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The Golden Voice revived

Angeline Gunatileke:

Fifty seven years of a tuneful career is a triumph itself but amazingly her voice sounds better as the years flow by. She is regarded as one of the most treasured songstresses in the local music scene though many sing her songs to achieve fame; they can never quite match up to her melodious tone.

Now after a lapse of silence she had decided to add another album to her collection and there is no doubt that this will be a much awaited treat for all the music enthusiasts. Daily News ‘Art & Soul’ paid highly acclaimed vocalist Angeline Gunatileke a visit to see what she has in store for her fans.

You are one of the few vocalists of the golden era who is performing as before. How do you see this?

That is true and I am very pleased and proud about the fact.

I have to control the range of my pitch but I am glad to say I can still manage it.

Most of your songs were sung with the late H.R. Jothipala.

I believe our voices combined well together. I have sung more than 5,000 songs so far and we both sang the most number of duets together as background vocalists for films.

We both started off as singers for SLBC.

I started with Karunaratne Abeysekara’s Lama Pitiya.

I made a name for myself as Angeline de Lanerolle. Soon music directors began to inquire about me and requested me to render my voice for film songs.

One of my first songs with Jothi was called Jeewanae Veenawae.

We were also requested to sing a New Year track Avrudu Uda Una which topped the charts.

From then onwards there was a huge demand for duets featuring both of us together.

Was it a very difference experience transferring your voice to playback singing for films?

We had a Sarala Gee programme which was performed live.

This is different from playback singing but today some of the vocalists sing playback just like they are singing a live song.

We have to make a difference in the pronunciation of the words to fit the actors in the visuals and reflect their emotions according to the visuals of the movie.

A lot of youngsters prefer to sing your songs in the new wave of talent search reality programmes that have taken over the island. How do you see this?

Newcomers can sing our songs but they can’t change the melody. That has been happening and they even go as far as to add new variants to the songs. However much we sang our own songs we were careful not to change the melodies of the songs at each performance.

If you wish to sing another person’s song you have to follow these rules. I dislike hearing my songs being sung out of tune. They choose our tracks because they are timeless. They were popular in the past as well as the present. The channels which hold these sorts of programmes use these old hits with new voices to earn money.

But you took part in one such reality television programme based on a search for a ‘superstar’ vocalist.

I took part in their workshop, not as a judge.

I advised them on certain aspects of singing but I would never take part in a reality television show as a judge. However I do take part in activities when the church requests my presence but I do not take part in events for the sake of upholding popularity.

Tell us about your new album.

There will be 16 tracks in the album. My grandson, Imal Jude, composed music for two songs and sang one of the songs called Saviya Thiyae. Almost all the channels have played the songs and they have become very popular. We need to find someone to produce these tracks and make it into a cassette or CD.

The songs include a duet with Sangeeth Wijesuriya.

I even sang the track Bala Massinae originally sung with Clarence

Wijewardena, with Annesley Malawana. There are also songs dedicated to my grandchildren, Imal,

Kavshika and Imoda along with Mal Dunnen, a song which includes a rap done by Don Sherman, Pani Raha Lokayae a children’s film song which was playback sung for Sonia Dissa in Pancha and Ma Langa a songs which has the same wordings as the English track ‘You By My Side’. My first Buddhist song Budun Desu is also included in this collection. I decided to launch an album due to popular demand. The young crowd is especially enthusiastic to listen to my songs.

How did you come across the idea of doing a Buddhist number?

Earnest Soysa had a list of songs and I went through them till this song caught my eye. I was very eager to include this song to my collection. Hector Wijesiri had penned the lyrics and Soysa composed the melody.

I am very satisfied with this collection and believe that they will sell like hot cakes.

Is this the first time that Imal had sung with you?

Yes. He is studying in year 11 at St. Peter’s College and is very gifted at playing musical instruments.

He plays the organ in the church during mass and we recorded Saviya Thiyae after school hours. He sang the song to perfection in one take.

“Nobody gets an opportunity like this and I am very pleased that I go the chance to compose music as well as sing with her,’ Imal contributed to our conversation while adding that he hopes to display his talents in the music stream in the future.

You have gifted the industry with many songs. Why not hold a musical show comprising a collection of your best hits?

Angeline with Imal. Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage

Personally I do not like to go after people and request them to organise such a show for me.

The media should think of that and organise such events for those whom they think deserve such felicitation.

They put together huge projects for those who are less talented but popular during the period and earn as much as they can.

What else are you involved in these days?

I have started donating money to people, especially sick children, who are in need of help.

I glance through the newspapers and choose the people who are badly in need of help.

I visit children’s homes and give presents to them.

Social service had become a passion for me and I feel a deep sense of happiness once I have helped someone make a better living.

Angeline’s latest songs to be included in her new album

* Samanalun Rodak

* Saviya Thiyae with Imal Jude

* Imal Putha Mage

* Ran Oruwa

* Bala Massinae with Annesley Malawana

(originally sung with Clarence)

* Mada Hasa Nagamin

* Dona Karalina with Sangeeth Wijesuriya

* Piya Sala Dura Ahasae

*Ae Seetha Sanda Welawae

* Ma Langa Oya

* Nethata Unana

* Budun Desu

* Indra Neela (an SLBC song)

* Mal Dunnen

* Parasathu Kusumaka (an SLBC Sarala Gee number)

* Pani Raha Lokayae (from the movie Pancha)

There will be 16 tracks in the album. My grandson, Imal Jude, composed music for two songs and sang one of the songs called Saviya Thiyae. Almost all the channels have played the songs and they have become vary popular. We need to find someone

to produce these tracks and make it into a cassette or CD.

Lakshman Dance troupe Keeping to the beat

Dancers of Lakshman’s dance troupe

Dancing is a universal art which had enthralled many an audience throughout the years. Establishing itself from various roots from around the globe, the language of dance had known no boundaries.

Lakshman Dancing Academy, Moratuwa, incepted in 2000, had begun on a small scale. However after eight years in the field, the academy had made a name for itself for its crowd-pulling performances.

Students of the academy were able to keep crowds glued to their seats with their exceptional performances choreographed by Lakshman de Silva, its founder. De Silva is well versed in the art of Kandyan dancing and had trained the art at Bellanvila Raja Maha Viharaya.

Dancers of Lakshman Dancing Academy had displayed their skills on television and are looking forward to showcasing their talents by organising a dance show soon.

They hope to tour the island and visit many a hometown on request.

You can contact them through 0713081131 or jot an email to [email protected]


Sadaham Panduru to be launched

Hondahitha Manavathilleke Warshahennedige’s latest book on Buddhism Sadaham Panduru will be launched at Sri Naga Vihare, Kotte on November 11 at 3.30 p.m.

The launching ceremony will be presided over by Ven. Davuldena Gnanissara Maha Nayake of the Sri Lanka Amarapura Nikaya. Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha, Viharadhipathi of Naga Vihare and several other members of the Maha Sangha will take part in the ceremony.

Sadaham Panduru is published by Dayawansa Jayakody Publishers, Colombo 10.

Wasantha’s 40th exhibition

Wasantha Namaskara’s 40th exhibition of paintings ‘Dementia with the Sunset and Tranquil mind’ will be held at Namaskara Art Gallery, 45/7, Welagedara, Badulla, on November 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Images of Bouzigue

Seneka Abeyratne

Images of Bouzigues’, an exhibition of Digital Art by Seneka Abeyratne will be held at Alliance Française Auditorium, Colombo, from November 15 to December 5.

Seneka is among other things a freelance economist, playwright and photographer. He lives in Wewala-Piliyandala, a peri-urban village bordering the Bolgoda River.

His dark and unconventional play, “Three Star K”, won the prestigious Gratiaen Prize in 2006. In 2006-2007 he published two books, namely, “Three Star K” and “Facets of Wewala”. The latter is a black and white photography book, with 15 pages of text describing various aspects of life in the village.

Seneka has recently begun experimenting with digital art and at this debut exhibition, sponsored jointly by the French Embassy and the Alliance Française, he will be presenting 36 digitally altered photographs of Bouzigues - a peri-urban village bordering a large lagoon in Languedoc-Roussillons.

Some of Senaka’s Digital Art exhibits

Indeed, one could call this exhibition, “A village in the South of France as seen through the eyes of a Sri Lankan artist.” The village is famous for its oysters and mussels and during the summer, the marina is full of yachts and sailing boats.

In the artist’s own words: “I love Bouzigues, for it is dotted with beautiful landscapes and buildings that give it a serene ambience. The light has a special quality because it is very clear and bright and the lagoon looks surreal when the moonlight falls on it.

One day I went for a walk through the garrigue at twilight. The sky was changing colour and while gazing down at the lagoon, embroidered with a symmetrical pattern of oyster forms, my mind was filled with vivid, abstract images; and it suddenly dawned on me that my subconscious was pushing me in a knew direction.

This exhibition is the outcome of that unforgettable, transcendental experience, which one might call a fleeting encounter with the infinite.”

Rhythm of Color and Light

Kandy Alliance Photo is an annual exhibition of photography organised for the past few years in November by the Alliance française de Kandy.

One of Palitha’s exhibits

One of Susantha’s exhibits

This year’s event will begin at Alliance française Art Gallery, Kandy on November 14 and remain open till November 21. The opening ceremony will be held on November 14 at 6.30 p.m. with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Professor Harischandra Abeygunawardena as chief guest.

This year’s exhibition is a combined effort of two photographers from Kandy - Palitha Handunge, Vice President and Susantha Kandaddarage, member of the Alliance française de Kandy. Both developed the interest in art of photography from their school days and started their career in school photographic clubs and later engaged in local photographic club activities in Kandy.

Last few years they extended their service at the national level and served as Executive Committee members of Institute of Sri Lankan Photographers. Their previous works have been selected for many national and international photographic exhibitions and competitions and won awards. Through this exhibition they present some of their new creations.

They pay attention to capture the colour, shapes and rhythm in and around us and compose something new to our eyes.

Palitha Handunge is working as a senior staff audio visual production officer attached to the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya and Susantha Kandaddarage is the Chairman of the Iris Digital Colour Laboratories Pvt, Ltd. Both are engaged in teaching photography for the school children and university students through their photographic clubs and societies.

November in France, and especially in Paris, is dedicated to the art of photography and Alliance française de Kandy also celebrates the same in their premises from 2002.

Going potty over pottery

Mahesh designing a pot

Finely designed pottery Pictures by Saliya Rupasinghe

Designing pottery items have become a popular and beneficial pastime that many people have taken up today. Retired mariner Mahesh Nugegoda is another individual who discovered his artistic talents late in life. One glance at his premises proves this fact since it is filled with various handmade creations designed using a variety of knick knacks he had come across in his day to day life.

“My daughter is a talented pottery painter. I learnt the art through observation and self-experimentation,” Nugegoda said explaining how he got started on his artistic streak.

That was two years ago and he had designed a large collection of pottery items today. He uses sand, sawdust, fabric paint and Emulation paint to create most of his designs. His latest concept is making bags out of empty cigarette boxes.

“Many who saw my creations made requests for me to design items for them. Some even took the products to countries like England and Australia. If anyone has some sort of specific design in mind, I am willing to oblige their request,” he stated. His address is 190/1, Stanley Tilakeratne Mawatha, Nugegoda. You can contact him through the number 011-4964707.

Public Lecture on Modern Art

‘Public Lecture on Modern Art’, a presentation by Dr. Matthias Muehling, Curator at Lenbachhaus in Munich, Germany, will be held at the Goethe Hall, German Cultural Centre on November 11 at 5.30 p.m. Muehling will speak about different projects he initiated during the last three years. He had studied art history, drama, film studies and politics at Bochum and Muenster Germany.

From 1999 until 2002 he was a member of the international graduate program “Representation — Rhetoric - Knowledge” at European University Viadrina at Frankfurt (Oder) and attained a doctorate for his thesis “Painted Words”. In 2001 he was a visiting fellow at New York University while from 2003 to 2005 he worked as an assistant curator at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Since April 2005 he has been head of collections and curator for contemporary art at Lenbachhaus in Munich.


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