ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, Octomber 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
TV Times

New star shines with ‘Kuda Devika’

Story and pix by Dunstan Wickremaratne

A super star was born in a remote village called Talpe during the British era. This village was in the outskirts of Unawatuna Galle which became a tourist paradise in the latter stages.

Edmund Wickremasekara a young talented boy started his musical career dating back to his school days St. Aloysius' College Galle.

He launched his new CD Kuda Devika last week at the BMICH.

At the launch of the CD ‘Kuda Devika’, the guest of honour Kalasuri Arisen Ahubudhu and his wife Sandha were received at the entrance with betel by Edmund Wickremasekara along with Victor Ratnayake, Professor Sunanda Mahendra, Asoka Malimage Secretary to the Ministry of Indegenous Medicine, actor Palitha Silva and the relatives.

All those who addressed the occasion emphasized on the great values of music, lyrics, songs and composing, and blamed some of the present musicians. Lyric writers, vocalists and composers saying it is bottomless, meaningless, songs entangled with rythemic beats which rouse the feelings of the present day younger generations, who participated in socials, social dancing and public performances.

They blamed present day TV for disregarding the great men the pioneers of Sri Lankan music who toiled to put Sri Lankan music and culture on the world map.

The Story of "Kuda Devika"

"Kuda Devika" is only a title given to the stero disc, sung by Edmund Wickremasekera. The lyric writer of this song professor Sunanda Mahendra got this idea of Kuda Devika when he was in London. He saw a little girl gazing at the colourful flowers shedded from a tree during an autum evening. The flowers covered the entire area and the professor made use of this to produce a title to the disc.

Edmund is the singer and producer of the first Sinhala stereo record "Kuda Devika", released in London in 1972 under the serenditione label.

Edmund had performed in a number of ballets and Concerts among which were "Navayugaya" in Sri Lanka and "Sinhala Sandesaya" a concert presented by Professor Sunanda Mahendra for BBC, Bush House in London. The Sri Lankans in London used to gather together in a pub installed near Russels Square, in the late night.

They were taken by surprise when a foreigner walked in and dropped a coin into the juke box and stood there and listened to his favourite "Kuda Devika". The Broadcast on BBC had some how or other slipped into the tracks of a C.D. and there to the pubs in London. Where "Kuda Devika" became popular in Britain.

Edmund Wickremasekar's granddaughter Pumudu Vihara, sang this number to the audience when an audio visual was shown in the wide screen.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.