Sunday, July 6, 2014

W D Amaradewa

Wannakuwatta Mitiwaduge Don Albert Perera (වන්නකුවත්ත මිටිවඩුගේ දොන් ඇල්බට් පෙරෙරා; born 5 December 1927) in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, better known by his adopted name Amaradeva, is a Sri Lankan vocalist, violinist and composer. Primarily using traditional instruments like sitars, tablas and harmoniums, Amaradeva incorporates Sinhala folk music with Indian ragas in his work.

In the mid-1950s, Amaradeva in his Janagayana project consulted experts of the Kandyan dance tradition like Pani Bharata, Kiriganita, Gunamala, Ukkuva and Suramba in his path to understand what constituted Sinhala folk music. Noting that it mostly revolved around a single melody, he decided to add verses that would lead up to the central melody which would now be a chorus thus forming two parts (unseen earlier in traditional Sri Lankan music) removing restrictions that had existed earlier. In doing so, Amaradeva created a uniquely Sinhalese music style that stayed true to folk tradition while incorporating outside influences. His work was vital in the creation of the sarala gee genre practiced subsequently by artists like Victor Ratnayake, Sunil Edirisinghe and Sanath Nandasiri.

Pandit Amaradeva has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Philippine Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Indian Padma Sri Award and Sri Lankan "President's Award of Kala Keerthi" (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998). In 2003 the French government awarded him the prestigious honour; Chevalier. Notably he still remains the most popular artist as confirmed by Nielsen Media Research findings[1] He has also represented Sri Lanka in many forums including the UNESCO 1967 Manila Symposium, and composed the melody for the Maldives national anthem, Gaumii salaam, at the request of British Queen Elizabeth II in 1972. Pandit Amaradeva is the music composer of Maldivian National Anthem.

Popular Songs in 70's in Sri Lanka

Hettiarachchige Reginald Jothipala (12 February 1936 – 7 July 1987) was a prolific playback singer in the Sinhala cinema. He also worked as an opera singer. He died in July 1987 at the age of 51 years and 5 months. Jothipala lent his voice to all classes of actors ranging from Eddie Jayamanne, Ananda Jayaratne, Gamini Fonseka, Vijaya Kumaratunga, Sanath Gunathilaka, Tony Ranasinghe, Ravindra Randeniya and even several of the young generation of actors in Sri Lanka.