TV Times & Entertainment


Santhrase is full of suspense

"Santhrase" based on James Hadley Chase's novel 'One Bright Summer Morning' is telecast every Friday at 7.30 pm on ITN channel.


Kumar says bye to FanClub
By Sanath Weerasuriya
Popular television presenter Kumar de Silva bids farewell to 'Fan- Club' this Tuesday May 28 after a record thirteen years as its award-winning host.
In fact, rather shocked by the news, I asked him why. 'I feel the time has come to move on. Let a much younger person take over. I'll be happy to teach him or her the ropes", was his brief and modest reply.

"I've had an absolutely ball of a time on 'Fanclub' during these past thirteen years. I've had a great interaction with my viewers all over Sri Lanka. It was wonderful.
But now I feel the time has come to call it quits. Mind you 'Fanclub' is still ITN's (and thus Sri Lanka television's) longest running English music programme. Others like 'Variety Fare', 'Musical Showcase', 'Bright & Breezy', 'Musical Miscellany' closed down long ago. So I count myself honoured to have hosted such a programme for so long a period," he told TV Times.

Kumar joined 'Fanclub' as its host way back in 1989 when top singer Ayesha Gunesekere of Dream Team fame left the programme. ITN requested him to present the programme "until a suitable replacement was found". "That replacement was never found for thirteen years," Kumar said laughingly.
Taking over the programme, Kumar infused dynamism and a great deal of variety into it, with his inimitable style. He was the winner of Golden Clef Award for Music Presenter of the Year 1994 and enjoyed top slot in the TV Presenter category for several years.

Recalling unforgettable moments during his13 year stint with Fanclub, he said when he was once preparing to record 'Fanclub' in a little village in France's Britanny region, there was a curious 'Sri Lankan looking' couple watching.
I wasn't sure from which country they were. Since I spoke French with my friend Jean Michels who did the filming, they had thought that I was from Pondicherry in India. The moment I began presenting and mentioned the ITN address (Wickremasinghepura, Battaramulla) they rushed up to me, stopped the filming and got in an emotional chat in Sinhala about Sri Lanka, since they hadn't been home for nearly a decade."

Any lessons he has learnt from this thirteen year experience on Fanclub? "Not to be stuck up and think you're God's gift to mankind. And also, to keep your feet firmly rooted in Sri Lanka and speak clear, coherent English without put-on phoney accents. Sadly I see a lot of it still happening around."

I asked him what he planned to do from now on. "Well, I want to get into current affairs and social issues which I find very challenging," he said. "I'll still be on 'Bonsoir' and 'Dhamma in Daily Life' (every Poya night on ITN).

But I want to put in a lot more of my time into 'Adahas', the public relations and media communication agency which my wife and I run". In conclusion he said, "Life goes on. Life has to go on. The whole idea about enjoying life and living life to the fullest, is realising that it is in a constantly state of change and that nothing is ever permanent.

Chandimal dances in Dubai
Chandimal with his band 2nd Connection will be flying to Dubai on June 1 for two weeks tour. This is their first trip to Dubai and they will be playing at Sofitel City Centre Hotel in Dubai.

The entire tour is being organized and fully sponsored by Sofitel City Centre Hotel and special thanks go to Mr. Priyantha Rathnasinghe for organizing the tour for the band.

As usual, Chandimal is going with his Latin America Dancing couples and that will be an added attraction for their performances. The tour is in connection with a Sri Lankan food promotion and Executive Chef Publis and a team of chefs from Mt. Lavinia Hotel and Channa Upuli Dancers too will accompany the band.

Beginning month of May the band was playing at Sofitel Doha Hotel for SriLankan Airlines Awards Nite and promotions and that was their fifth trip to Doha.
'Chandana/Elsworth and Dev being the members of the band working very hard to improve their repertoire as there will be large crowds with different types of tastes in music due to attend too the Dubai Food Promotion,' said Chandimal.

Best of European technology magic for Lankan musicians
By Nilika de Silva
Behringer the company to first gain ISO 9001 status for audio products around the world, has entered the Sri Lankan market through its chosen dealer Penguin Electronics.

The presence of Behringer products in the local market will provide the slumbering audio industry with direct access to sound equipment with proper after sales service and responsible warranties. The main problem faced by the sound industry, comprising broadcasting stations, musicians, sound engineers, DJ's and Karaoke bars in Sri Lanka is obtaining the after sales service required and claiming the rights enshrined in a warranty.

"When faced with technical problems which crop up after purchase we had to take the equipment back to Singapore for repairs, because local agents refused to repair goods purchased outside," said Penguin's Director Marketing Mahen Kasturisinghe, adding that television stations and radio stations all face this same problem.

Since until now mass import of products did not take place, equipment was ordered through catalogues, restricting buyers from fully knowing the feel of a product prior to purchase.

However, Penguin has introduced a scheme where people could look at the products and buy, Kasturisinghe said, stressing that the price of Behringer products is compatible to the Sri Lankan market.

The product launch took place last week at a ceremony in Colombo with the participation of the Sales Manager - South Asia, Behringer Holdings (Pte) Ltd, S. Sajeev.

"We are entering into Sri Lanka in a big way," Sajeev said adding , "There is a good market we know". Behringer has decentralised worldwide operations to Singapore, and now the products are shipped from Singapore to the rest of the world.

"We are going into every territory possible - New Guinea, Tahiti every place possible. We have looked at each market individually and adjusted according to that market. Vietnam and Myanmar will be the next," Sajeev said.

Penguin Industries which has the latest recording studio system has been engaged in cassette production and duplication. Providing an atmosphere conducive to creativity Penguin offers a different concept where the musicians can relax when they come out of the studio, believing that creative contributions reduce due to the lack of atmosphere in local studios.

We depend on the creations of musicians, therefore to protect the musician we have to endeavour in such an exercise, Kasturisinghe explained. Sticking to the motto "double the features at half the price" Penguin will market a wide range of Behringer products from audio equipment to musical instruments and even supplementary parts such as guitar strings etc. "We are targeting providing all the products required in this field," he said.

In the sound industry an essential ingredient is that one understands the value of a creation. Most of us come in as musicians so we relate to each other very well and we understand the problems encountered by musicians and immediate solutions will be provided, he said.

Penguin Electronics would honour the warranty in repairing equipment and when this cannot be done in Sri Lanka a replacement will be provided A vast market awaits these products. One can buy professional products and use it at home, in school auditoriums, classrooms. Every classroom may soon have need of a sound system as in foreign countries and churches and religious organisations are slowly beginning to invest in these products.

As Sri Lanka moves along the road to peace, many hope for a better tomorrow. In the sound industry too this feeling reigns. "Along with the peace process we believe that live music will be able to rise up," Kasturisinghe said on an optimistic note, bearing a vision of an era when artistes can do better than simply survive.

'Abhisarikavi' has creative music
Centre for Society and Religion will launch a cassette named 'Abhisarikavi' on May 31 at Elphinstone Theatre. The Centre for Society and Religion, which as been for the last 40 years consistently focusing its attention on the need to establish a peaceful society based on justice, has once again taken another step in the same direction. It has done so through Abhisarikavi, a socially analytical musical presentation consisting of a set of creatively crafted songs that has an urgent message that would bring back a sense of poise and also a heightened level of social awareness.

This cassette will be formally presented to the public on 31 May (Friday) at 6 p.m. This cassette will be available for sale at the sales counter of the Elphinstone Theatre on that day for a specially reduced concessionary price. On that occasion another cassette called Rathu Malak (Red Flower), consisting of songs rendered by Sanath Nandasiri, Gunadasa Kapuge and Sarath Ovitigala will also be on sale at a concessionary price. Both these cassettes could be obtained together for Rs. 150/-.

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