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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Creative Spot - "Nalavee sanasenne" by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

Speedy has sent this short introductory note and picture along with his latest contribution.
Sunil Santha,musician, composer and lyricist, and was Baddaliyanage Don Joseph John before he adopted the name Sunil Santha, was only 65 years old when he died. His musical accomplishments were phenomenal. He had an exceptional educational record being one of the brightest students among his peers. He became a Music Teacher and like many musicians of the day, went to Shantiniketan (in what was West Bengal), an University Town established by the famed Rabindranath Tagore, for further studies. He became well known when he did a series of recordings for Radio Ceylon in the late 1940s. Sunil Santha broke away from tradition by refusing to sing Sinhalese songs based on Hinustani and Tamil songs. He preferred lyricists such as Munidasa Kumaratunge and Fr Marcelline Jayakody. His tenure with Radio Ceylon came to an abrupt end when in the same spirit, he refused to audition for the Indian musician Ratanjankar. Following this, he ran into major problems with his finances but refused to compromise on his principles on pursuing a more pure brand of unadulterated Sinhalese music. In 1967, the Director General of Radio Ceylon, Mr Neville Jayaweera, invited Sunil Santha to come back to the service. Among his popular songs are "Olu Pipila" (the first song to be recorded at then Radion Ceylon), "Handapane", "Ho Ga Rella Negay", "Bowitiya Dan Palukan Vare", "Suwada Rosa Mal Nela", "Kokilayange", and "Mihikathanalawala. He is also well known for composing the soundtracks for Lester James Peries' “Rekava” and “Sandesaya” in 1956 and 1960.  He died of a Heart attack in 1981.

Dear Lucky,
Listen to my version of "Nalavee sanasenne". Hope you like it. As you see I am going through a  nostalgic mood for songs of my childhood (may be because it is my second childhood!).



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  3. Mahen
    This is one of my special favourites. You sing with so much feeling and emotion. I think you have now cracked it!! Harmony makes a big difference and so does that extra work you have done on the accompaniment. The long interlude with the sax adds to the enjoyment of that lovely melody. It is a masterly combination of melody and lyrics. Sunil Santha is a genius and it is sad to hear that he had a spell out in the cold, lost and forgotten.

    This song takes me back 60 years to my life with the grandparents in Nugegoda attending St John's Girl school. I sang this song, badly, to the many visitors who dropped in. I recall those delicious Puhul Dosi, the awful 7 seas cod liver oil. the sublime Alerics Ice Cream and above all the infinite love and care of my grandparents.

    Thank you for helping me rekindle those happy memories.

  4. I have commented on you tube and I repeat: This faster version has its own special appeal. It sounds like a new song but the signature of the old master, Sunil Santha, comes through. Great song! Well done! What talent our '62 batch has!