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Tributes : Lester James Peries

Lester James Peries
      Elements of western music have been seeping into Sinhala song ever since Devar Surya Sena started singing in the late ‘20s. But I think it was only in the late 60s that techniques of western music came to be absorbed by local Composers and Singers. Victor Rathnayake reflects this trend. He is undoubtedly tutored in the Oriental tradition, but in his voice and in those delightful melodies he composes himself, there is a judicious blend of both the Oriental and western traditions. This, I think, accounts for his phenomenan  popularity. The sound of contemporary western music his part of the musical experience of the post-war generation in most parts of the world and those musicians who accept this fact become effective communicators in song. Victor Rathnayake is one such singer/musician. I think one can sit him somewhere between Sunil Shantha and Amaradeva. He is obviously simplistic as Sunil, and also complex as Amaradeva. VICTOR RATHNAYAKE MAKES THE AVERAGE LISTNER FEEL HE IS A CONNOISSEUR.
Lester James Peries Overview
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