Yaman Selo, Yaman Selo, pera kadanne//
Pera motade, jambu hondai dosi damanne//
Dosi damanne none dosi damanne…
A lecture on ‘What is Baila?’presented by Dr. Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya with illustrative accompaniments on Piano and Bongo was held recently at The Sooriya Village, Colombo 5.
The event commenced with Udena Wickremesooriya of the Sooriya Village welcoming the audience. Shihan tracedthe trajectory of Baila; if Baila is a dance, a music or a song; what is Kaffrinha; how Kaffir Portugese music influenced contemporary popular Sri Lankan music; findings of C.M. Fernando and Hugh Neville’s manuscripts from the 19th century. She demonstrated the songs ‘Singale Nona’, ‘Chikothi’, ‘Coran Janita’, ‘Yaman Sel’ and a few more on Piano with her husband Hemal on vocals accompanying Bongo.
Shihan continued to present on the Portuguese colonial legacy;Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s definition of Kaffirinha; the Kaffirinha dancers in the 1950’s; Manhas of the Kafirrs of Sirambiyadiya; Vaada Baila of Sri Lanka and the music of Wally Bastianz: “Lankawata baila gena Wally Bastien, Baila walin rata hollapu baila champion...//”.
“Baila is not an import from Portugal. Baila is a new genre of music, composed in Sri Lanka. Baila conveys a new postcolonial identity” says Shihan, concluding her lecture demonstration and the audience were invited for any questions.
An impressive collection of information gathered by Baila lovers who joined Shihan andHemalin singing “Ran Pota Thelambuwa” at the closure.
Dr. Shihan de Silva Jayasuriya is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study (University of London). She is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (Great Britain & Ireland). Shihan has written six books, edited two books and co-authored another book in addition to over hundred publications in international academic journals. Her works encompass history, musicology, ethnomusicology, literature and linguistics.
Shihan is a pianist trained in the western classical cannon and holds a Diploma in Piano Performance from the London College of Music.
Sooriya is synonymous with pioneering the Sinhala pop music revolution in Sri Lanka and was respected as a brand that launched and developed the musical careers of many an artist that rose to fame through the 60s to the 80s. The label is also known for many a first in Sri Lanka including the production of the first LP, first Double Album, the first to showcase local drums in fusion with a western pop orchestra, first to popularize Tamil pop, first to host a live show on a floating stage.
In 2016, Sooriya was re-launched with the purpose of creating a new form of Sri Lankan art bringing together all forms of creatives across various genres. Thus was born Sooriya Village, Sri Lanka’s first and only Arts Village, housed at 49, Skelton Road, Colombo 5.
(under the courtesy of dailynews.lk news web)