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
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
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
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
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.