Getting the beat right
is the tablist who has played with Dr. Amaradewa and all other artists in
Sri Lanka and India.
we reached his beautiful house
in Mirihana, he was waiting for us with a smile.
April 9, 2000 he received a special award from the Italians because he touched and thrilled them many times with
his tabla. He has performed 12 times in Italy, 15 times in England and more
than 16 times in Germany and France. He is Wijerathna Ranathunga by name. He
is a tablist.
in Colombo he studied at Maradana Central College. In 1976 he completed a
year long course in Lalitha Kalayathanaya as a tablist and vocalist. Dr.
Premasiri Khemadasa was this talented boy's first teacher.
Nipun late P. V. Nandasiri,
late D. R. Peiris and A. D. Kodituwakku were his other gurus.
Amaradeva always claimed that one tablist who plays in harmony with Sinhala
music is Wijerathna Ranathunga, even though the tabla is a widely used
instrument in Indian Ragadari.
book Using Of Thabla In Sri Lanka was written by Ranathunga and published in
1999. He is a tabla player, lecturer, lyricist, music director and a justice
Ranathunga is a silent man but he breaks the silence with
his tabla when necessary.
can play the tabla, dolky, bongo, and all other instruments of that type. I
also received an award in 2001," he said.
1971, I have been working in the University of Kelaniya as a senior
lecturer. I have been awarded professorship. Since 1978, I have been
participating in shows held in
other countries. My life is unbelievable," he went on.
held a show in Germany with Sangeeth
Nipun Sanath Nanadasiri on tabla. On that occasion a German told me this was
one of the best performances he had heard, even among the best of
have accompanied Producer, Jethendra Awasthi when he came to Sri Lanka. Even
though I have gone to many
countries I have never been to India."
like to help beginners and I never forget people who have helped me."
are two types of tablist. Most of them are simply playing and some have not
even studied classical music. They can take the Visharada from India. In Sri
Lanka there are so many with Visharada. But I can challenge them at any
time," he added.
have accompanied H. K. Roksamy, Somadasa Elvitigala, T. K. Lateef, Premasiri
Khemadasa, Pandith Amaradewa and many more. My wife Nirmala Ranathunga is a
popular singer. Also my daughter Sewwandi and son Nuwan Chamara Ranathunga
are in the music field.
Ranathunga is today a content man. Among the special pieces of music he has
created is, Sinaha Malgodak Para Depeththe. The speciality here is the use
of awanadha - a different type of instrument.
what advice he had for up coming musicians he said: "Study your field
well before launching into popular entertainment."
poet, a romance and a miracle
Lakshman de Silva
emotions are roused, whether by something or someone, one tends to be unable
to express one's ideas clearly. Yet the ability to express thoughts and
feelings is most necessary.
examining any piece of poetry or prose, it is a fact that it can be found
that somehow or other it expresses its author's feelings and thoughts.
Browning's poem Home Thoughts From Abroad derives much of its power and
beauty from it being the medium by which he expresses his feelings and
to be he in England now that Arril's there,
whoever works in England sees, some morning, unaware,
the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
England - now.
Browning was one of the most famous of the Victorian poets. His work, with
the exception of short poems such as The Pied Piper, Home Thoughts From
Abroad, Herve Riel consist of long and difficult poems in which his appeal
is to the intellect rather than to the imagination.
1846 he married Elizabeth Barrett, herself a poet and this marriage is one
of the great romances in literature for Elizabeth Barrett was an invalid
living the life of a recluse until Robert Browning made her acquaintance. He
persuaded her to elope with him to Italy where she recovered her health and
spent a happy married life.
A Musical Instrument, Elizabeth Barrett Browning tells a story. She relates
how Pan, in order to create sweet music, causes confusion and rain by the
riverside. In a similar way, she adds, is a poet made from a man. By means
of the story she expresses the thought that heavy is born of suffering. This
expression of a thought, by means of a story that illustrates it, is the
method used in fables, parables and allegories.
Virginia Wolf's writing on the Brownings:
was half past two; a rap sounded boldly on the front door. Miss Barrett
turned Pale; she lay very still. Flush - Mrs Browning's Pet dog - lay still
too. Upstairs came the dreaded footfall; upstairs. Now a hand was on the
door. The handle spun. There he stood. "Mr Browning," said Wilson.
watching Miss Barret, saw the colour rush into her face; saw her eyes
brighten and her lips open. "Mr. Browning!" she exclaimed.
his yellow gloves in his hands, blinking his eyes, well groomed, masterly,
abrupt, Mr. Browning strode across the room. He seized Miss Barret's hand
and sank into the chair by the sofa at her side. Instantly they began to
talk. Even Miss Barret's family began to notice, as the weeks passed, a
change in Miss Barret. She left her room and went down to sit in the drawing
she did what she had not done for many a long day - she actually walked on her own feet as far as the gate with
her sister. Her friends, her family were amazed at her improvement.
on Rupana Vedaya
some being an actor means
money, prestige and recognition, to others it is a special art that needs to
be practiced, mastered and taken to greater heights in the film world.
Punarjeewa like many others too wanted to be an actor. However, when he
tried to find a school, to learn this art, he found that none existed. His
attempt at trying to locate a book shop that could sell him a book on the
art of acting failed miserably. It was at this point that Punarjeewa was
struck with the idea that he should take the initiative to write a book on
acting, especially for those amateurs who would like to read, learn and
master the correct method of acting.
was the result of his book Rupana Vedaya and today that is
one of the most important books sought by prominent and amateur film
actors and actresses in the country.
to The Sunday Leader, Punarjeewa said he was initially sad when he saw the
standard of the hundreds of teledramas aired on television. "If you
were to switch on the TV channel and continue to watch even five teledramas
for a day, you would realise that the characters in all these teledramas are
basically acting a similar role. But for the audience who doesn't understand
what acting is all about, watching a teledrama is a form of
entertainment," said Punarjeewa.
many amateur actors and actresses, earning money rather than trying to
improve their knowledge of acting has become important today. "These
actors and actresses prefer to live a comfortable life with the money they
earn from teledramas rather than concentrate on winning an award,"
to Punarjeewa, in the US the sole aim of famous filmstars is to concentrate
on winning an Oscar and bring up the standard of the film industry .
wanted to be an actor but I felt that I should first study and understand
the art of acting before I really get involved in the practicals,"
to Punarjeewa, from his experience and research while gathering information
for his book he has learnt that the best method for acting is the realistic
form. The Sinhala theatre and cinema have completed 50 years. But what have
the prominent film artistes done to uplift the standards of this important
industry," says Punarjeewa.
Vedaya is probably the only
option left to uplift a dying film and teledrama industry. Punarjeewa's book
deals with Konstantin Stanislavski's acting method. "This is the method
used by popular film stars in the States. In Rupana Vedaya I have taken
examples from Sinhala films and explained what an amateur needs to know when
starting on a career in acting. An amateur can then watch the film and
understand what I am trying to say," added Punarjeewa.
Rupana Vedaya, Punarjeewa talks of the acting methods of Swarna
Mallawarachchi, Anoja Weerasinghe, Malini Fonseka, Joe Abeywickrema, Vijaya
Kumaratunga, Ravindra Randeniya and Gamini Fonseka. Part of the book also
explains acting methods of prominent international film stars and directors
like Marlon Brando, Sir Laurence Oliver, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino,
Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Lauren.
to Punarjeewa, Brando was one of the first actors to adopt Stanislavski's
acting method and is today one of the most famous and successful actors in
The launch of Rupana Vedaya on May 29 has had a good response with the first copy being bought by Ravindra Randeniya.
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