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20th August, 2006  Volume 13, Issue 6

First with the news and free with its views                                     First with the news and free with its views                             First with the news and free with its views                                    

Now

The Golden Chimes... still swinging

Golden Chimes in the golden days — Chanaka Perera, Lankika Perera, Wijith Peiris, Dixon Goonaratne, Anil Bharati and Clarence Wijewardene (inset) The present line-up — Kamal Gallage, Krishan Peiris, Chanaka Perera, Lalaka Peiris, Suranga Perera, Eranga Fernando and Lankika Perera

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By Nirmala Kannangara

Three cheers for a job well done. At a time when it is really hard to be in the musical arena even for a few days, to sing to the hearts of several thousands of Sinhala music fans for 35 long years is a great achievement. 

This great feat would be achieved by non other than the singing sensation Lankika Perera of Golden Chimes fame. She has the ability to catch the hearts and minds of local fans with her impeccable voice and the spectacular performance on stage.

Yes, indeed she is the one and only female vocalist to sing for one band right throughout her singing career.

Live performance

Lankika Perera would be creating history on September 9 when she holds a mega musical concert at Methodist College Auditorium at 7 in the evening, to become the only female vocalist in the Sinhala pop musical arena so far to sing continuously for one band right from her beginnings in the music scene in 1971.

Considering her singing ability as a God given gift, Lankika said that music was in her veins from birth. "Not only myself, but also all my family members are very talented musicians. Either they can sing or play instruments or well versed in both," said Lankika with that everlasting smile on her face.

The early years

Lankika joined Golden Chimes on the request of great music legend, the late Clarence Wijewardene. Clarence had been a close associate of Chanaka Perera and had visited young Lankika very regularly with Chanaka during the late sixties and early seventies. Whenever Chanaka visited his sweet heart Lankika, Clarence too had joined him and during one of these meetings Lankika had sung in front of Clarence,  which Clarence request Lankika to join their band as the female vocalist. Though Lankika had readily agreed, her parents had opposed the idea. "My parents were very strict and did not want to send me to sing in a band. Even I was not allowed to meet Chanaka anywhere else, but only at home. So we had to obey them. I tried to convince them, but to no avail. Finally they said that I could join the band after my marriage to Chanaka, so at a very young age we got married and from then onwards up to now I am on the move" added Lankika.

A gift from God

Reminiscing her young days Lankika told Now magazine that she considers her singing talent as a gift from God and said that all honour and glory should go to God Almighty. "It is the God Our Saviour who gives us talents. Most of the Christians do sing very well," claimed Lankika. 

Recalling how she sang in public Lankika said that it all began when she was in grade 4. "I was about 8 or 9 years by that time and I got the opportunity to sing at the church choir and was amused to see the way the crowd appreciated my talent. From then onwards I was in the limelight in the church and when ever I got the opportunity, be it at the school or in the church, I sang up to the expectations of others."

Having studied at Princess of Wales College, Moratuwa, Lankika says that to be born and bread in Moratuwa is also a feat in life. "Most of the singers are from Moratuwa and I think it is a city of musicians rather than a paradise of furniture," says Lankika.

Achievements

With the musical extravagance 'Celebration 35 for Lankika' the Golden Chimes has achieved two great feats in the musical industry. Golden Chimes then and now re-union concert was held last December to bring memories alive in a spectacular performance with 35 dedicated years in the arena. The upcoming event would be their second achievement.

Lankika is the force behind The Golden Chimes leader Chanaka Perera.

Golden Chimes, the household name of Sinhala pop music at its inception was popularly known as the breakaways of the Moonstones. The legend Clarence Wijewardena broke away from the Moonstones together with Chanaka Perera, Dixon Gunaratne and Vijith Peiris and formed a band. It was Gerald Wickramasooriya of the Sooriya records who named the band as Golden Chimes, way back in 1970. From then on Golden Chimes rose up the ladder and still there is a large audience for Golden Chimes in the island. Their songs shall never be stale. The music, the lyrics and the voices blends with each other perfectly to give the songs an ever-lasting popularity.

During the long span of Lankika's contribution to the Sinhala pop music industry, she has sung duets with late Clarence Wijewardene, Anil Bhareti, Chanaka Perera, Lucky Deva, Rukshan Perera, Rajiv Sebastian and Thilak Perera.

Popular songs

According to Lankika, there are more than 35 songs to her credit and all have become instant hits, which still has a large audience.Clearance Wijewardena had composed many a song for The Golden Chimes. Fr. Lakpriya de Silva and KDK Dharmawardhena too have done several compositions for The Golden Chimes.

Out of Lankika's many popular songs Kimada Nawe, Molaketi Puthune, Malai Welai, Sandai Tharui, Bethlehem Pure and Puthu Nidiyai are very popular among her fans. Apart from these songs, she had also sung many spiritual songs duets with Anil Bhareti, Lucky Deva and Sunil Perera. She has also released a CD by the name of 'Songs of Jesus,' which was produced by Back to the Bible.

Clarence Wijewardene

Glowing a fitting tribute to legend Clarence Wijewardena, whom Lankika recalls with great admiration said that no one could be compared with this maestro. "He was a genius. I wonder whether another Clarence Wijewardena would be gifted to this country. The services he rendered to Sinhala music are immense. His demise is a great loss to the industry".

Clarence composed the ever-famous 'Ran seenu hendawee' specially for Lankika's wedding while 'Sihinapathum Wimane' was dedicated to her elder son.

Recalling the early days of Golden Chimes, Lankika paid gratitude to all who became part and parcel of Golden Chimes. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our past and present members in the group, as if not for them, we would not gain any great achievements," added Lankika.

Present day group

The present line up of Golden Chimes comprises of Chanaka Perera on bass guitar / vocals, Suranga Perera on lead guitar / vocals, Lalaka Peiris on key boards / vocals, Kamal Gallage on drums, Krishan Peiris on bass guitar, Eranga Fernando on percussion and Lankika Perera on vocals.

Golden Chimes led by Chanaka Perera will back 'Celebration 35 for Lankika' and most of the leading stars of the '70s would give their utmost support on stage to Lankika at this memorable night in her life.  Annesley Malawana, Indrani Perera, Anil Bharati, Mariazelle Gunatilleke, Christine Gunawardene, Keerthi Pasquel, Rajiv Sebastian, Sureshini Wanigasuriya and Rukshan Perera will perform to give the audience an unforgettable musical night that would no doubt be in their minds in the years to come.

Faizal Bongso will compere the show while Solar Heat led by Sanker will provide dancing sequences.

'Celebration 35 for Lankika' is presented by Rawatawatte Methodist Wesley Guild and all the proceeds will be donated to the Rawatawatta Methodist Church Reconstruction Fund.

Bank of Ceylon, the bankers to the nation and where Lankika is serving as an Assistant Manager for the last 34 years, together with Etihad Crystal Cargo and Speed Mark Transpotation (Pvt) Ltd are the sponsors of the event.

A DVD and VCD of The Golden Chimes Then And Now' re-union concert that was held last December will be available at Methodist College Auditorium on the day of the 'Celebration 35 for Lankika' concert.

Now magazine wishes Lankika and The Golden Chimes all the very best and great success in the 'Celebration 35 for Lankika'.


HIGH & MIGHTY - those obsessive, seductive high heels

By Sunalie Ratnayake

When I gave some thought to fashion, which is in fact a part of my life, I felt that it offers the true devotee, many possible fixations such as those slimming black pants with just the right cut or that divine coat to warm the body and spirit. Yet, I have always felt different about shoes, especially 'heels,' as nothing compares to the thrill offered by the perfect pair of heels, that special rush, like falling in love, that comes when one first slips into their arch-altering embrace.

It could be an exquisite crystal - encrusted sandal or a fierce stiletto pump, simply that one shoe can change a woman's mood from complacency to boundless joy. It can also morph the plainest Jane into a sexy goddess.

What are they?

Heels are shoes, which raise the heel of the wearer's foot significantly higher than the toes. When both the heel and the toes are raised, as in a platform shoe, it is generally not considered to be a "high-heel." High-heels come in a wide variety of styles and the heels are found in many different shapes, including stiletto, block, tapered, blade and wedge. While high heels are today mostly associated with female shoe styles, they are also found in some specialist shoe designs worn by both sexes such as cowboy boots.

History of the high-heeled shoe

As early as the late fifteenth century, horsemen grew tired of their feet slipping out of their stirrups, which were little more than loops of leather hung from the saddle. As the soft stirrup gave way to the hard stirrup, for reasons of quicker mounting and dismounting during battle, an additional problem was encountered in that the hard stirrup was much more tiring and damaging to the rider's feet during longer rides.

The obvious solution was to design a leather shoe with a thicker sole that supported the rider's weight, distributing the pressure from the stirrups over more of the bottom of the rider's feet. However this failed to solve the problem of the rider's feet slipping forward in the stirrups, often with comical, if not tragic results.

The rider's heel

Cobblers had been adding thin, flat heels to shoes by this time, as a pair of leather shoes was very expensive. Riders and cobblers worked together to develop the "rider's heel," with a height of approximately 1-1/2", which appeared around 1500. These design features are still in use today in riding boots, primarily on both men and women's cowboy boots.

The simple riding heel gave way to a more stylized heel over its first three decades. Beginning with the French, heel heights among men crept up, often becoming higher and thinner, until they were no longer useful while riding, but were relegated to "court-only" wear. By the late 1600s men's heels were commonly between three and four inches in height.

Who was the inventer?

It's been said by some that Leonardo Da Vinci was the inventor of the high-heel. While he may have designed a heel or two in his day, the truth is that it was invented due to military necessity. Both men and women continued wearing heels as a matter of noble fashion throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

After the French Revolution, heels fell out of style and it wasn't until the Second Empire of the 1860s, when Haussmann was paving the great boulevards of Paris, that they made a comeback, as symbols of status for the newly prosperous middle class.

Since the early 1900s, high-heel design has run the gamut of styles, and heels for men saw a brief resurgence in the 1970s, as was captured by John Travolta's character in the opening and final dance sequences of Saturday Night Fever.

The good side

A woman's intimate connection with shoes can approach neurosis or addiction. High heels are like a drug. They change a woman's body and her self image. Also, high heels go with everything, from a pair of jeans to an evening dress. In addition, it comes as no surprise that heels can cast a magical spell on the opposite sex.

Another fact about high heels is that, most women, especially those who are used to wearing them, happens to be comfortable and confident in them. Falling into the same category, I agree with same, as I myself seem to have a difficulty in walking without them on. It's simply due to the fact that each foot kept forward does not hold the ground,firmly or steadily without the heels on. The walk without heels does not seem to belong to me though I am still unaware of the exact reason for same.

Is it bad?

Just as high heels elevate a woman above the ground, putting her on a pedestal, giving her a more ethereal quality, there is a dark side about them as well. They can be risky as the heels exaggerate the arch, causing back pain. When the body is thrown off balance, tension is transffered to different areas, which can also result in neck, shoulder, knee and ankle pain.

Whatever said sand done, the ultimate truth is that fashionable women, regardless of age, cannot stay away from high heels. It has become a necessity in today's fashionable world.

Reasons why women desire to wear heels

          the change in angle of the foot with respect to the lower leg becomes elongated, and accentuates the appearance of calves.

          they change a woman's posture, pushing her chest out more and arching her back.

          they make the woman appear taller.

          they cause the wearer's legs to look longer.

          they change the wearer's stride and posture, thrusting the buttocks outward and causing the hips to sway more as the wearer walks, often considered sexually alluring to men.

          some styles can reveal more of the wearer's feet, which some find sexually exciting. 


THE YEAR OF THE DOG AGAIN

By Warren Balthazaar

DMX is once again back with his latest and long waited album. Coming off a thirty-day stint last year at Rikers relating to his impersonation of an FBI agent and an uncharacteristic three-year break from recording, the only artist in history to have his first five albums debut at Number One returns to tear apart a rap game gone soft from bling.

Year of the Dog . . . Again thrives on a classic formula: Swizz Beatz's compressed, head-drilling fanfares and DMX's adrenalized, gland-chewing rhymes. X greets us on We in Here. (To hear him bark his trademark What!)

The Busta Rhymes co-feature Come Thru (Move) sports a club-savvy chorus, and Baby Motha mines some Isley Brothers-style soul as X laments. The atrocious, heavy-metal-driven Wrong or Right (I'm Tired) could be a Gitmo torture jam, and Blown Away is undermined by saxophone drivel.

An extraordinarily high-selling rapper, DMX's lyrics and affinity for barking have rocketed him up the Pop charts. With super-catchy synth beats provided by Swizz Beatz, Dame Grease, and others, he has become a staple on playlists coast to coast. His always aggressive delivery and violent imagery have captivated the imagination of fans worldwide, prompting him to release three full albums in less than two years. While innovative lyricism and diverse content are two things he will never be accused of, his selling power and reign on the charts cannot be denied.

The Album features artists such as Jadakiss, Amerie, Styles P, Swizz Beatz, Busta Rhymes, Kashmir, Big Stan, and Jinx. THE YEAR OF THE DOG...AGAIN.

With amped-up synthesizer beats from Swizz Beats, Scott Storch and Elite, X comes out hard from the gate and does what he does best, namely spitting lyrics with hooks that stick in your head all day. Overall, his seventh full length release follows the formula of his past success and hard-hitting street anthems like "We In Here" and Give 'Em What They Want are tempered by softer, R&B-laced ballads like Dog Love and Goodbye. Kashmir, Big Stan, Jinx.

He still is and will always be the big dog more bark and more bite. DMX will continue to show his fans the love he has for them.


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