The art of touching souls with music | Sunday Observer

The art of touching souls with music

Sunil Shantha
Sunil Shantha

Nadeeka Guruge sings Sunil Shantha’s Waren Heen Sere Ridee Walwe and you might end up playing it over, and over, and over. I warn you. It is simply not any cover version or a remake. I invite you to believe my words that you will vibe with Guruge when you listen to Waren Heen Sere Ridee Walawe.

Nadeeka Guruge

Having said issa vibe I want you to know that I, too, agree there are many poorly made remakes and cover versions of old classic songs. It can be painful and feel like an utter betrayal of what you love and treasure and might make you strictly an “Only Pereni Rasanga aesthetic.” I won’t blame you. Yet I insist you listen to Guruge sing the song.

Waren Heen Sere Ridee Walawe is a composition with all the qualities to evoke your senses, but place you in a certain mood, make you stop for a moment from life’s hustle. It’s a precise composition of lyrics, music and voice which brings out the effect of music the way it’s meant to be. The composition connects you with yourself. The power of the simple lyrics of the song creates a cinematic experience in the mind of the listener. I recommend you to close your eyes to see it while listening to the song.

Sunil Shantha, the music legend who contributed remarkable creations to Sinhala music may have held the talent to know not only music, but the art of touching souls with his music. Despite the fact of being powerful, profound and perfect in his creative musical work Sunil Shantha’s journey in the music world was short. Even though it is said that Sunil Shantha’s work was robbed and his rights to his intellectual properties were violated, in an endeavour to save young Sri Lankan musicians from losing their identities to the Indian musical influence, he remained true to his convictions. He generously coached and trained young talented artistes.

Perhaps Sunil Shantha’s significant efforts and hopes to create another generation who understood what it’s to create music may have an effect on genuinely talented musicians such as Nadeeka Guruge. Perhaps that’s why we hear Guruge’s performance of Waren Heen Sere Ridee Walawe like passing on a legacy to the next generation, like lullabies sung to an infant by parents, like a folk song handed down to children without authorship, some old treasured creations causing musical connections between generations must keep alive.

Those who have the discipline to hold these heirloom gems in their hands with greater ability to polish them more to make them shine more must hold them with appreciation and care and hand them down to the next generation. Those who have the discipline to be responsible to set examples on how not to fade a gem by causing damage while it’s held in their hands must set such examples. It should not be a burden or a traditional pressure but rather an inexplicable desire to bridge generations to feel the meaning of understanding each other to reduce the gap.

However, the new artistes presenting old creations can be questioned, criticized and would be unwelcome. At times, it can be illegal.

The moral justification for intellectual property protection always comes within a true artiste. Those who know the art do not damage the heirloom gem. They protect it more.