Singing her own tune

Rasangi de Mel’s solo singing performance will be held at the Piyasena Kodithuwakku Theatre, C W W Kannangara Maha Vidyalaya, Matugama on July14 at 5 pm. She will be backed by her brother Geeth de Mel and several other singers. A compact disc containing 14 of her songs will also be launched at the venue.

Although Rasangi has 38 years of experience of singing and teaching music she was not in the limelight. Her solo performance will include her own creations and popular songs. She will sing duets with her brother Geeth de Mel, who is a journalist and singer.

The lyricists include veterans such as Saman Chandranath Weerasinghe, Felix Silva, Dr Ajantha Ranasinghe, H M Prasanna Nandakumara, Delthota Chandrapala, Dharmasiri Gamage, Ariyasena Ahangama, Eng Jayasekara Bandara and Ananda S Wijesiri. Melodies are by Stanley M Fernando, Piyal Fernando, Navaratne Gamage, H M Jayawardena, Bandu S Kannangara and Mervyn Perera. The solo performance will be backed by Piyal Fernando and his band of musicians. The performance will be compared by the well-known Independent Television Network’s announcer Indrasiri Suraweera.

Rasangi started her musical career at the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). Thereafter, she honed her singing skills under Visharada Nanda Malini. She also became a member of the SLBC ‘Lama Mandapaya’. Rasangi is contemporary of Indeewari Ariyasinghe, Sakunthala Peiris, Sandya Bulathsinhala, Samitha Mudunkotuwa, Champa Kalhari and Supriya Abeysekara. She is an ‘A’ Grade singer at the SLBC. She held her first solo performance titled ‘Swarna Dehena’ at the auditorium of C W W Kannangara Maha Vidyalaya.

Rasangi was educated at Uyana Junior School and Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa. Her first music teacher was Athavuda Arachchi. Later she was admitted to Ananda Girls’ School, Maradana for higher education. At that time, her music teacher Visharada Malini Bulathsinhala who spotted her latent talents invited her to join her ‘Aradhana Svara Dehena’ musical programme.

Rasangi expanded her horizon under veteran musicians such as Premadasa Mudunkotuwa, Rohana Beddage, Sangeeth Nupun Sanath Nanadasiri, H D Jayasekara, Kolitha Bhanu Dissanayake, Ariyadasa Ranawaka, Sandya Kumari, Somadasa Peiris, Sudath Wickremesinghe and Thyyagaraja. Later she came under the influence of music teachers such as Mahinda Premaratne, Shantha Geethadeva, Nishad, Sandun Pathirane, Amitha Bandara and Ramani Pushpalatha at the Giragama Aesthetic Teacher Training College.

She remembers with gratitude the unstinted support extended to her by the former principals of C W W Kannangara Maha Vidyalaya viz Piyasena Kodithuwakku, Ananda Weerasinghe and the present principal Vasantha Kulasekara. ‘Rasa Sara Gee’ will be presented free of charge to mark 38 years of her musical career.

As far as music is concerned, we cannot forget Beethovan’s memorable words: “Music is the mediator between her spiritual and the sensual life. Although the spirit be not the master of that which it creates through music, yet it is blessed in this creation, which, like every creation of art, is mightier than the artist.”

Sometimes musicians and singers may not be aware that music is the fourth great material need of our nature. First we need food for survival. Second, we need shelter. Third we need creature comforts. Fourth, we need music. If a person has no music in him and is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, he is only fit for treason, stratagems and spoils. No one will trust him.

Rasangi says music, once admitted to the soul becomes a sort of spirit and it never dies. It wanders freely through the halls and galleries of our memory. Music is a discipline and a mistress of order and good manners. Rasangi who has been immersed in singing and music for more than three decades knows very well that her songs make listeners minder and gentler.

When we listen to a singer of Rasangi’s calibre we feel elated, but we do not know how it happens. However, we know that music produces a kind of pleasure which cannot be explained. 


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