Entertainment / People
Still a creative force
He believed in originality and creativity in a music scene that was
thriving on 'covers'. The time was right for 'La Ceylonians' to be born
and all credit to Noel Ranasinghe for stubbornly forging ahead with his
dream, 42 years ago.
"I'm proud of my brainchild 'La Ceylonians' and for the past 42 years
I have kept up my trade mark performing in colourful sarongs and shirts,
straw hats and barefoot, and singing the Sri Lankan Calypso - the
trailblazer Noel Ranasinghe they called me comments the musician.
"My fans love to find out whether such a feat is an achievement
worthy of being included in the Guiness Book of Records!" We hope it
does. Creating a new style was no easy task for Noel. He had to face the
wrath of many, who criticised and almost destroyed his ideas.
But he stood up to the challenge and today 'Sri Lankan Calypso' is a
trend that has benefitted many musicians, hoteliers, producers of music,
radio and TV and is a part of our culture and tradition. Sri Lankan
Calypso show will be a reality on January 21 at the BMICH and will
feature the legends of the 60's and the calypso styles of that era. And
Noel Ranasinghe will be featured.
A quick spool back into his career reveals that before La Ceylonians,
Noel formed the group 'Flames' with vocalist/guitarist Anton Ratnayake
and sang at club functions.
Soon after the 'Clefs' was formed with the addition of Tony
Ferdinand, Chris Moldrich and Michael Guinan, and the repertoire were
songs by Elvis Presley, Everly Brothers, Connie Francis and Shirley
Bassey. But the creative spirit in Noel saw him branch off to form the
But this was for a short while, because the yearning to be different
was paranoid, and soon 'La Ceylonians' became a reality and the group
found swift success. "I believed in creating a new style, never heard or
seen in any part of the world.
I used the name of our country, wore coloured sarongs with waist
bands, straw and cloth hats, garlands and performed barefoot which I
think is a first in our music history. I was invited to perform inflight
on board a 'Tristar' from USA via Europe, Asia to Sri Lanka.
The group was also selected to the World Song Festival which is a
first and speaks volumes for any creativity, which I achieved with two
of my pupils Anura Jayasinghe and Rohan Ruwanwella. My group 'La
Ceylonians' created a new sound that came to stay, it became part of our
culture and tradition and was emulated by many others" reminisces Noel.
There are albums to his credit.
The most popular being Splendoured Isle, Sing Sing, Sing and
Jay-Love. Songs like Ayubowan, Calypso Baila, Cricket Lovely Cricket,
Kaffringa Baila, Kandy Perehara, Our Land, O Beautiful Lanka, Hoiya
Hoiya, Sanda Payane, Lanka Aparata neda?
"I still remember the day in the early years when our President
Mahinda Rajapaksa wore my hat whilst enjoying my 'live' music at the
Harbour Room of the GOH.
I am really proud to have entertained the leaders of our country,
like Dudley Senanayake, John Kotalawala, Ranasinghe Premadasa, Sirimavo
Bandaranaike, W. Dahanayake, J. R. Jayewardene and many Heads of State,
something which the now generation of musicians have missed out on
"comments a proud Noel Ranasinghe, whose contribution to the Sri Lankan
music scene is considered to be as valuable as a national treasure.
Forty two years in showbiz is no mean feat.
Asia Pacific Beauty Fair
L-R Nayana Karunaratne - Chairman SLAHAB, Lou Ching Wong, Sherine
Fernando - President SLAHAB,
The Hair Asia Pacific and Hair and Beauty Fair will be held from
March 2 to March 5 and will feature events and competitions related to
hair, beauty and fashion. Recognised by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board as a
national event, Hair Asia Pacific will be attended by fifteen countries
in the zone.
The participating countries are Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, China,
Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, India, Taiwan
and Malaysia. Derana will be the TV media partner for this mega event.
At the meeting held recently plans were discussed to stage the
different thematic fashion shows that will be held during the fashion
extravaganza on March 4. Two fashion designers from Mumbai and another
from Indonesia will be participating at the event.
Fashion shows will be held throughout the day and a pool of models
will be made available for all four days. Each designer will have the
facility of using twelve female models and six male models. Each show
will be 30 minutes in duration.
The Chairman of the organising committee of SLAHAB Nayana Karunaratne
at the meeting commented that "fashion is now playing a major part, with
hair and makeup being one aspect of it".
A new year sing-a-long
Sohan & the X’periments.
The Royal Commonwealth Society is organising the New Year
'Sing-a-long' on January 27 at the Banquet Hall, BMICH. It is going to
be an exciting Saturday evening since the 'Sing-a-long' will be
presented by the popular Sohan and the X'periments.
The show will commence at 7.30 p.m. and there will be wonderful
surprises added to the prizes that will be on offer. The ticket/song
book will be issued on a first come, first served basis and according to
the Project Chairman Vijaya Corea the evening is specially designed for
families and friends to participate.
Sathsara 2007 in Moratuwa
The members of the Moratuwa Arts Forum are busy making arrangements
to hold a contest for young musicians at school level in Moratuwa. Those
who wish to participate should be able to play any one of the five
instruments - violin, sitar, harmonium, tabla or flute. There will be
two age limits.
Twelve to fifteen years and above fifteen years.
The Forum intends to work out the preliminary rounds this month and
in the next month and in all probability the final contest will be held
on February 24 in Moratuwa on a grand scale.
So send in your entries to the Moratuwa Arts Forum no sooner you read
this information, addressed to Asoka Peiris or Lankika Perera -
Co-chairmen or to the Secretary, Surani Fernando.