Sri Lanka’s leading Musician and Singer passes away

Mr. W. D. Amaradeva incorporated Sinhala folk music with Indian ragas in his work.  He was born in Moratuwa on the 27th of December 1927 and was the youngest child in a family of six.  Primarily using traditional instruments like sitars, tablas and harmoniums, he composed Sinhala folk music bharatha music and was also involved in research on music as well.  Because of the influence of a Christian mother Amaradeva sang in the church choir in his young days.  The Sri Lankan public first heard him on the radio through the musical programme titled Maduwanthi.  In 1959 he was appointed as the leader of Orchestra of Radio Ceylon (Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation) he began a great service in taking folk music among the general public of the country.  Amaradeva created a uniquely Sinhalese music style that stayed true to folk tradition while incorporating outside influences. His work was vital in the creation of the sarala gee genre.

Among the many popular songs sung by Amaradeva melodious voice are Sasara Wasana Thuru-Mindada Hee Sara-Pera Dinayaka Ma-Sannaliyane-Ira Handa Paayana Loke-Aradhana-Danno Budunge-Wikasitha Pem – songs that will remain in the memories of people for many lifetimes.  In addition to Sinhala Buddhist songs, Amaradeva  has sung Christian songs as well.  Yesuthuman mama Obe and other Christian songs brought comfort and relief to the Christian music fans as well.  He was known to be a very honest and simple musician winning the hearts of all those who worked with him.  He sang with experienced singers as well as the inexperienced ones and treated them all equally.  Another special feature about him is that is the creator of the mando-harp, a musical instrument combining the mandolin and the harp.  Having won the hearts of the Sri Lanka music fans he passed away after a heart attack at the age of 88 years.  

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