Combining different genres, three unique individuals
and their varied experiences, Sawarsha launches their debut CD.
Marisa de Silva finds out more
meets west in the new CD ‘Samaramu Mithudam’ from Sawarsha,
a union of three local musicians and two uniquely different genres
of music, to be released by April this year. From the contemporary
guitar riff to the beat of the traditional ‘raban bera’,
the three musicians Primal Liyanage, Kuma De Silva and Roshan De
Silva have managed to forge a unique blend of music that is sure
to give the local audience a pleasant surprise.
“Re Anduru Werela”, a song about the lives of fisher
folk, you can hear the distinct rhythm of a ‘rabana’
being played in the background, with meaningful lyrics and conventional
songs associated with fisher folk, taking the forefront. A few excerpts
from the well-known fisherman’s song “Odi Helai Helaiya”
sung when dragging in their nets each day, is worked in giving the
all three musicians have been essentially components of the western
music scene, over time, they have all been involved or influenced
by the local music industry at some point. Having composed songs
for the likes of T. M. Jayaratne, Indrani Perera, Mariazelle Goonetilleke
and the Gypsies, Kuma has often been in touch with his oriental
roots. He started out young as a classical pianist, and then moved
on to the jazz and pop scenes, where he took up the bass guitar.
‘Manilal & Upeka’, ‘Noeline & Galaxy’,
‘Purple Rain’, ‘Blind Faith’ and now ‘Boomerang’
are some of the significant ‘big names’ he has been
a part of. From pop to rock to jazz bands, in addition to his early
training in classical music, Kuma’s music is proof of his
exposure to a range of musical influences. This makes a substantial
contribution to the group as he experiments with all types of music
to create some unique styles and sounds.
friends, Kuma and Roshan played together for ten years, until Roshan
quit, to start his own recording studio. It was when Roshan met
with an accident and was recovering from it that the ‘brainchild’
– releasing a CD – was born. It is also how the title
track “Samaramu Mithudam” (celebrating friendship) came
into being, as Kuma composed it as an ode to their friendship. The
CD was thus titled after the song, as it was the basis for the concept.
Once he recovered, Kuma and Roshan decided to go ahead with their
plan and after recruiting the third part of their trio, Primal,
they worked for about two years on the CD.
of the three, Primal has been a part of the music scene for the
least amount of time, he has packed in as much exposure and experience
in his six years in the industry as he possibly could have. Having
been a part of the likes of ‘Flame’, ‘Wild Fire’,
‘Blind Faith’ and then ‘Boomerang’, Primal
has been a member of some of the leading bands in the country. As
a result of working with bands such as these, Primal has managed
to gain a wealth of experience over the years.
three of them display their diverse vocal prowess on the CD, with
Primal tackling most of the high range sections of the songs, Roshan
adding the local twist and Kuma joining in with his unique style.
the songs are originals composed by one of the trio, except for
a Sinhala remake of Don Williams’ hit “Till The Rivers
All Run Dry,” a personal favourite of Primal’s which
he himself has written the lyrics for. Although many of the songs
revolve around love, some of them deal with society, lifestyles
and even friendship, says Primal. The songs are a mix of rhythm‘n’blues,
salsa, Latin American, funk jazz and the likes.
of the songs in the CD is a fusion of salsa and oriental music complete
with the tabla beat. Yet another song named “Jeevitha Satana”,
has a semi-rock beat to it, with Primal playing some groovy lead
guitar. Some of the lyrics for the songs have been written by Hemasiri
Halpita, the late Dharmasiri Gamage and Sanjeewa Nicholas.
CD was recorded at Roshan’s studio (R. E. S. D. Productions),
established about ten years ago. In his long stint in the industry,
Roshan played with bands like ‘Sohan & the X-periments’,
‘Manilal & Upeka’ and ‘Pro Arrangement’.
Since he started his studio, Roshan has done a few solos, but this
is the first time he has worked with a group, since his premature
retirement from the music scene.
of the songs on the CD have already been given to a few radio stations.
Once they are aired and depending on the feedback they receive from
the listeners, they will decide whether or not they should release
any more, said Primal.
is apparently not going to be the first and last project by Sawarsha.
They intend to follow it up by recruiting another guitarist, bassist,
percussionist and a few back-up vocalists and start performing professionally,
they said. Watch out for ‘Samaramu Mithudam’ early this
year, rest assured it’ll be one good buy!