Elegant piano artistry | Sunday Observer

Elegant piano artistry

was one of those dull, cloudy Sunday mornings when I climbed the steps of Global Towers to keep an appointment to experience “Brunch time”. What hit me first was the lyrical piano notes of Rod Stewart’s pop hit “Sailing”. Who I wondered to myself was the pianist? - I’ve never heard him before and true enough when I went into the Brunch room, he was someone I didn’t know at all. The song seemed appropriate since the Hotel was overlooking the sea and my curiosity doubled.

During a break I learnt that he was new on the scene, his name was Sanjaya and he hails from Embilipitiya. Having grown up in home that echoed with Sinhala music and songs, it was amazing that he knew a wide collection of Western pop hits which he expressed on the keyboard with a sophistication and elegance that was appealing.

“I was fascinated by the Western pop hits, I heard over the radio and TV and I enrolled with Harsha Makalanda to widen my artistry in playing the piano and keyboards. He guided me on how to acquire a polished style in playing tunes, which I didn’t know before. I started playing by ear when I was nine years old and I offered music as a subject in school. I studied at R\Colombage Ara MV at Embilipitiya and after learning under Harsha Makalanda, I joined Bellwood, Kandy to learn more music, and I’m now able to read music which has been a great asset for me”.

Sanjaya who plays at the Global Towers, Colombo on Sunday afternoon, also plays at the Nuwara Eliya Hill Club on Fridays and Saturdays.

At Embilipitiya, his home town, he plays at a hotel in Uduwala and is hoping his luck will be in to entertain music lovers in Colombo on a regular basis.

In his early years in 2008 Sanjaya took part in a competition organised by Rupavahini for instrumentalists called, “Sri Lankan Life” and was placed in fourth position while a year earlier in 2007 he won the organ competition organised by the New Youth Centre which proved his artistry in music.

If you haven’t heard him before do make it a point to enjoy his chord work and lyrical approach to music.