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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

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Art, mission of life

Few years ago I could attend one of his music concerts named 'Bypass' and I still could remember the Indie music artiste who had the deep fractured, restless tone of his voice which made the audience feel his antagonism, criticism towards the 'selfish', unkind society we are born, live and die. After seeing his performance live, my respect for the political paragon of his lyrics swell progressively. The protagonist of my essay is Ajith Kumarasiri and his latest music concert 'No more Marx' which consists of his latest lyrics and music which will be addressing the existing socio-political agendas with their deep rooted sexual issues.

Ajith Kumarasiri

Ajith Kumarasiri is not a popular icon in the 'industrialized' mainstream music. However, he is a well known idol among the alternative music trends in the country which could imprint his talents in music not only from his infrequent voice but his lyrics which always supports controversial topics which address the socio political context in the society. However, Ajith has a different viewpoint on 'mainstream music' in our country where he says, "I don't believe that I represent alternative music trends. Rather I belong to the mainstream music in the country.

People have drawn the line erroneously between mainstream and alternative trends, merely considering the industrial factors without regard to the artistic factors of the music or any other art form. For me, in any particular country the mainstream art form should stand where people conduct experimental studies on the subject and try to bring the art in to a certain richness and novelty. However, today the so-called mainstream music is narrowed to the erotic expression and therefore, we have done a fundamental error when understanding the mainstream and alternative music trends in a country,"

Here are excerpts of an interview with Ajith Kumarasiri on his upcoming concert 'No more Marx' which will be on air on Saturday 31 at Namel Manel Punchi Theater Borella at 7.00pm onwards.

What is meant by 'No more Marx'?

If anybody wonders as to what 'No more Marx' means, I would say just consider only the sound it creates. There's no other meaning. It may be Karl Marx or any other Marx but just take the sound of 'Marx'. The rest you may experience in the concert.

Rock Ajith and his music trend

I have been identified as a rock music player and a singer with the concert I've done titled 'SL Rock' few years ago. However, I do not agree with that recognition because it was just only a concert which I used that title considering the political background at that time. As I believe that it should be limited to that moment only.

I'm an artiste who is not restricted to one music trend, but I represent a few trends of music under my interpretations of music. For me noise is the subject and music is part of that vast subject of noise and I believe that the music is the sound that you can feel and smell. So I have a 'deal' with sounds which can be sold. However, that is not completely industrial.

I don't believe that the Sri Lankan music or any other art form can have a healthy relationship with industry when considering the economic conditions of the country.

I believe that the countries which are not economically independent can ever establish independent, rich and broad entertainment art form, because as long as countries are not completely free from dependence on economic factors, the governments or the authorities would not support promoting or enriching the art forms of the country.

Other than the main concerts I did in Colombo, I used to play for the communities who are out of Colombo and due to the imbalance of aesthetic power devolution; those were not popular or communicated properly.

I don't believe I have created a music trend on Sri Lankan music because I don't want to create any cult or any sort of followers with my music. There were so many artistes who have shown their criticism or antagonism through their art forms. For an example Fredy Silva is one of them who brought social criticism through humor. Sunil Shantha is also one of them who brought social criticisms through his art forms. However, there was a loophole created for this type of trends since from late 90s and today multiple diversities have faded away from every art form and majority of them are completely restricted or narrowed down for the erotic themes.

However, apart from industrialized music trends, there is a noticeable music trends which flourishing with those who are keen on broader characteristics of art or music. I'm not quite sure they are my follower. But I think when the industrialized main stream is thriving immensely with the reality shows culture and this music trends too developing simultaneously.

However, I don't see it as a progressive factor for the betterment of music in Sri Lanka rather it just an increase in numbers with the easy access for the media and other communication methods.

Art is not a passion it's a 'Mission'

As per my observation most of the artistes even the international award winning ones, have recognized the art as a fashion. While drawn in capitalism in day to day lives, some are use their art forms to stand against the capitalism which creates contradiction among them and some of them use art forms to mask the guiltiness of duality in lives. For me art is not a passion rather it is a 'mission' in my life.

The real artiste exists in this unbeaten bravery he/she has to stand on this 'mission' in life.

When I compose a song the whole process would go through by me. For all my songs I have written the lyrics, music composed by me and sung in my voice. All my art pieces are my self expressions.

The way I feel and the way I experienced the war, the marriage, children, love, politics, poverty, sexuality and many other sensitive areas which very close to me. I don't believe in singing somebody else's lyrics, which I feel like crying in somebody else's funeral for money.

 

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