to be premiered at Festival Arte Digital Rosario/Argentina. Interview included on the Java Museum
  • Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
  • Deep Wireless Festival of Radio Art artist in residence, Toronto, Canadá
  • Live performance and broadcast of the 16 offerings are made, commissioned by deepwireless and CBC Radio's OutFront
  • This City is a Radio Radio Arts festival, PAVED Arts Contemporary Art and New Media gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • 3 tracks from quell chosen for broadcast 
  • Artist in Residence, Sound Travels Festival of Sound Art, Toronto, Canadá
  • Composition and conceptualized kolkata dreaming, audio installation for CD, resonant metal nd performance elements
  • CBC Radio Artist Profile for Outfront. Produced by Laurence Stevenson
  • Broadcast 2005 and now online at
  • Inclusion on Deep Wireless Festival of Radio Art compilation CD
  • CBC Radio Host, Music Around Us
  • Guest host of nationally aired CBC Radio 2 program, July, 2005. Produced by Hele 
  • Montagne and Keith Horner


  • Regular member of Lippok | Sinha (traditional world percussion with Berlin electronica/laptop artist Robert Lippok
  • Ima Ensemble (leader; post traditional free improvised music created by world music practitioners)
  • Maza Mezé (Arabic/Greek folk music fusion ensemble, performing original music/reinterpreting folk songs from Greece and the Arab world on traditional instruments)
  • Maryem Tollar (Original jazz and Arabic songs)
  • Ensemble Polaris (music from Scandinavia and northern countries)
  • Appearances with autorickshaw, Trichy Sankaran (south Indian), Marilyn Lerner (improvised), Jean Derome (improvised), Jesse Cook (rhumba flamenco), Jane Siberry (pop), the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band (Klezmer/jazz), Leela Gilday (singer/songwriter), Shurum Burum Jazz Circus (Arabic/Yiddish jazz), Silk Road Ensemble, Irshad Khan, Punjabi by Nature (bhangra/reggae)
  • Accompanist for dance classes at National Ballet School of Canada (w. artist in residence Peggy Baker), Dancemakers, Toronto Dance Theatre Company, School of Toronto Dance Theatre

RECORDINGS (indicates Juno nominations, Juno winner)

  • Autorickshaw: So the Journey Goes (Tala-Wallah)
  • Leela Gilday: Sedzé
  • Ima Ensemble: bad monkey bad bad monkey
  • Deep Wireless Festival of Sound Art, vol. II: compilation CD
  • Begin
  • Maryem Tollar: Book of Life
  • Four higher (Tala-Wallah)
  • Debashis Sinha: tumma
  • 2003
  • Ensemble Polaris: Not Much is Worse Than a Troll
  • The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band: Sweet Return
  • Maza Mezé: Secrets Moon Magic (CBC Records)

  • Flowers of Forgiveness
  • Hypnotika (CBC Records)
  • Fiddlesong
  • Quell. Nadjiwan
  • The Liquidaires: Complicated Love
  • Brand New Threads. Songs from Middle Eastern Canada
  • 14 remembered
  • Unleavened
  • Fiddlesong (Anne Lederman)
  • Irshad Khan: Awakening
  • 1997
  • Sable/Sand Trilogy
  • Doula: In The Garden


  • Original music and sound design streamed over the internet live via video/audio chat. Driected by Jacquie P.A. Thomas at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, April/May
  • Hongbu and Nolbu and the Magic Pumpkins (LKTYP)
  • Original music and performance for the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Directed by Alan MacInnes, May
  • Music for Visual Media (Highlights)
  • Music/Performance for Dance (Highlights). Stupa (Peter Chin)
  • Musical Director for Dora award winning 7 dancer/5 musician work. Performed October 10-17, in Toronto
  • In A Landscape/Unfold (Peggy Baker Solo Dance)
  • Solo percussion score/performance for 3 solo dances performed by dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker. Performed at the Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, September
  • Made In India (Rubena Sinha)
  • Bollywood Hopscotch (Indance). Full length score and sound design created from 1 to 5 second sound bites of 1970's Bollywood songs. Choreography by Hari Krishnan
  • Choreographic Trust, Year Two (Peggy Baker Solo Dance)
  • Recreated the dance piece Sanctum (see below) with dancer Helen Jones. Choreography by Peggy Baker, music by Ahmed Hassan
  • Hyphenated and Soraab (Sampradaya Dance Company)
  • Original music and live performance. Performance created by Rubena Sinha and Shaun Phillips. Presented in Winnipeg, MB, March
  • Harbourfront PSA for Omni Television (Marble Media)
  • Composition and sound design. Choreographed by Anita Ratnam (Chennai) and Lata Pada, Toronto
  • Patterns in Snow (Fusion Dance Theatre). Original music and live performance. Performance commissioned by the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre in Winnipeg, August
  • 1 step forward, 2 steps back (inDance). Music composed for percussion and tape, performed with dancer Hari Krishnan, september
  • Sanctum (Peggy Baker Solo Dance)
  • 14 remembered (Ahmed Hassan). Requiem in remembrance of the 14 women killed in the 1989 Montreal Massacre. Ahmed Hassan, musical director. With music by Debashis Sinha and the 14 remembered ensemble. Recorded October 2000, world premiere December. 6, 2000 at Massey hall, Toronto. Video launch Nov. 30, 2002

  • A duet of percussion/sound and dance performed with dancer Peggy Baker as part of the Peggy Baker/Solo dance 1999 season. Music composed by Ahmed Hassan
  • Sable/Sand trilogy (Dancemakers)
  • Music composed by Ahmed Hassan, Colin Couch, Debashis Sinha, Maryem Tollar, and Ernie Tollar. Live performances at Toronto's Premiere Dance Theatre, February, Also released on CD
  • Music for Theatre (Highlights)
  • e-dentity (Mirvish Productions/Theatre Gargantua)
  • The Crowning (Fusion Dance Theatre). Composer, musical director and instrumentalist for a multimedia/dance. Performance commissioned by the Winnipeg Art Gallery


  • New score for OMNI TV documentary Losing My Religion, release date 2007
  • Music from quell and tumma and other compositions featured on CBC TV's The Fifth Estate, CBC Newsworld (various documentaries, 2004-present;
  • Percussionist, No Man's Land, music and choreography by Peter Chin, Alex Oktan, (dir), 2005;
  • Harbourfront PSA for Omni Television (Marble Media), 2003