Giving ear to local talent

By Adilah Ismail

The Big Ears Music Series provides a much needed platform for musicians to perform - devoid of the trappings of commercial gigs and competitions. Initiated by Eshantha Peiris and Sumudi Suraweera, this project showcases musicians, ‘making music for music’s sake’ and provides an outlet for creative expression in the performance arts.

What really develops any musician and the music scene, are the creative gigs and as visiting lecturers at the Applied Music Department at the University of Visual and Performing Arts, the lack of a proper platform for students and musicians to express themselves was evident to both.

Eshantha Sumudi

The Big Ears Music Series hopes to change just that, by providing an outlet for creative expression and promoting musicians while making it as accessible as possible for anyone interested in the performing arts.“Being musicians, often you don’t get a chance to really express yourself and play. Sometimes you’re constrained by the situation” explains Sumudi, “We’d like to try and promote musicians to try and come up with new ideas and to actually test it out here”.

Having received a favourable response from their first gig, Sumudi explained that they try and come up with a concept for each session. The Big Ears Music Series also hopes to feature other aspects of the performance arts (such as dance and drama) in their imminent gigs. For instance, their upcoming gig features eclectic performances ranging from classical music and jazz to experimental poetry.

Audiences can expect a North Indian Classical Music set by vocalist Ashoka Indrasiri, percussionist Gayanath Dhahanayake and violinist Ravi Weerawardena as well as a jazz set revolving around the works of American jazz guitarist John Scofield, performed by Sarani Perera, Uvindu Perera, Eshantha Peiris and Sumudi Suraweera.

Another interesting facet of the forthcoming performance would be the experimental poetry set by poet Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta, backed by Eshantha and Sumudi.

The Big Ears Music Series is a part of their overall aim of contributing towards the Sri Lankan music scene. Those interested in performing at future gigs can contact Sumudi on 0772 513326. The Big Ears Music Series is held once a fortnight. The next gig will be held on Thursday June 3, from 6p.m. -8 p.m. at the Arts Campus, 46, Horton Place, Colombo 07 (opposite Asha Central). Entrance is free.

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