A li'l strumming
A grand father, teacher, musician and family man, Carlo Fernando is quite the man of many faces. His latest venture to create a bi-lingual album with songs for both children and adults, comes as a little surprise.
Some of his original compositions include "Punchi Punchi Samanalaya", "Chooti Nangi", "Ape Gama", and "Beautiful Day", along with instrumentals – “Butterfly Waltz” and a Sinhala Baila number called "Lassana Manike." Most of these compositions were created way back in 1975 or so, when he was just strumming away on his guitar at home. Back then he only created the introductions, interludes and basic rhythms. However, he started work on them again, about a year ago and has just completed most of his album.
Currently a Computer Studies teacher at Lyceum International School, Nugegoda, for students sitting for their Cambridge O/L exam, he really got into the art of digital sound when he had to teach his students a part of the syllabus about synthesizers and how it can be used to help create music.
"Initially I wasn't too familiar with the software etc., but later after I kept trying it out, I finally managed to compose a song. It took about a year for me to complete the first song, but once I learnt the finer points and got better at it, I can now manage to compose a song in about two weeks or even two days, if I work for two days continuously," he said enthusiastically.
One of the main delays he found was in finding a suitable microphone and balancing his voice accordingly, especially as he worked on his own and didn't have anyone's assistance as such. "I worked purely on a trial and error basis," he added with a smile.
"Although I created these songs digitally, I'm still quite an ardent supporter of the conventional, traditional means of creating music," he said emphatically. "My son and his friends were not too fond of my latest hobby, as they're very much into live music and recording. However, I've discovered that there's so much you can do when you compose digitally. For instance, those of whom have no access to actual musicians can make use of digital technology, use as many instruments as they like and create music. In addition, you can also transpose, add or remove instruments, change tempo and the likes, without much hassle at all, he added. "My son also being quite the songwriter, is my biggest and worst critic. It took about 15-20 recordings of the songs before he was satisfied and it sounded just right," he said laughing.
"I've come to realise that my biggest admirer/fan is my two month-year-old grand-daughter. Having taken on the job of putting her to sleep each night, either via singing her to sleep or playing her one of my songs, I think she recognizes my voice, because, she smiles and responds to the songs before eventually falling asleep," he said lovingly.
He's at the moment working on a special dedications for his son and daughter; both waltz beats, he says. He also has plans to compose a tune for his beloved grand-daughter once she's grown up a bit more, he adds.
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