The much awaited literary fiesta
“An instant success, likely to become a coveted fixture on the
international literary circuit.” Whilst one of Sri Lanka’s leading
newspapers, the Sunday Observer wrote “The much awaited literary fiesta
of the Sri Lankan cultural calendar which undoubtedly set the stage for
the revival of English literature in Sri Lanka.” - Victoria Glendinning
The audience from last
The third international Galle Literary Festival will be held from
January 28 to February 1, 2009 in and around the port city of Galle with
its jewel of UN declared World Heritage site Galle Fort and its
Following the success of the debut in 2007, the Galle Literary
Festival was hailed by Harpers Bazaar as the “No 1 Literary Festival in
the world” true to the composite literary experience offered in the
midst of history, touristic attractions and unblemished beaches of Galle
and its environment.
This year, the festival will focus on the opportunity to interact
with inspiring writers enjoying four days of conversation and debate in
and around the world heritage city of Galle.
In the context of the present global financial crisis, the Galle
Literary Festival will be more focused ensuing that all participants
will enjoy every minute of their stay. The organizers have pledged to
maintain the same ticket prices despite the rising cost.
The cosmos of international and Sri Lankan writers will take part in
diverse events. Some of the sentinels of letters include Germaine Greer
and Edna O’Brien, alongside talented debut novelists like Tahmima Anam
and V.V. Ganeshananthan. In addition, celebrated travel writers like
Colin Thubron and Pico Iyer and leading journalists M.J. Akbar and Tarun
Tejpal will also add their distinctive flavours to the literary fiesta.
Iconic Sri Lankan diaporic writer Romesh Gunesekera, Thomas Keneally,
author of the Booker Prize winning Schindler’s Ark will glisten among
the galaxy of writers with equally diverse flavour. Among other things,
the festival will manifest sheer varieties of English Language and how
it has helped cross frontiers of race, nationality and creed in
expressing deeper sentiments of humanity.
The third Galle Literary Festival will open on the grounds of the
Martin Wickramasinghe Museum, paying tribute to one of Sri Lanka’s most
celebrated writers, whilst hearing from new voices in Sri Lankan English
writing. These newer Sri Lankan poets and novelists will be joined at
the festival by distinguished writers Yasmine Gooneratne and Anne
Ranasinghe, and winner of the 2008 Gratiaen Prize, Vivimarie
The 2009 Festival will include several special features, including
daily workshops for aspiring writers and a sneak preview for readers of
what our authors are working on next. Beyond the festival’s literary
programme will be a series of events that ask questions about the
changes we see around us.
Architect Channa Daswatte will lead a walking tour through the
changes that have taken place in Galle Fort over time, whilst a panel of
experts will debate whether we have a spirit of conservation in Sri
A dedicated children’s programme will run alongside the main festival
programme featuring the international storyteller Margaret Read
MacDonald and the multiple award winning former children’s laureate,
Activities in the children’s programme encompass music, art and the
relating of tales. Highlights include the creation of a rainforest
mural, a treasure hunt through the historical sites of the Fort and a
session with Michael Morpurgo for both parents and children.
It continues its association with initiatives run by Adopt Sri Lanka
to develop English teaching in rural areas in the Southern Province.
A full program for the festival will be published on our website
www.galleliteraryfestival.com on Friday, December 19. Box offices and
online sales will begin Monday, January 5.Some of the international
writers 2009 line-up of writers - Alexander Nemser, Asitha Ameresekere,
Colin Thubron, David Robson, Edna O’Brien, Germaine Greer, Giles Milton,
Margaret Read MacDonald, Michael Morpurgo, M.J. Akbar, Moses Isegawa,
Patrick French, Pico Iyer, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Romesh Gunasekera,
Tahmima Anam, Tarun Tejpal, Thomas Keneally, V.V. Ganeshananthan, Local
Participants:, Ameena Hussein, Anne Ranasinghe, Anthea Senaratne, Ashok
Ferrey, Chamali Kariyawasam, Channa Daswatte, Gehan de Silva Wijeyratne,
Jeanne Cambrai, Jake Oorloff, Jehan Aloysius, Kaushalya Fernando, Manuka
Wijesinghe, MASii, Michael Meyler, Ramya Jirasinghe, Razana Sameem,
Richard Boyle, Sanjana Hattotuwa, Shehani Gomes, Sumathy Sivamohan,
Tracy Holsinger, Vihanga Perera, Vivimarie VanderPoorten and Yasmine
Some of the Fringe Festival Events:
‘Theravada Man’ by Manuka Wijesinghe, book launch at Hall de Galle at
6.00 pm, on Thursday, January 29.
Arts and Crafts Market at Law Court Square, Galle Fort on Saturday,
January 31 from 10 am - 5 pm.
The Graffiti Wall at Law Court Square, Galle Fort throughout the
Wildlife Photography Exhibition at The Fort House, 42, Lighthouse
Street, Galle Fort throughout the festival.
Children’s Art Exhibition at the Old Bakery Junction of Pedlar Street
and Lighthouse Street, Galle Fort throughout the festival.
The Rice Paddy Bicycle Trail begins and ends at Why Beach to eat
throughout the festival, leaving at 10 am every morning.
Mike Furniss Art Exhibition at Elephant Walk, Church Street, Galle
Fort throughout the festival.
Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust Event at the Hall de Galle, just outside the
gates of Galle Fort on Sunday, February 1 at 6 pm.
60 seconds at YWCA, Church Street, Galle Fort at 2.30 pm on Saturday,
Theatre at The Closenberg at the Closenberg Hotel, Galle on Friday
January 30 at 7 pm - 8.30 pm.
Yoga with Annoushka Hempel at the Fort Printers, Pedlar Street, Galle
Fort on January 29th - February 1st at 8.00 - 9.30 am.
Coffee Appreciation and Tasting Workshop at the Fort Printers, Pedlar
Street, Galle Fort on January 30 and January 31 at 5.30-6.30 pm.
Free Wheeling at Lady Hill Hotel on January 30 and 31 from 8.30 pm.
Instrumental music soothes the ears
* This, perhaps, was the finest exposition of percussion instruments
It was not only the drums of Sri Lanka from up country and low
country traditions that reverberated Lionel Wendt Theatre but also those
from far cry soils such as Japan and Africa with their distinctive beats
The drum concert was enriched with a repertoire of drums never before
witnessed on stage in Sri Lanka.
The formidable array of drums in the hand of able-bodied players
reminded us not of a drum orchestra, but of an army of musicians ready
to march towards unknown territories setting conventions in instrumental
music in Sri Lanka.Ravibandhu Vidyapathy’s maiden CD “Bahu Ranga” was
launched at the concert.
It would have been an uphill task to set a convention on the Sri
Lankan music scene which is still dominated by songs. Broadening the
perception of music that was exclusively associated with songs to
include instrumental music is perhaps Ravibandhu’s forte.
Some of the compositions in the CD such as Bahu Ranga were included
in the concert. CD contains a range of compositions such as Reem Dheem,
Tabla Dream, Kalabera, Journey, Sa Ga Ga Re Ma Ga. The CD is significant
on many accounts as it heralds a new era in instrumental music in Sri
Lanka. It is marked for its excellent sound quality as well as its rich
Bahu Ranga (many rhythmic colours) with Reem Dheem, a piece of
composition was a delicate blend of Indian and Sri Lankan percussion
instrumental performance with indigenous folk melodies. Here, folk songs
have accompanied the drumming. In a way, a blend of drums was unique as
they mingled into diverse colours. The audience felt the rhythms of the
drums as if the heart beat had suddenly stopped or synchronized the
sheer gusto of drumming.
Osaka, is as name suggests, based on melody of a Japanese folk song.
Here, it is played on flute, indigenous percussion instruments and
electronic key board.
Here the flutist Priyantha Dassanayake adapts, to a certain extent
the techniques used in playing Japanese Shako Hatchie flute and the
percussion instruments in the composition assume the characteristic of
Japanese Tyco drums.
This was one of the pieces of compositions of the concert which
distinctly showed the fusion of cultures. Although Dissanayake played
the same flute which he played for other performances, it assumed a
distinct Japanese tone.
The Kalabera Journey, the sixth piece of composition is solo Kalabera
Kalabera was invented and developed by Ravibandhu Vidyapathy in 1997.
In terms of its vividness, the composition Kalabera Journey stood out in
Ukussa is based on Ukussa Vanama. For this composition, Ravibandhu
has used flute and Kolitha Bhanu Dissanayaka’s voice. Percussion
instruments have been delicately blended with the flute and
Dissanayake’s melodious voice.
Ravibandhu Vidyapathy has composed and arranged music for the concert
while Kolitha Banu Dissanayake and Shamila Dediwela rendered their voice
in addition to Ravibandhu, accomplished flutist Priyantha Dassanayake
composed music for some of the pieces in the concert.
Although the first part of the concert was conspicuous for its
innovative character, the latter part which was exactly following the
interval was dominated by a kind of monotony created by the same kind of
ultra fast beats which was in the penultimate portion of the
It has been a salient characteristic in most of the compositions. As
the composition reaches the climax, the beat becomes faster and faster
clashing the colours that at times have been painstakingly developed in
the first section of the composition. Apart from this, the concert set
the trend for instrumental music in Sri Lanka.
“Alakalanchiya” at Elphinstone
Rohana Baddege’s Alakalanchiya will be staged at 3.30 and 6.45 p.m.
on (Saturday), January 24 at the Elphinstone Theatre. The cast includes
Bandula Wijeweera, Nissanka Diddeniya, Nilmini Kottegoda, Madani
Malwaththa and Somapala Pathirage.Composition, dancing, music and
productions will be under the direction of Rohana Baddege and make up
artist is Jagath Padmasiri. Edward Chandrasiri is the Production Manager
while Jude Srimal functions as the chief organiser.
‘Kalpa Sith Ru’
‘Kalpa Sith Ru’ an art exhibition by renowned artist Kalpa Suranga
Dias will be held at the Colombo Art Gallery from January 17-19. Kalpa
is an artist from Weliweriya Gampaha who had won many awards at local
and international competitions.