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Sunday, 25 September 2016

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Sri Lankan identity on the sitar

Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka (RASSL) will hold a lecture on "Sri Lankan identity on the sitar" by Pradeep Ratnayake Senior Lecturer, Head Department of Languages, Cultural Studies and Performing Arts, University of Sri Jayawardenepura at 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 26th September at the Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha Colombo 7.

The sitar originated in India and the classical Hindustani tradition nurtured its development within its ragadhari framework. It was taken to the west by Pandit Ravi Shankar, who with the help of western musicians like George Harrison of the Beatles and Sir Yehudi Menuhin, turned it into one of the most well known Indian instruments in the West.

Now it has been given another flavour by the closest island to India, Sri Lanka, which has a folk tradition of music and drums as its traditional music instruments.

This lecture will demonstrate how it was done, how the sound of Sri Lankan folk melodies was created by the sitar by using innovative techniques like the use of harmony (playing two notes at one time on the sitar); by using non-traditonal accompanying instruments like the Kandyan drum; by composing for the sitar outside the ragadhari tradition and by using Sri Lankan folk melodies as the base of the compositions and so on. The lecture will use video clips and performances on the sitar to demonstrate its points.

All are welcome.

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