Old Jeoes blend
music with Evolution
Though the Old Joes
Choir hopes to perform quite a few well-known songs, some of them
would be rearranged especially to give the show a "live and
set for the big day: The Old Joes Choir photographed at the
Crescat Boulevard by Mettasena
Way back in
1940, Frank Zappa stated, "Music in performance is a type of
sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something..."
This is the
case with "Evolution". The Old Joes Choir certainly will
do this. Somehow, the amazing voices of each and every member of
the choir rise above the music and manage to freeze the still air.
in their case is powerful and personal. Strains of music could be
heard as I walked into the Hall where the Old Joes were practising
for their maiden mainstream venture. Though quite some distance
away, I was captivated.
promises to be the result of all the hard work they are putting
in at the moment. Judging from the practices, the evening of music
to be held on August 23 and 24 at the Russian Centre, should be
a sell out.
The Old Joes
Choir was formed in 1997 and has evolved to become one of the leading
choral groups in Sri Lanka.
is not just spiritual and classical music, but also modern contemporary
successful launch concert Pregheira in 1999, the choir decided that
they want to prove to the music loving public, that they were capable
of handling 'everything'. Everything meaning, music from all eras
- 18th century classical, Broadway musicals, contemporary music
and modern rock.
is a live and unplugged musical which does not comply with the norms
of a traditional evening of music. The event is unique, as the repertoire
for the evening would range from 18th century classical music to
modern contemporary rock. The choir will be accompanied by the Chamber
Orchestra. The pianist for the evening is Kamalinie Samarakoon who
worked with the Old Joes Choir for Circle of Life, which was produced
by Michael Ranasinghe, who is incidentally the producer for "Evolution"
is the first step through which the choir hopes to master the art
of acapella music and remain a choir that provides entertainment
for everyone. Their focus is set on evolving from a choir that focused
only on spiritual music, to one which would be able to perform any
type of music in a spirit of innovation.
be starting off the concert with a few classical songs before moving
on to more modern contemporary numbers. Some of the items will be
sung acapella while others would be backed by an ensemble comprising
a small string orchestra, a piano, a few guitars, an acoustic drum
set and congo drums," said the leader of the choir Dayan Gunasekara.
Old Joes Choir hopes to perform quite a few well-known songs, some
of them would be rearranged specially to give it a "live and
unplugged" feel which they have chosen to be the underlying
theme of the concert. They also intend to feature a few soloists,
backed by the choir and the orchestra to add a bit of variety to
certainly not going to be the same old evening of music - we would
be keeping with the norms of what is accepted by a choir, but it
would be different," stresses Michael Ranasinghe. "We
would be having different costumes, and there would certainly be
some dramatisation on behalf of the choir members to keep the audience
in different types, styles and forms. That is why they have a programme
that features music from artistes like The Corrs, Queen, The Beatles,
Elton John, Duran Duran and even the rock group Train!
plan to give the audience a glimpse of Broadway with scenes from
the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Evita," says Shanaka
Cooray, the former leader of the choir.
behind the whole show is Deshan Cooray, choral director. He has
re-worked most of the songs with the assistance of Damien of Wildfire
and Eshantha Pieris. "I did not want "Evolution"
to be concentrated only on classical music. It had to have everything
in it - ranging from Bach, Schubert to Evita, Queen and Trian."
was done in a manner so that there would be a fusion of everything.
You could listen to the classical segment and hear something you
would like in it - the fusion is obvious.
It is the same
with the non-classical half which consists of mostly rock songs,
which does incorporate hints of classical music in it," he
added. "However, nothing has been hacked!" he promises
with a laugh.
is the key word here. "We wanted to do something which would
prove to everyone that we are competent enough to handle any type
of music. Ever since we performed at the Symphony Orchestra Christmas
Concert in 2001, we have wanted to do something of our own,"
was to branch out and project ourselves as a contemporary outfit.
We have evolved from just another choir to one that is not afraid
to experiment with anything. Therefore, we called this maiden performance
in which we would be different "Evolution", as we would
be proving this to the audience. Most people like to listen to different
types of music, therefore we made sure this show would cater to
everyone," he added.
it to be personal...making the audience realise the difference in
our choir," says Michael, and also that "we can handle
anything - be it a piece by Bach or Queen or the Beatles."
The main sponsor
for "Evolution" is Sinwa Footwear, and the co-sponsors
are Elephant Cream Soda, 101.7 TNL, Lite 89.2 and The Sunday Times.