Shyami Fonseka: Phenomenal songster reminiscence – by Sunil Thenabadu   Shyami Fonseka is a popular vocalist, who possesses a good singing voice, self confidence, love for music, commitment, patience, determination, and discipline with ability to accept criticism. Above all Shyami has hereditary affiliations for her journey in music as father and grandfather both competent musicians with ability to sing and play any musical instrument. Father is a full time musician, mother is a teacher all six siblings three in each gender all could sing well. Hence from her younger days music was heard within her dwelling. Together with her innate singing ability it was a morale booster for Shyami to pursue a career in singing which she had commenced in around year 1976. She had been never thought music by anyone but the environment at home had made her to be a self-made and thought vocalist. Shyami had confessed that it ...

Read More →

The roots of music in Sri Lanka has five primary influences ancient folk NADEEKA GURUGE GUITARIST,COMPOSER, VOCALIST, AWARD WINNING PHENOMINAL MUSIC DIRECTOR  AT THE HELM OF FAME -by SunilThenabadu   The roots of music in Sri Lanka has the primary  influences in ancient folk rituals. Hinduism religious traditions, Buddhist religious customs, the heritage of European colonisation, the antique and commercial of neighboring Indian philosophy precisely Kollywood and Bollywood cinema. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century with their traditional music along with Africans to spread their own style of music called ‘baila”.The influence of both European and African traditions served to further diversify the musical roots of the contemporary Sri Lanka music.  As opposed to European classical concert music, folk music was the music of the common people. Folk music was derived from the German word “volk”, which essentially means “ the people”. Folk music ...

Read More →

SHYAMI FONSEKA A PHENOMINAL SONGSTER POSSESSING A DECORATED VOICE, TEACHER, SACRIFICED LUCRATIVE MUSICAL VOCATION FOR FAMILY UNIT – by Sunil Thenabadu   Shyami Fonseka as a popular vocalist possesses a good singing voice,self confidence,love for music,commitment,patience, determination, discipline with ability to accept criticism .Above all Shyami has hereditary affiliations for her journey in music as father and grandfather both competent musicians with ability to sing and play any musical instrument. Father is a full time musician, mother is a teacher all six siblings three in each gender all could sing well.Hence from her younger days music was heard within her dwelling. Together with her innate singing ability it was a moral booster for Shyami to pursue a career in singing which she had commenced in around year 1976.She had been never thought music by anyone but the environment at home had made her to be a self-made and thought vocalist.Shyami ...

Read More →

POPULAR ENTERTAINER DESMOND DE SILVA NO MORE! (13 JULY 1944 – 09 JAN. 2022) – Iconic entertainer bids farewell – by Upali Obeyesekere It is with profound sadness we learn that popular entertainer Desmond de Silva succumbed to a heart attack whilst in Melbourne today. A living legend he was born in Matara but bred in Colombo. His versatility was limitless – singing in both English and Sinhala with relative ease and sometimes even in Tamil. Des was 77 at the time of his sudden demise. He was one of the greatest Sri Lankan entertainers of our time with a super stage presence. A resident of Sydney, Australia, Des was in Melbourne to perform at the New Year’s Eve dance on December 31st. Desmond Anaclitus Rajiva de Silva launched his music career in 1963 or 1964, as lead vocalist of FIREFLIES band led by Milroy de Silva with Darrell de ...

Read More →

ANIL BHARATHI UNCONQUERED EFFERVESCENT VOYAGE IN CELEBRITY FOR OVER FIVE DECADES-By SUNIL THENABADU Anil Bharathi’s signature song equally popular “ Bethlehempure” still remains the “evergreen” Christmas song for half a century.The lyrics were by a Buddhist legendary celebrated Karunaratne Abeysekera which still remains as the most popular Christmas song in the century perhaps centuries to come. Even if Anil sang this song only his name would still be etched in the hearts of all Sri Lankans not only Christians.The music of this song was by the POP music maestro Clarence and his Golden Chimes band recorded under the ‘Lotus” label one of the pioneers in records and cassettes.  Anil the lanky vocalist had innate skills but not known to have hereditary affiliations to music was the lead singer which added the requisite spice to the Golden Chimes bank in the early decade of the seventies. Anil, had skill in singing ...

Read More →

CLARENCE WIJEWARDENA – by Des Kelly   Quarter of a century has already elapsed since we lost him. Clarence Wijewardena was, in my opinion, at the very apex of the tree of Musical Composers that Sri Lanka has ever produced, and there have been, and still are, many others. It was in 1963, just a year after I migrated to Melbourne, that I first heard his song Dilhani, just fell in love with the tune and rendition by Indrani Perera, and decided on the spot, to write an English Version to this beautiful tune which I named My Lovely Island Home. Of course, I could not record this English Version of my song without written permission from Clarence. I cannot remember where he was living at the time, but I did write him a lerter which he promptly replied, giving me his permission and thereby I went ahead and recorded ...

Read More →

CLARENCE WIJEWARDENA – By Des Kelly   In my humble opinion, the BEST Songwriter/Composer that Ceylon, then, Sri Lanka, now, has produced to date. Clarence would have been 78 years old, today, 3rd August, 2021, had he not passed on, due to complications connected with acute diabetes.          My tribute to him comes from the fact that, after hearing and loving his Composition “Dilhani”, I decided to write to him for permission to use his Music in order to complete my English version, which I titled “My Lovely Island Home”. Clarence gave me his kind permission in writing, and being always grateful to him, I decided to also record Dilhani, as best as I could possibly do, in Sinhala, in tribute to this guy who was unfortunately taken from us, far too soon.  ...

Read More →

Golden Jubilee years of Sinhala Pop Music;-By Dr D.Chandraratna Christian youth herald an Integrative revolution Source:Island Right at the outset I need to justify the above subtitle. The readers may be understandably perturbed that the use of the word Christian is an irrelevant identity marker, given the violence that identity markers have caused in Sri Lanka. I am acutely conscious of Amartya Sen’s advice, ‘Reason before Identity’ before we classify groups (Identity Violence, 2007). However this identity profiling is only an empirical generalization contextualized here because it has contingent social significance. I wish to demonstrate how young, predominantly Christian youth, through Sinhala song stumbled on to foster amity, dialogue and communication between communities, ‘unloading a million bricks’ out of the Sinhala psyche (Langston Hughes, The Big Sea, 1986). Having relieved my burden I shall come to the subject proper. This article is to celebrate more than half a century of ...

Read More →

“THE BIRDS & THE BEES” – By Des Kelly   The song was composed by Clarence Wijewardena, who also was the Music Director when  Annesley Malawana recorded it.            This version was performed by a pretty ordinary bloke & a pretty extraordinary girl, when you get to the bottom of it.  ...

Read More →

“REMEMBERING CLARENCE” – By Des Kelly             He was certainly one of the very best Singer/ Songwriters that Sri Lanka was proud to call their own. Clarence Wijewardena wrote many songs, most of them, at the request of friends who, in turn, had friends wishing to record a “Clarence-song”.              This writer was already in Australia, when Clarence wrote a song entitled “Dilhani”, dedicated to the baby-  daughter of yet another friend, no doubt. It wasn’t known to many folk that Clarence wrote his song-lyrics in a simple exercise book, that most Sri Lankans would remember as a relic of their School days. He wrote many songs, so there were many exercise books, and in addition, at the beginning of each song, being a Catholic, he would also write a special little prayer, asking God to help him complete the ...

Read More →