A glimpse of the motherland
from the clouds
Amidst the piles of CDs that come into the market with all types of worthless songs in the name of Sinhala music, it's comforting to find a quality product making its appearance once in a while. Fashion designer Harris Wijesinghe occasionally sings a beautiful song, mixes it with picturesque scenes (no dancing girls) and produces a video CD which is a treat to see and hear. His is not a commercial operation- he does it as a hobby. A limited number of VCDs are produced and distributed among friends.
I have just listened to his latest effort and am enthralled by it. Titled 'Valakulakvee nilvan ahas thale', it describes what we can enjoy from the clouds. It vividly portrays the scenic beauty of our country. The words by Bandula Nanayakkarawasam are simple and aptly describe the most charming spots which have been captured exquisitely by Ravindra Munasinghe's camera. The upcountry waterfalls, the Knuckles range, sunrise watched from Uda Dumbara, the greenery in the Sinharaja forest and the blue waters in the Sorabora Wewa in Mahiyangane are some of the finest picks from the wide variety depicted within three or four minutes. The role of the armed forces has not been forgotten by adding a patriotic touch.
Rohana Weerasinghe's music set to a melody developed by Harris himself is so pleasing. Suresh Maliyadde is the other member of the team who has helped with the mixing of the sound.
'Valakulakvee' is ideal to promote tourism. Anyone seeing it will enjoy the scenery, the music and Harris' voice. Possibly some suitable wording in English can appear as sub-titles.
A wider audience will be able to enjoy this lovely song if the TV channels get a copy from Harris and air it.
Incidentally, this is the fourth VCD that Harris has released. He started with 'Devunara Nanditha', the only Buddhist song written by Soma Hamuduruwo. Then he sang 'Amma' in praise of the mother and followed it with 'Duk Sansindewa' - a plea to end suffering. The latter was picturised in the backdrop of a 'salpila' in a village temple and was a 'nurti' style song.
A common feature of his songs is the Buddhist and patriotic touch and the soft melodic feel.
A little different
Media and PR personality, Kumar de Silva had plans to do something different for the launch of 'Lester by Lester'. Seeing the number of guests going up to the stage at SLFI, many may have wondered whether the audience was going to spend long hours listening to at least seven speeches.
Kumar had other ideas. Having got through two short speeches - one by publisher Vijitha Yapa (who taught us the two distinct meanings of the word 'icon' - "one referring to personalities like Lester James Peries and the other to those who profess 'I con' like the politicians") and the other by the sponsor (SLT), he got two veteran stars to have a chit chat. Iranganie Serasinghe and Henry Jayasena had a lively chat — the former reminiscing about the days when 'Rekawa' was made and the latter relating interesting anecdotes from the 'Gamperaliya' days. The other two stars present on stage were Malini Fonseka and Ravindra Randeniya.
It certainly was a departure from the usual 'launch' speeches with musical items thrown in between. Pity I wasn't around to watch the whole evening's proceedings.
The little complaint I have is the lengthy 'introductions ' by the two presenters. In a bilingual presentation particularly, care should be taken to make the announcements short and sweet.
As for the book, it's pretty interesting reading - I have just started enjoying it.