Sri Lanka: concerts, interviews & workshop 2015
It was a happiest home coming for me when I visited Sri Lanka in August 2015 after 30 years. The first concert I performed was at the Ariyalai Sidhi Vinayagar Temple in Jaffna. It was special for me that I happened to perform for the same Chariot Festival where I started my professional music carreer in 1978. During this and my other performances I enjoyed meeting many music lovers who still remember my music and story from 30 years ago. I was grateful for those soulful exchanges. I peoples affection, warmth and kindness towards me was striking.
A workshop at the Colombo University, organized by Mrs Arunthathy Sriranganathan, a senior lecturer in music and dance and head of the music department, was attended by more than 50 students from different backgrounds. It was exciting to see how the young people were involved and cherished the music I shared with them. A few days later I presented my experience as a professional musician in Europe at a conference by Sevalanka – an NGO promoting peace and reconciliation through music – in Colombo.
I have fond memories of meeting my teacher “Sangitha bushanam” Thiru S Balasingam. He is in his 80th. Even though affected by many things in life he was warm and full of smile and charm. We dwelled in stories from the time when I came to study with him and my career as a singer started. He told me many stories from the past, about music, his marriage that was against society codes those days and so on and so on. In between he burst out with songs. His enthusiasm for singing is never diminished. A few days later I performed a concert at his house, especially for him.
Other recitals were at the National Radio of Sri Lanka, the Nallur Murugan Temple at Colombo Tamil Sangam and Thirumarai Kala Mandram Jaffna (Centre for performing Arts).
Back in Berlin I continue developing a music education project with the Global Music Academy for Sri Lanka, that. During my trip I have made interviews with music personalities and professional musicians as part of the need assessment for this project. Please look out for the updates.