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A New Sound – Music for the mind

In the present era, where music has become just another ‘marketing good’ and the artistes are content with being ‘marketing tools’, young musician Dinesh Anton Subasinghe stands out from the rest, effortlessly, not only in the arena of making music, but also presenting and not letting money decide where to go next.

After providing music for 28 Tele-dramas, 6 Documentaries, 10 Stage Plays and 5 Television Musical programmes, Dinesh has come quite a long way in his career in bringing himself to the national level.

Scholarship to India

“One of my biggest dreams was to link with international artistes and now, that too has been made possible with the scholarship to A.R. Rahaman’s Institute in Chennai,” said Dinesh. The entire cost of the two-year course in the aforementioned music institute will be borne by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

“The biggest influence behind obtaining this scholarship was Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera,” said Dinesh, adding that, B.H. Abdul Hameed, a close friend of A.R. Rahaman, had also been constantly recommending Dinesh for the vacant space in the music course. “Although he (Abdul Hameed) is a well renowned Sri Lankan, he now lives in India most of the time, as he never received the due recognition he deserved locally,” Dinesh added, saying it was such a disadvantage to Sri Lanka.

The music course is set to start in July this year, according to Dinesh. “In addition to mastering the three main styles of music, which are Karnatic, Western Classical and North Indian, the course also gives valuable insight into creating the music as well as presenting it,” he added.

Ravana Nada

The Ravana Nada CD has already been released under the ‘Tharanga’ Label and was recorded by Dinesh using two of the most ancient instruments of the violin family, namely the ‘Ravana Haththa’ and the ‘Ravana Strong’. “It is also known as ‘Kingiri’ in Northern India and ‘Kottangachchi’ in the Southern India,” said Dinesh.

Ravana Nada includes 14 of Sri Lanka’s most popular hits such as the first Hindi song written by Yashodha Wimaladharma for a TV media, and also ‘This Love’, a song performed by the Dee R Cee Members. “Limiting the availability of the CD to select outlets like ‘Vibrations’, ‘Tharanga’ and ‘Keells’ supermarkets was done with the intent of protecting my work from the pirate marketers,” Dinesh added.

Feel My Heart, the upcoming project

Dinesh’s idea on his upcoming release is that it would be an excellent cure for those in love, people under lots of stress and also for those who are looking to rekindle old relationships. The entire instrumental is based on 18 different feelings and Meena Prasadini and Virajika Miurashini have worked on it as guest vocalists.

“This is not a commercial effort of any sorts,” said Dinesh, emphasising on the fact that was brought up earlier. “I want to present my creations to the audience as what they are, a medicine or a cure, not as marketing goods,” he added.

“Feel My Heart” will feature instrumentals such as Mannaram Thangachchi (sister), Lovers of Our Time, Unheard Lullabies and Romeo & Juliet in the 20th Century. “The creation is based on symphonic orchestration, Jazz, Ethnic sounds, North Indian music, Spanish, Sri Lankan folk and Karnatic, to name a few,” he added, pointing out that ‘Feel My Heart’ would be a different experience from the current trends in fusion music, “None of the elements have been used to decorate the music, to appeal more to the market, it’s been amalgamated to look as natural as possible, and it’s extremely satisfying to see the end results,” Dinesh added.

Other projects

Dinesh will be the music Director for the ‘oldies’ concert to be held at the BMICH on June 20. “The show is being organised by Supriya Abeysekara, granddaughter of Wasantha Sandanaike,” he said. Dinesh has contributed to many upcoming Tele-dramas such as ‘Siwpath Rana’ (Sriyani Amarasena), ‘Ahankara Nagare’ (Joseph Jerome), ‘Hima Wage Hitha Sudu Nam’ (Chandrarathna Mapitigama) and ‘Rosalina’ of Sanjaya Nimal.

“I am also working with Athuraliye Rathana Thera on presenting some of the sutras of the Buddha’s teachings, with an ancient musical background,” said Dinesh. He also added how he had undertaken the project with the main initiative of presenting Buddhism to the world, despite the complicated nature of the project.

“Music is not only my religion, but my language and also the only thing I have earned in this life,” said Dinesh. “I have high hopes of coming back to Sri Lanka, as soon as the course is over, to serve the multitudes of youngsters here to reach the musical supremacy that they deserve,” he added.

“I’d also like to thank Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, HE President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his staff, my parents and my brother, astrologer Ganga Sudharshi Karunarathna, Lawyer Ashoka Serasinghe, friends of my band, Kleetus Mendis, Ravindra Randeniya, Geetha Kumarasinghe, Pubudu Chathuranga, Nimal Lakshapathiarachchi, Nuwan Liyanage, Sisira Wijetunga, M Entertainment, Tharanga Cassette Company, my friend Pragash Bosco, Kolvin, Shanika De Silva and everyone else who have helped me so far,” he added.