A 35 year celebration
Pic by : Saman Sri Wedage
Locally and internationally renowned music composer, Rohana
Weerasinghe had journeyed a long way in his chosen field. In a career
spanning 35 years the talented musician had composed music for over
3,000 tunes sung by more then 700 vocalists. With years of experience
behind Rohana is ready to engage on a new venture in his tuneful career.
The Sunday Observer met the virtuoso to discuss about the turn of events
in his life.
“Aadaraneeya Rohana - Panthis Wasara”, an evening of music and dance
will be held at the BMICH on February 25 at 6 p.m. to celebrate this
“I hope to launch a variety of musical compositions. They are very
different from the ones I have composed in the past. I will also launch
a collection of songs along with a book including the milestones and
interesting facts in my career,” Rohana expressed.
All these events and more will take place at “Aadaraneeya Rohana -
Panthis Wasara”, an evening of music held to celebrate his 35 year stint
in music. The musical extravaganza organised by Bandara Eheliyagoda of
`Events’ will take place at the BMICH on February 25 at 6 p.m. A
symphony based on the concept of the river titled `Wewa’ will be first
in line of programs featured at the event. This musical composition
brings the serene atmosphere of witnessing the beauty of a river from
its bank to the listeners. Twenty-five members of the Sri Lankan
Symphony Orchestra led by Ananda Dabarae will provide music.
‘Kamatha’, a creative music orchestra piece made of folk music merged
with choir music will be presented by Francis Almeda and the choir of
St. Joseph’s College. Another event included in the schedule is the `Daskon’
musical ballet and presented by renowned choreographers Channa
Wijewardena, Upuli Panibaratha and Ravibandu Vidyapathi.
“We will be presenting the Daskon - Premila romance with a new
concept. Premila Devi is deceived to think that Daskon had left the
country instead of being killed in our version. The dancers will express
their emotions through facial expressions and body movements according
to the music,” he explained.
Twenty-six songs set to tune by Rohana along with a continuous string
of sections of 10 popular songs for which he had composed music will be
sung by 40 vocalists. Visharada Nanda Malini, Sunil Edirisinghe, Victor
Ratnayake, Dr. Sanath Nandasiri, Somathileke Jayamaha, Visharada Neela
Wickramasinghe, T.M. Jayaratne, Amarasiri Peiris, Visharada Edward
Jayakody, Bandara Athauda, Lakshman Wijesekara, Nirenjala Sarojini,
Nirmala Ranatunga, Visharada Deepika Priyadarshani, Pradeepa Dharmadasa,
Visharada Charitha Priyadarshani, Karunaratne Deulganae, Bandula
Wijeweera, Rohana Siriwardena, Nirosha Virajini, Shashika Nisansala,
Athula Adikari, Visharada Samitha Mudunkotuwa, Ananda Weerasiri, Dammika
Bandara, Dayan Vitharana, Uresha Ravihari, Janaka Wickramasinghe,
Krishantha Erandika, Rohan Shantha Bulegoda, Harshana Dissanayake,
Nadeeka Jayawardena, Chamika Sirimanna, Lesley Thomas, Ranjan Saliya and
Suranji Shyamali will take part in this event.
“Aadaraneeya Rohana - Panthis Wasara” will also feature “Nonchi Akka”,
a satirical song based on the “Nonchi Kolama”, penned by Kumaradasa
Saputhanthri and choreographed by Ariyaratne Kaluarachchi. The highlight
of the evening will no doubt be the launch of Rohana’s latest CD, “Piya
Puthu Gee Muthu”. Eight new tracks sung by Rohana along with eight more
numbers sung by his sons, Kalindu and Chirath will be included his CD.
“People keep asking me why I am not interested in adding more songs
to my list.
I believe that I have not excelled in that sector. I am aware of that
as a fact because I have many years of experience in the field. You need
to possess exceptional talent to emerge as a vocalist,” he noted.His
latest CD comprises a duet with his sons and a duet with Nelu Adikari.
It also includes a duet between his son, Chirath and Sunil Edirisinghe’s
In addition to this a book comprising a collection of the milestones
of his career will also be launched along with another volume containing
some Western and Eastern musical scores he had composed for songs sung
by other vocalists. Rohana’s official website
www.rohanaweerasingheonline.com will also be launched at `Aadaraneeya
Rohana - Panthis Wasara’. People’s Bank, Lottery’s Board and Development
Lottery will sponsor the event.
Nav Pratibha 2009 :
Abundance of talents in display
Though none of them were Indian, it seemed beyond doubt that they
have mastered their chosen art form whether it is Indian classical
music, dance or instrumental music, with their fine-tuned subtle
nuances. What manifested here was the sheer amount of hard work and
dedication on the part of students to master an art form and their
teachers unyielding strive for excellence.
They were the students of the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo and
Nav Pratibha 2009 was their talents display in Indian classical Dance
and Music which was held recently at the Kularathne Halle, Ananda
The colourful evening began with a Sitar Recital, Sitar Sandhwani (a
symphony). It was a composition by Dr. Nirmala Kumari Rodrigo based on
raag Hansadhawani and played with Madhyalaya Teen Taal on Sitar.
The item was accompanied on tabla by Shastrapathi Chanaka Peiris and
Shastrapathi Chandralal Amarakoon. It was one of the best items in the
evening performance. Among other things, students of Dr. Nirmala Kumari
Rodrigo displayed their talents with a mastery of the instrument Sitar.
Perfect performance was the result of dedicated practice and
understanding among the players. In fact, the raag Hansadhawani set the
mood for the concert.
The Carnatic Vocal music recital with its two parts of Keerthanam and
Bajan, offered a glimpse into the world of Carnatic music which grew up
along with Hindustani music in India. Keerthanam (Sri Vicknarajam in
ragam Nattai and thalam Misra Chapu) and Bajan (Shri Ram in raagam Yaman
Kalyani and Thaalam Adi). The item was presented by students of
Arundathi Sri Ranganathan. This item was accompanied on mirudangam by V.
Jambunthan, on violin by S. Thibakaran, flute by Kumara Liyanawatte and
on ghatam and morsingh by Ratnam Ratnadurai.
It was a rare occasion where Sri Lankan audience was able to listen
to Carnatic music with authentic flavour. The players were able to evoke
the age-old sentiments hidden among the notes and thalam.
Violin Sandhwani and the item based on Raag Bilawal was presented on
violin by a group of students. The item was accompanied on Tabla by
Shantha Senarath Yapa. Once again the violin recital showcased the
budding talents. Fine recital of notes in their proper sense manifested
the hard practice which enabled them to play the Sandhwani with
The attentive response from the audience who would have thoroughly
enjoyed the violin recital, also testified to the successful
performances. Here the teachers should be praised not only for excellent
performances of their students but also for having trained the students
in the right posture of both sitting and playing the violin.
Significantly this right posture and the right manner of playing was
also practiced by students who played the Sitar recital.
However, the Hindustani vocal music recital and the Bharatha Natyam
recital were not as impressive as some other items of the concert such
as Kathak Dance Recital and the Bharatha Natyam recital which in fact
was the last item of the concert.
The Tabla recital, in which the diverse playing techniques of the
instrument such as uthaan, mukhada, tukda and gat were demonstrated by
students, was one of the attractive items. Students belonging to
different age groups showed that each and every one of them had mastered
the diverse aspects of playing the instrument of Tabla. Another
important aspect was the well-synchronised coordination among the
players and from the performance. It was obvious that the students
enjoyed playing Tabla avoided it becoming a mechanical performance.
Kathak dance recital by group of students, once again, belonging to
different age groups, was marked for it sheer beauty and mastery on the
part of the performing students of intricate foot movements which
constitutes an important character of Kathak style of dancing.
The out-of-ordinary costume designed for the item, had added
much-needed allure to the performance. Teachers should be commended for
imparting the finer craft of Kathak to the students who in turn, have
mastered it with passion. The performers not only excelled as exponents
of Kathak but also in adapting appropriate gesticulations and facial
expressions that made it one of the loveliest and colourful items of the
Nav Pratibha 2009 was marked for its colourful disposition of Indian
classical dance and music and for introducing budding talents to the Sri
Lankan music arena. The Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo which
presented the concert should be commended for offering Sri Lankan
audience with authentic Indian classical dance and music and producing a
generation of artists who can take rich cultural elegancy to posterity.