“Berklee Celebrates Sri Lanka” is a project initiated by Sri Lankan students at Berklee College of Music, USA with the sole intention to promote Sri Lankan tradition and culture. The project brings together over 50 performers representing 17 different countries such as the United States of America, Colombia, Luxembourg, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Japan, South Africa, Kenya, United Kingdom, France, Madagascar, Ecuador, South Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Turkey, all working as one unit to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Sri Lanka.
All these students [came] together to create a musical masterpiece by fusing both old and new musical traditions packaged in the form of a music video [that was] released on February 4th 2016 as a means of Berklee Celebrating Sri Lankan Independence Day along with the 21 million+ Sri Lankans worldwide.
The project was led by Sanchitha Wickremesooriya and Shannon Jacob, two Berklee Alumni from Sri Lanka who have been able to achieve great heights and do such projects thanks to the College’s unparalleled contemporary music programs. The video additionally features our New York based guest artists Nalinda Pieris, Uthpala Eroshan and Dilhan Pinnagoda on the Yak Bere, Geta Bere and Devil Dancing respectively.
The project was initiated in August 2015 and was planned as a two-part program. Phase 1 was a workshop conducted for students of Berklee College of Music led by our featured artists, which exposed the audience to traditional forms of drumming and dance whilst feasting on Sri Lankan short eats provided by a Boston based catering company, “Lakrasa Sri Lankan Cuisine.”
Phase 2 is the release of the music video on February 4th 2016 depicting Berklee’s acceptance of other world cultures, traditions and music, allowing the institution to create relationships with the people of Sri Lanka.
The music video features various traditional and modern Sri Lankan genres such as chants, traditional drums and dance, baila and papare covering a vast scope of the rich history of our nation. The musical arrangement and orchestration done by fellow Sri Lankan Shannon Jacob brings together instruments of Western and Eastern roots such as the traditional 5 piece band (drum set, electric guitar, electric bass, piano and acoustic guitar), a 10 piece string section, a 6 piece woodwind section, a 4 piece brass section, 6 percussionists and 10 singers.
Scroll down for the video….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJfZBV0V7NY
Celebrating Sri Lanka