Victor Ratnayake - Life and Career - Sa


By 1973, Ratnayake was a trained musician and noted that there were no one man concerts. The closest was "Shravanaradhana" a joint concert by Amaradeva and Nanda Malini. On the urging of his friends Premakirthi de Alwis, Sunil Ariyaratne, K.D.K Dharmawardena, R.R. Samarakoon, Chintana Jayasena and Bandara K. Wijetunga, Victor decided to attempt such an event. The first Sa concert was held on July 20, 1973, at the Lumbini Theatre, Havelock Town. It is widely considered a turning point in Sri Lankan music.

The name "Sa" came from the root or tonic note sa in the Indian music scale and was suggested by Chintana Jayasena. Jayasena pointed to the fact that no Sri Lankan drama, film or work of art bore a name of just one syllable at the time and believed that it would bring luck.

"Sa" was highly popular, and Ratnayke's gained many fans following its inception. One female fan wrote "Do you know that I treasure 49 hairs of yours?" in a fan letter, expressing how many times she has seen Ratnayake's show. Critics described the show as "exquisite insanity" and a "melodic lunacy" because of the fervor shown by Ratnayke's fans, who would sometimes attack auditoriums where he was playing when they couldn't get in.

Ratnayake's style was influenced by musicians like Sunil Shantha, Ananda Samarakone and C. T. Fernando who he considered "pioneers in the music field" for their use of "classical Ragadari and Hindustani music" as their starting point.

Read more about this topic:  Victor Ratnayake, Life and Career

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