Dinesh Subasinghe’s primary work before leaving for
top Music Academy in Chennai:
Ravana Nada goes big time
President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspects
the Ravanahatha during the release of Ravana Nada. Ven.
Athuraliye Rathana, Bhikshuni Kusuma and Dinesh are also in
Music was already in his blood for he grew up in a musical backdrop.
Hailing from a family with a father who played for the Sri Lankan Navy
band and a younger brother who possessed a gift to pay the violin,
Dinesh Subasinghe’s destiny was pre-determined for him. The talented
young musician, so eager to make his mark in the field in a unique
nature recently launched his first CD by presenting it to President
Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 23.
Titled Ravana Nada his debut contribution comprises 12 instrumentals
and two vocals accompanied with the tune of the Ravanahatha or the
Ravanastron, the musical instrument which he excelled in.
“The eloquent tune which derives from the Ravanahatha is believed to
be played for the Hindu god Shiva, who was moved by the mellifluous
notes transcending from the instrument’s strings as the bow swipes its
Thus it was recorded in the Ramayanaya that King Ravana who was an
avid devotee of the god possessed what has now been recognized as the
first musical instrument to be played with a bow in the history of world
music,” he noted adding that due to Ravana’s strong attachment to the
island it is out of the musical instrument made by the orients that the
western violin took shape.
Ravana Nada is the first audio product to be launched in the world
which includes the music springing out of the Ravanahatha, though it had
appeared in movies as a visual item. The CD includes a Hindi song panned
by actress Yashoda Wimaladharma and song named Me Aadarae both sung by
the members of Dinesh’s popular youth band, Dee R Cee.
Dinesh was recently awarded with a scholarship to attend Academy
award winner A.R. Rahman’s Music Academy in Chennai. The opportunity
came his way when one of Rahman’s close friends, Abdul Hameed, had
witnessed the young musician during one of his gigs.
“This will be the first time that a Sri Lankan had been asked to join
the institute. A lot of people have backed me in my success. I wish to
express my gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa because he had
expressed his desire to help me with my expenses during my stint at the
during a violin recital
Ven. Athuraliye Rathana, actors Ravindra Randeniya, Cletus Mendis,
Geetha Kumarasinghe and Pubudu Chathuranga, former Chairman of the
National Film Corporation, Asoka Serasinghe, B.H. Abdul Hameed, Nimal
Lakshapathiarachchi, Ganga Sudharshi, ANCL Chairman Bandula Padmakumara,
Maharaja Group head Raja Mahendran, my parents, my Recording Engineer,
Pragash Bosco who is the son of well known music director Anton John
Bosco and many others have been supportive,” Dinesh said adding that he
is making preparations to stride into the new doorway which had opened
in his path.
His music venture took off on meeting Stanley Peiris. Noting the
great potentiality of the youth, he introduced Subasinghe to
professional orchestra. His career was further cemented when Ananda
Dabare and Hasini Halpe as they included him in the Symphony orchestra.
Later he joined maestro Premasiri Khemadasa’s troupe and had played
for each of his compositions. He leads the orchestra for Master’s Agni
opera and had so far composed music for 28 teledramas, five
documentaries and 10 stage plays.
He had worked for around 70 music directors and provided music for
nearly a 1000 audio songs as well as provided music for 75 teledramas
and 25 movies to the music composed by others.
“I have composed music for Sunil Costa and Sanjaya Nirmal’s teledrama
Sihina Wasanthaya which is being telecast on Sirasa TV on Sundays at
8.30 p.m. Sriyani Amarasena’s newest teledrama Sivupath Rena and Joseph
Jerome’s Ahankara Nagare , both which are slotted to be telecast soon
include my music compositions. I composed music for a song in Channa
Perera’s new film,” he said.
Dinesh is also working on his second CD, ‘Feel My Heart’, which will
include 14 musical tracks. Relaxing melodies with a romantic touch will
be included in the CD which will be released by M Entertainments. Though
music from the Ravanahatha and the kingiri will also come to play in
‘Feel My Heart’, it is the violin which will take center stage in this
“My journey is no bed of roses. I aim to use my knowledge to uplift
Buddhism after completing my spell in India. Ven. Athuraliye Rathana
asked me to play some meditative music using the Ravanahatha. He even
promised to help me build an Institution for this form of music,” he
A Passion CD comprising music directed by Dinesh will be launched at
the Bishop’s College auditorium on April 4 at 3 p.m. Visharada Nanda
Malini takes the lead in a Passion play along with a troupe from Duwa.
Clement Fernando has directed the Passion play for which Dinesh had
“This is recognized as the second oldest Passion play in the world as
the oldest one belongs to Germany’s Ober Ammergau. The team will be
staging the creation after 20 years and I have included an opera touch
to the music so that it will have more universal appeal,” he expalined.
A strong believer in justice, Dinesh presumes that a hard worker
would ultimately achieve what he pines for in life. He assumed the fact
that Sri Lankan music can carve a niche in world music through oriental
instruments like the Ravanahatha and the kingiri which are yet to assume
their identity in the global arena.
“We need to present something unique and not something which had been
popularized and borrowed for other nations. Quality and originality are
essential to lure the national audience to our music,” said the
determined youth who had undertaken the daring mission of reviving the
age old musical instrument possessed by king Ravana into the folds of
the modern social set-up.
You can contact Dinesh through his email address: