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Art Lanka - Gee Ama

A musical show by two veteran Sri Lankan vocalists Nanda Malini and Victor Ratnayake was held in London last week. The concert "Gee Ama" was held at the "Logan Hall" in London to a packed Sri Lankan audience.

After the performance, Nanda Malini said that she arrived in London after performing in five shows in Canada. She said that the organizers in London had suggested the theme ‘Love’ for the selection of their songs for the concert. "We have selected 30 songs, 15 of mine and 15 of Victor’s depicting all the avenues of ‘Love, she said.

She said it was encouraging to see seven Sri Lankans living in the UK trained to play musical instruments together with the five professionals who accompanied the troupe from Sri Lanka. "The beauty of it was these people are doctors and engineers and it was pleasing to see that they loved Oriental music and even took part in the concert", she noted.

Victor Ratnayake said that normally it is very difficult to please the audience, the organizers and the musicians themselves at the same time, but they achieved this feat at this concert.

"Most of the organizers were old Royalists and it was wonderful to see them organizing an Oriental musical show in London and selecting Nanda Malini and myself to perform in it", he said.

Both vocalists appreciated the support extended by Priya Vijya Fonseka and Prema Ganegoda of ‘Art Lanka’ to the organizers to make this show a reality.

Music Director Suresh Maliyadda said that he was involved with this show from the beginning with the organizers in London and what they wanted was to present a quality show to the audience.

He said that he has traveled the world with Sri Lankan singers with only a handful of musicians accompanying them. "As for this show, we have trained another seven musicians from England so that the audience could see a full orchestra on stage. We also used a ‘Grand Piano’ on stage".

"The organizers went a step ahead by hiring a quality sound system rather than using the one available at the venue to give the Sri Lankan fans a great treat", he noted.

Priya Vijya Fonseka of ‘Art Lanka’ said that they have the experience of organizing Oriental Musical Shows in London since 1986 involving leading Sri Lankan artists and they helped these new organizers to present a quality show.

Music Director Suresh Maliyadda was helped by Mahendra Pasqual (Guitar), Rukshan Gunawardane (Violin), Nimal Kalubowila (Thabla), Priyantha Dissanayake (Flute), Nuwan Perera (Guitar), Gunamini Dahanayake (Mandolin), Prasad Orlando (Bass Guitar), Dilan Pathirana (Keyboard), Ben Fernando (Drums), Ransith Mudduwa (Sitar) and Anjula Gunasekera (Percussion).

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