Compelling piano artistry | Sunday Observer

Compelling piano artistry

You can label him as a ‘Free Thinker’ in his piano artistry. You won’t be wrong. At one time during his playing you think to yourself that he has been influenced by one kind of a pianist and in the following minutes you are made to think wrong and you tell yourself ‘No, I don’t think so.’

Actually Dilip Seneviratne has an uncanny style in his piano artistry. This was more than evident in his concert held recently at the Lionel Wendt. He has acquired a style all his own and stands far removed from the normal run of pianists.

Q. How much of your ‘journey’ in the industry were you able to fit in to your concert. Were there any sections you were compelled to leave out due to time factor?

A. One concert cannot accommodate all my musician friends in one night. Along my musical journey, there have been many a musician Friends that I have performed with very often and also who have been a source of encouragement throughout the years. I invited four of them for the first concert. I must say that I never advertised who was going to be on my show… it was going to be a surprise to the audience plus I wanted the crowd to come only for me, and even if there were only a handful, I’ll know they came only for me.

Q. You featured your children are you the person who trains them in their singing, and who trained you formally?

A. My daughter and I go to Shanelle Fernando for voice training …my son has not started singing yet, but plays the piano along with my daughter, musically I guide them, giving them the necessary tips…piano playing to performance and stage presence. As for me, I started playing the piano since I was six years old, I studied classical music under Ms. Marie Livera and I did my music exams up to Grade 3 and stopped as I did not have a piano to go any further and the rest is history...from then on I have been playing by ear.

Q. What made you make plans to hold this concert – were you pushed into it?

A. No one pushed me to it….many were telling me it’s high time I did my own show….I thought and thought…and finally decided to give it a go. It took a lot of planning. Also I wanted to give back…to do something musically for a cause…this concert was in aid of The Sri Lanka Cancer Society.

Q. What about rehearsals – it would have taken a lot of your time, considering the fact that you perform weekly as well?

A. Not really, see, I planned this concert one year back last February in 2019…. I had plenty of time for my personal practice … the backup band are the very members I perform with weekly or on a freelance basis…so there’s that level of understanding we have built over the years playing together often and also they are all brilliant musicians in their own right. The proper band rehearsals started two weeks before the concert.

Q. Would you be having another concert in the near future?

A. Yes of course! I have already planned for next February, but due to the current situation in the country I might postpone it by a few months.

I am sure the packed audience at the Lionel Wendt who enjoyed your concert will be there once again to appreciate and applaud you.

Good luck to you Dilip!