Sri Lankan Identity on the Sitar – a Public Lecture & Demonstration by Pradeep Ratnayake

Pradeep Ratnayake delivers ‘Sri Lankan Identity on the Sitar’ – part of series of public lectures by Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka.

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-traditional 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.

Pradeep Ratnayake is a senior lecturer & the head of Department of Languages, Cultural Studies and Performing Arts, University of Sri Jayawardenepura. The Lecture-demonstration is on 26th Monday, September 2016 at Gamini Dissanayaka Auditorium of the Mahaweli Centre, No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07.