Invitations are now available for the Serendip:Pradeepanjalee Concert by sitarist Pradeep Ratnayake and pianist Masahiko Satoh presented by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura on Thursday 10th September 2015, at the Lionel Wendt Theater at 7.30 p.m.
They can be collected from Sashika at the Vice Chancellor’s office in the Administration Building.
The concert will also see the release of the compact disk “Serendip” by these distinguished internationally known musicians. This CD, which was produced and released in Tokyo, Japan, on July 25, 2015 is perhaps the first ever CD in the world, of the sitar and piano playing together with free improvisation. The evening will also feature some leading Sri Lankan musicians like Ravibandu Vidyapati (Percussion), Professor Karunaratne Bandara (Percussion), Sureka Amarasinghe (Flute), Peshala Manoj (Tabla), Suraj Gunewardene (Bass guitar) and Isuru Perera (Kahoon).
Press Conference on Pradeep Ratnayake & Masahiko Satoh’s “SERENDIP” concert
The “Sri Lankan launch” of the CD “SERENDIP” by Pradeep Ratnayake & Masahiko Satoh will be held on the 10th of September 2015, at the Lionel Wendt Theater at 7 p.m. This was officially announced to the media, holding a press conference today at University of Sri Jayewardenepura. This CD was also released in Japan, in 25th of July this year.
Pradeep Ratnayake is a Senior lecturer and the Head of the Department of Languages, Cultural Studies and Performing Arts of University of Sri Jayawardenepura. Speaking at the press conference he highlighted that this is a “New Musical Revolution” since this is a fusion of two solo instruments; Sitar and Piano which blends western and eastern music in an Avant-Grade approach and its never been tried before. Most of the audience do not adore the beauty of instrumental music but only tend to admire songs and vocal art pieces, but attempts like this exposes the beauty of this fascinating art. He further said the he looks at “SERENDIP” as a “Musical research work”.
Pradeep Ratnayake gave his first solo sitar performance at the age of 10 under the guidance of his teacher, D. A. Devage. He went on to study Indian classical music at the University of Visvabharati Santineketan, India in 1997. After receiving the highest marks ever given for a Degree in Sitar at Santiniketan, Pradeep returned to Sri Lanka to begin a series of music concerts that showcased classical music and a new sound that combined many music traditions. Leading musicians from such fields as Jazz, Western classical and Folk music, joined him in the creation of this music. This series, called Pradeepanjalee, was eventually taken to distinguished venues of the world, such as the Vienna Musikverein in Vienna, the Weil Auditorium at Carneige Hall and the Europian Parliament. Musicians form around the world , such as Freddie Ravel, Ben Waltzer and Joe Chindamo on piano, Ramon Jaffe on cello, Thibault Cauvin on guitar, Eric Marienthal on saxophone and Miranda Cuckson and Helen Ayers on violin have joined him to perform his music. His concerto Kuveni for Sitar , Cello and Orchestra premiered in Germany in 2010 and has been performed most recently in South Africa.He was attached to Columbia University, New York as a Fulbright scholar from 2008-2010, where he worked with music faculty to find new sounds for sitar and new ways of composition. His film score for the movie “Siddhartha” won the Best Music Director Award at the International Buddhist Film Festival held in Vietnam in 2014. His albums Eastern Blues, Vista and Sithijaya Showcase his original compositions and his albums Ragas from New York and Santhutti feature Indian classical music.
Pradeep Rathnayake’s work on the Sitar attempts to change its paradigm, in technique and sound, as he attempts to give it a Sri Lankan identity with his playing and compositions. He had worked with many international artists and recently he has collaborated with the legendary Jazz Pianist Professor Masahiko Satoh. Pradeep’s work with Satoh allowed him to reach new highlights in communication between musical traditions. Pradeep says, “playing with Professor Satoh was not like playing with any other pianist. He knew almost to the exact note, what I would have liked to hear after a phrase I played. Our music flowed as perfectly as a story. Such a sense of connection. It was so deep and natural”.
Masahiko Satoh is a Jazz pianist, composer, arranger and a leading figure of free jazz. Born in Tokyo in 1941, He graduated from Keio University and stidied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston from 1966 to 1968 on a Downbeat Magazine Scholarship. He created his own production label BAJ Records in 1997. He is also the creator of the chair of Non~idiomatic Improvisation at Tokyo University of the Arts. He works with diverse styles of music, Including Japanese Buddhist chanting. He is an master of muse and improvisation. He has won many awards for his numerous albums. About this album “Serendip” Satoh says, “Experiences in Sri Lanka, seeing the people and their land imposed a special spirit on us “. And about his composition Fumon in this album, he says, “I composed it 30 years ago with the image of the sound of Sitar. My delight is here, to be able to hear it with the real sound of the instrument played by Pradeep”.
Vice Chancellor Of University of Sri Jayawardenepura Prof. Sampath Amaratunge and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences C.L.K. Nawarathna also addressed the gathering.